By Colleen Sabatino, The Intern Coach
More and more students are taking advantage of remote or virtual internships that remove geographical barriers, allowing students to work from computers in their dorms or homes at their convenience. You can sample different fields or concentrate on a niche industry while still going to classes and working. Virtual internships are especially helpful for juniors or seniors who cannot leave campus because they are taking required courses for their majors or managing increased responsibilities in campus organizations.
The most common virtual internships are in information technology, software development, research, sales, marketing, blogging, and social media. Companies are looking for self-reliant, self-starters who are comfortable with web conferences, emails, and phone calls.
The process to apply for a virtual internship is the same as for a traditional one—send a resume and a cover letter and participate in a phone interview. When you apply for a virtual internship, ask the following questions:
- How much mentoring and feedback will I receive?
- Who is my key point of contact and how often do we make contact?
- What is the type of work and what are the expectations?
- Will I receive payment or college credit?
- How many hours a week are involved and for how long a period?
- Will I get a letter of reference if I do a good job?
- Could I view the work of former virtual interns?
Though students in virtual internships rarely meet their boss, they learn to work independently and more efficiently. Juniors and seniors may find that virtual internships are also an excellent way to extend a traditional internship.