If you’re still at uni and looking for a way to boost your career prospects, you may be on the lookout for additional work experience in your field of study. For those looking for a foot in the door in their chosen career, internships can be enough to give you the edge over other applicants. In most cases, they offer students and recent graduates the opportunity for work experience in major companies so that they can learn and grow — and in some cases, allow you to earn some cash.
It’s no surprise arrival of Covid-19 has limited the amount of internships on offer — especially with many Australian states and territories having many of their employees working from home. But many businesses are still running internship programs — they are just in the form of virtual internships.
What are virtual internships like?
Virtual internships are programs that allow students to build networks, attend meetings and produce relevant quality work through an online portal. Different companies will use various programs to achieve this hub, but all internship programs share the same elements.
Instead of travelling into an office, interns just head to their laptop and hop on video call meetings. A good internship will offer the opportunity to speak with other employees and receive feedback from superiors on the work they have done.
Are virtual internships it worth it?
Virtual internships are not a new idea — these programs have been in place for a few years, as they provide larger companies more opportunities to hire and teach young talent from all across the world. Virtual internships have been a key pillar for many students seeking to break into the global financial or corporate world, as they can learn under the tutelage of foreign businesses in any country.
While virtual internships don’t offer the opportunity to experience the office culture, learning to effectively work remotely is a new skill employers are likely to be looking for in future graduates.
The most popular area for online internships is in business and economics. Budding lawyers, marketers, journalists and graphic designers can also benefit from online programs. Majority of content can be easily transferred to virtual interactions.
Where to find virtual internships
Many virtual internship programs aren’t offered on the company’s actual websites. Instead, internships websites have been created to pool all businesses’ programs together and offer an easily navigated sphere for prospective workers.
An example is this listing of the KPMG Virtual Internship Program, which is listed on The Forage. This is one of the rare sites that offer this work experience guidance for free — other internship hubs (especially those in the U.S.) require a membership fee to access the wide range of programs available.
It’s also worth checking out the Australian Internships page and their virtual programs section.