Virtual, Remote, Online – it seems this is all people are talking about today. Unfortunately, most of this fixation on the virtual world has resulted from quarantine, social distancing, and as a temporary solution for organizations to stay afloat during these uncertain times.
However, there were some who saw the value in the virtual world before it became a necessity. Not just as a survival technique, but as a way to increase accessibility in the world of work so that everyone has a chance to not only be included but to be successful.
Our founders, Daniel Nivern and Ed HolroydPearce, officially launched Virtual Internships in 2018.
“We recognized that there was a whole desirable skill set that candidates can learn through a remote or virtual internship and that this also reduces traditional barriers to internships, such as logistics, cost, family or study commitments, for a number of candidates,” Ed Holroyd Pearce, Co-founder and President, CRCC Asia & Virtual Internships.
In addition to removing access barriers, Dan and Ed knew that the future of work was upon us and that all students would need to learn key technology and other remote working skills in order to be competitive in this new job market. In fact, according to data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, the number of UK workers who have moved into remote-working has increased by nearly a quarter of a million over a decade and in the US, data from Global Workplace Analytics found that remote work grew 44% over the last five years and 91% over the previous 10 years.
According to The World Economic Forum’s report, “The Future of Jobs,” the workplace is constantly changing. “Some advances are ahead of others. Mobile internet and cloud technology are already impacting the way we work. Artificial intelligence, 3D printing, and advanced materials are still in their early stages of use, but the pace of change will be fast,” said Alex Gray, Senior Writer, Formative Content.
Because of this consistent and rapid change in technology, universities and employers will have to continue to adapt the way they prepare the next generation of workers. Seeing this change, Dan and Ed knew that Virtual Internships could be an important part of this training process.
“Having been in the internships and study-abroad industry for over a decade, we saw the inefficiencies and the barriers – we know what students want, we know what universities want, and we know what businesses want, yet there are very few services and companies that seem to take all those three factors into account,” Ed Holroyd Pearce.
Virtual Internships serves as the bridge that connects students with opportunities to develop the skills employers need for the future of work. Because the use of technology is inherently built into the program, no matter the career field, all students who participate receive technological training to assist in their future employment success. In addition to the development of technological skills, all participants will significantly increase their communication skills, especially when it comes to navigating cross-cultural understanding and creating a global network.
“Students benefit from the early development of their own network of global professional contacts, many of whom can and will be called upon as they enter the workforce in the coming years, and companies get value from initiating contact with future leaders from overseas. On a macro level, these relationships also form the basis of improved international relations and intercultural understanding, which is beneficial to all from a socioeconomic perspective,” Daniel Nivern, Co-founder & CEO, Virtual Internships and CRCC Asia.
This mutually beneficial relationship between students, universities, and employers ensures the continued success of the program across all stakeholders. At Virtual Internships, our goal is for all students to further enhance their professional development. By continuously adapting, working to eliminate access barriers, and continuing to improve on our years of experience, we work to ensure that everyone can receive the training needed to thrive in today’s job market.
“I was a third-year student in Australia without any substantial work experience until I found out about Virtual Internships. The VI team were great and helped find a good company in my area – Law. I was able to gain work experience in a different country, valuable insights into the industry I was studying, and I formed crucial global connections. The coaching provided by VI helped me to approach work at a professional, interpersonal and proficient communicative level,” Student, University of Adelaide.