Before they called them virtual internships…

… I did one.

It wasn’t until about two years ago that I started seeing the term “virtual internship.” They seemed so rare that people didn’t have a clue what they were!

My junior year of college I found myself connected to a fantastic non-profit organization that needed an intern. They just happened to be about 200 miles from where I was going to school.

But other interns had gone before me and it worked out well for them, so we arranged a work-from-dorm internship. This worked out extremely well because they needed me to do social media which requires flexibility. I was also doing a lot of writing, which can be completed at any time of the day.

Virtual internships in the communication field are beneficial for student and organization.

Pros for interns:

  • Saves on travel (which is good especially if it’s a for-credit only arrangement)
  • Lets you get experience with an organization even if it isn’t close to school
  • Teaches time-management skills
  • Forces better communication due to lack of face-to-face contact

Cons for interns:

  • Fewer people at the organization know you so your network could suffer
  • You miss out on some aspects of corporate culture

Pros for organizations:

  • Broader pool of intern applicants
  • No need for a physical work station

Cons for organizations:

  • No face-to-face interaction
  • Possible increase in work to get credit for the intern (depending school policies)

Since I’m writing this over lunch, the lists are rather short. Do you have anything to add to them? Has anyone else been/had a virtual intern?

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