A-Z Guide to Virtual Internships

A-Z Guide to Virtual Internships

Virtual internships are becoming increasingly popular, distinctive, and novel in the employment market. In many ways, they differ from typical on-site internships. Students can obtain experience from anywhere in the globe by working remotely.

During a virtual internship, students can gain practical training in areas like marketing, IT, sales, media, and other industries that easily transition into remote work. Interns simply complete their tasks and responsibilities from home instead of going into an office.

Despite the fact that it is a fantastic experience, you must keep in mind your course prerequisites and needs. You can test it out if it corresponds with your degree programme. If not, consider other options. Whatever you choose, any internship opportunity will help you get a head start on your career.

What is Virtual Internship? 

Internships that are completed online or remotely are known as virtual internships. A virtual internship is similar to a typical internship in that it allows you to get professional experience while working from anywhere. You are assigned to a company and have a supervisor to whom you must report. You communicate with your supervisor/team on a frequent basis via virtual techniques such as video calls, phone calls, emails, and instant messenger.

A virtual Internship necessitates more time spent in front of a computer with an Internet connection. You may succumb to the lure of visiting irrelevant websites if you are not disciplined enough. Connecting with pals on social media, watching a movie on Netflix, and conducting useless research.  All of these things may cause you to lose focus on your work. Virtual Internship comes with a slew of distractions that can wreak havoc on your productivity.

How does a virtual internship work?

So, now that we know what a virtual internship is, how do we go about getting one? Virtual internships allow you to work for a company situated in another nation without having to travel there. Many of the advantages of international job experience will be available to you without some of the drawbacks, such as visas and the expensive cost of migrating to another country.

A virtual internship typically entails meeting one-on-one with your supervisor to discuss your forthcoming work via Zoom, Google Hangouts, or another platform. Following that, you’ll spend the rest of the week working on those tasks while also participating in numerous more online conversations with your supervisor to review your work and receive feedback on how to improve it.

Is a Virtual Internship Worth It?

As you may have gathered from everything we’ve mentioned so far, we believe virtual internships are well worth your time and can be really beneficial in advancing your career. We’re not alone; research suggests that virtual internships increase communication skills, demonstrate reliability to future employers, and improve time management skills. All of these abilities are frequently in high demand by businesses.

Of course, there are certain disadvantages to virtual internships. These can include things like missing out on company culture, social gatherings, and not having as much supervision as others. Being physically present in the office can teach an intern a lot about how others conduct themselves, body language, and so on.

You will miss out on these things if you do a virtual internship, but there are other advantages to virtual internships. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the top benefits and drawbacks of virtual internships.

What are the Advantages/Benefits of Virtual Internships 

  • They enable students to learn the skills that businesses seek in today’s market while still pursuing their studies. Students can learn educational/theoretical knowledge in their classes and then apply it in a real-world context during their internship. They can do this on their own time and without ever having to leave campus!
  • Internships allow you to learn things you couldn’t study in school and to hone talents you already have. They’re the closest you’ll come to professional and work experience, and they’ll be your first encounter with jobs and employment.
  • Virtual internships take place through the internet. This means that any student from anywhere in the world is welcome to attend. Location isn’t an issue with online internships. As long as you have a reliable Internet connection, keep the required hours, and complete all tasks on time, you’re fine to go.
  • Working in companies in other countries expands your network. It also increases your chances of finding a high-paying job following graduation.
  • Another big advantage of a virtual internship is the work-hour flexibility. Interns are usually given the freedom to choose their own hours as long as they meet the deadlines.
  • Virtual internships encourage students to be self-sufficient. With their assistance, one must learn to work independently. You can work whenever you choose, fulfil all of your deadlines, and maximise your own productivity. As a result of their independence, students are able to be more creative. They can operate more productively and with less fear. It’s also worth noting that because you’re in charge of your schedule, late working hours aren’t an issue. Virtual internships emphasise accountability regardless of the degree programme. They also encourage personal effort in completing work assignments.

What are the Disadvantages of Virtual Internships 

  • Because you work alone in a remote location, you won’t have any human interaction during your online internship. Interns communicate with their bosses via email, zoom meetings, or phone conversations, but never face to face. As a result, you may feel cut off from the company. That’s because you won’t be able to meet your coworkers or attend corporate functions. This means you won’t be able to gain professional experience firsthand.
  • Emails, phone conversations, and video conferencing are used to communicate during virtual internships. Miscommunication is very likely if you are not organised. It’s possible that you won’t grasp the notion of the assignment or that you’ll ask the wrong questions. In virtual internships, misinterpretations are common. This is due to the lack of direct communication, which results in ineffective work.
  • Virtual internships impede students’ ability to build strong networks that can help them advance in their careers. An internship in an office setting allows you to meet a variety of people from various fields. However, when working remotely, a lack of community networking may impede you from attaining your full potential.
  • To be productive, virtual internships demand self-motivation and discipline. Students can become more efficient workers in virtual internships by planning and managing their time. A virtual internship may not be right for you if you need to be pushed to work. You must be self-motivated and disciplined at all times. This will allow you to stay focused on your task while avoiding all distractions.

