Virtual Internships

by Vault Education Editors | October 06, 2009

  • My Vault

In addition to using your computer to get a degree, buy a new outfit or reconnect with old classmates all without leaving home, you can now also use it to complete an internship online. Some companies--mainly those with openings in IT, research, sales and social media--are offering virtual internships that can be performed literally anywhere.

More flexible than your standard 9-to-5 office internships, these virtual positions allow participants to complete an internship on their own schedule. Summer or winter breaks are no longer the only times an internship can fit into a busy schedule, as students or others with full-time jobs are able to gain relevant experience without compromising other obligations. Although there will still be deadlines to follow, when you choose to complete the assignments is generally up to you. Whether it is 1 p.m. or 1 a.m., virtual internships give you the freedom to choose what works best with your schedule.

Since virtual internships can be completed anywhere, location is no longer a deterrent in your search for the perfect position--by negating distance, the possibilities are endless. The internship of your dreams located 3,000 miles is no longer out of reach. You won't need a plane ticket or extra gas money to get the resume boost and experience you're looking for, only internet access and a comfy couch.

Although completing an internship from home can be convenient, there are some drawbacks you may want to consider. For one, virtual internships make it more difficult to make connections with managers and co-workers, as your only companion during the workday is yourself. A large part of an internship is networking with those around you, and the lack of a physical presence may make that more difficult. Plus, you won't be able to get a sense for what it's like to work in that particular office or industry full time day after day. Working for an hour at a time from the comfort of your own home is very different from working for eight hours in a cubicle.

Despite these drawbacks, the convenience makes virtual internships an ideal option for many. So if you're looking to advance your career but don't have the time or resources to complete a traditional internship, search for a virtual one and trade your business suit for your favorite pair of sweatpants.

-Posted by Rebecca Zissou

Filed Under: Education

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