Virtual internships are an excellent way for college students to gain professional experience in their field of interest. If you’re looking for an internship but don’t want to be tied down to an office, consider applying for a remote one. Remote internships allow students to learn while working from home or wherever they choose. Many online internships offer flexible hours, so you don’t have to worry about work getting in the way of your school schedule.
What Is a Remote Internship?
A remote internship is an opportunity for college students to get real-world work experience while studying. You can complete a virtual internship from anywhere—your home, the library, the beach… you name it. The flexibility of such an arrangement allows you to sample several working environments without being stuck in a cubicle.
After accepting a remote internship, you can expect to work with a company via email. Every company uses different technologies, but it helps to become familiar with the following:
- Google Docs and Sheets
- Slack (main communications hub)
- Zoom (virtual meetings and group calls)
- Trello (assignment organization)
Online Internships for College Students
One of the most appealing aspects of remote internships is that they allow you to work from anywhere. Take advantage of this flexibility by working at a coffee shop or co-working space near your home. If you’ve always wanted to travel while in college, a remote internship allows you to do that!
Here are some employer ideas that offer virtual internships:
Work on novel and exciting projects, and learn from talented and experienced people who are passionate about what they do. Start-ups often have a family-vibe work culture where everyone is tight-knit and eager to help each other grow!
The tech industry is one of the fastest-growing fields. There are thousands of companies looking for interns to help them with their projects. Work on exciting new products and learn from the best in the business. Some of the most popular tech internships are at Amazon, Google, and Meta. But many other companies offer remote internships in coding, data science, and other areas.
If technology doesn’t interest you, you can still get a remote internship in a different field. For example, there are opportunities in sales, marketing, and customer service. These positions are available at larger companies that have offices around the world.
Established Freelancer or Entrepreneur
If your goal is to run your own business after graduation, you may find it rewarding to intern with a successful freelancer or business owner.
Let’s say you want to become a freelance graphic designer. Finding a graphic designer needing an intern would benefit you in several ways. You’ll get the opportunity to:
- Learn the ropes: meeting deadlines, arranging and attending meetings, contracts, invoicing, etc.
- See what happens behind the scenes
- Find out how to deal with difficult clients
And who knows? That connection could even be the gateway to your first freelance clients. Often, established freelancers have a full workload and need someone reliable to pass work down to occasionally. If you intern for them for a while, you’ll be first on their mind!
Why College Students Should Get Virtual Internships
Virtual internships are becoming more popular because of changing technology and increasing worker flexibility. They’re ideal for students who want to work from any location, as long as they have a computer with Internet access. Some internships are even paid, which can help you pay off loans or save up money for your future.
If you’re still unsure what you want to do after earning your degree, an internship may open your eyes to career paths you haven’t considered. For example, you may think you want to work in business, but an internship in public relations might introduce a whole new world of career options. Internships allow students to explore and discover their interests before committing to a major or specific career path.
Want to get ahead of your competition in the job market after graduation? Getting an online internship is one way to do it. Many employers seek not only academic excellence in a candidate but also real-life work experience. They want someone who knows how to deal with people, multitask, and work well with a team. Being well-rounded is key!
Skills You’ll Develop as a Remote Intern
Most remote internships are like traditional programs in that they need you to work hard and be self-motivated. But, there are more skills you’ll develop as a remote intern that you can carry with you after graduation. These include:
- Time management
- Communication (verbal and written)
- And more!
Looking for a break from your studies or want to gain experience before jumping into an entry-level position? Consider applying for an online internship.
How to Find Good Remote Internship Opportunities
There are countless ways to find remote internships. Start by using online job boards like Indeed or Internships.com, your school’s career center, or even a company that you see offering an opportunity. If you have a solid relationship with your professors, it’s worth asking them if they know anyone in their network looking for a remote intern.
If you haven’t already, create a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is free to use, and you can use their job search feature to apply for any job. Filter by job type (internship) and location (remote). The more specific you get with the filters, the more likely you’ll find something that suits you.
When searching for the perfect fit, keep in mind cultural fit and reputation. You want to work with a company that aligns with your beliefs and lifestyle and contributes well to society. It may take some research on your end to learn about a company’s mission and what they do.
RELATED >> Part-Time Jobs for College Students
Intern from Anywhere to Gain Professional Experience
Online internships for college students allow you to work around your class schedule while gaining professional experience. Students get a sense of control when it comes to selecting an employer that matches their interests and career goals. So what are you waiting for? Begin your remote internship search today.