For many people looking to improve their employment prospects in a particular career of industry, internships can provide a helping hand. They are, in most cases, an effective way to give university graduates a chance in major companies so that they can learn and grow while earning some money.
In 2020, the number of internships being handed out has declined, especially in states where people have spent most of the year working from home. This post on LinkedIn notes that the number of internships being posted on LinkedIn has dropped by 60% since March 1 of this year. But many businesses are still running internship programs throughout 2020 — they are just in the form of virtual internships.
What are virtual internships?
It should come as no surprise that the world’s leading companies have resorted to technology to combat this issue. Virtual internships allow you to mingle with co-workers, attend meetings and produce high quality work through an online portal.
Different companies will use various programs, but all internship programs should share the same elements:
- Instead of having to travel into work, interns just dress up for their laptop screen and hop on video call meetings.
- They should receive the opportunity to converse with other employees and receive feedback from superiors on the work they have done
- Ideally, little will change from a normal day at the office, however all work and meetings are completed remotely through online video calls.
Are virtual internships worthwhile?
Virtual internships are not a new idea that were hastily thrown together once COVID touched down. 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 Australians seeking to break into the global financial or corporate world, as they can learn under the tutelage of foreign businesses in any country.
The most popular area for online internships is the business and economics world. The majority of companies offer virtual programs to anyone worthy of a place — KPMG is one Australian branch that has a fully established online internship area.
Prospective lawyers and marketers can also benefit from online programs. Majority of content can be easily transferred to virtual interactions, as video calls can compensate for any face-to-face meetings.
Where to find virtual internships
Not all companies publish internships on their own websites. There are internships websites that pool all these opportunities together. For example, the KPMG Virtual Internship Program is also listed on Forage. This is one of the rare sites that offer this work experience guidance for free — other American internship hubs will usually require a membership fee to be able to access the wide range of programs available.
Formally known as InsideSherpa, Forage is the leading site in this space, and is highly recommended for checking out which internship programs may be available for students looking to gain an advantage in their career. You can also check out the Australian Internships page and their virtual programs section to sift through the programs available.