Is it Hard to Get an Internship?

Yes, getting an internship might be difficult. Internships are difficult to come by because they are designed to provide extra mentorship, meaningful, relevant experience, and networking possibilities to the intern.

It can be more competitive than a normal job opening because of the mentorship and networking they offer. Internships are attractive options for landing immediate job offers upon graduation. If you’re having problems locating the ideal internship through your searches, you can contact hiring managers at firms or enterprises you’re interested in directly to see what they have available.

Is an Internship a Degree?

An internship isn’t the same as a degree. Some internships, on the other hand, may be suitable for college credit. It is normally organised before you begin your internship to obtain credit for it. Make sure you know what procedures you need to do to ensure you get credit for your job. This may entail completing additional papers ahead of time.

The credit amount is sometimes specified on an internship posting. It is sometimes worked out between the student and the educational institution. During the internship, the institution frequently mandates additional coursework or reviews. Academic standards differ from school to school.

Internships are limited in number. They normally count for one to six credits toward a student’s degree. Internships may be required for graduation in some degree programmes.

Are Internships Only for Students?

Many tend to associate internships with students in college. Internships aren’t just for students; they’re also a great way to obtain experience in your field of interest. Many people, on the other hand, can benefit from an internship.

Students aren’t the only ones who can benefit from internships. While most interns are college students, adults may also participate in internships for the same reasons as their college-aged peers. An adult might be able to get a paid internship, whereas a college student might get college credit instead.

How Long does it take to become an Intern?

Typically, becoming an intern does not take long. Internships are intended to be temporary positions, and they are frequently offered during the summer when a student’s academic schedule has cleared. Internships are often set up to allow students to get experience in a particular subject or sector.

How to Get an Internship with No Experience

1. Be Realistic

Whether you’re looking for a paid or unpaid internship with no experience, you should keep one simple mindset in mind: be realistic. Knowing what you’re good at and what you’re not good at is part of being realistic.

You should not believe that you are too good for a job or a firm. Even small businesses can assist you in learning things that you wouldn’t be able to study in a classroom or at a large organisation.

The same can be said for times when you don’t think you’re qualified for an internship. Consider this: what caused you to have such low self-esteem? Is it because you don’t have enough experience? What about the abilities? So, what precisely is it?

Once you figure out the answer, you’ll be able to improve yourself – by attending classes, going online and teaching yourself, working on projects, or any other thing that can help you out. Never consider yourself to be too good or not good enough for an internship.

2. Join a club or volunteer

Employers do not expect interns to be experienced when hiring them because internships are designed for that purpose. But, in order to outperform the competition, it’s always a good idea to have something up your sleeve to offer your employer. Volunteering and joining clubs are advantageous in this regard.

Clubs and voluntary work demonstrate that you are a motivated student who enjoys assisting others and can complete tasks. As a newcomer, the first thing you can do to boost your chances of landing an internship is to join a club. Clubs are an excellent method to demonstrate to employers and organisations that you are a committed student who works hard.

3. Start networking

It’s not only about who you are, what you know, or what you’re excellent at — it can also be about who you know. Whether you’re a student or an employee, networking is critical, and it’s one of the most effective ways for employees or students to obtain employment and internships with little or no experience.

Networking is a wonderful technique to find paid or unpaid internships if you have no prior experience. That implies that once you let people know you’re looking for an internship, you’ll instantly be added to the top of the list of candidates.

4. Emphasize your skills

If you want to find no-experience internships and beat out the competition, you must value yourself and demonstrate to your employers how you are superior to the competitors. Only by highlighting your skills will you be able to achieve so.

When writing your resume and cover letter, be specific about how your skills can benefit the firm. Demonstrate why you’re the most valuable asset they might have and how you intend to improve a certain aspect of their work.

Make a big deal out of the skills you know they’ll need in the future. Why? Because not everyone values every skill. Make sure to include everything you’ve achieved because that is proof that you’re good at what you do, and that you’ll bring value to the company.

It might be difficult, if not impossible, to find internships without prior experience. It is, however, very possible and can be done by anyone. Simply said, you must be able to properly market yourself.

If you correctly promote yourself, emphasise your skills, and follow all of the other recommendations we’ve provided, you’ll almost surely land an internship.

When is it appropriate to consider an internship?

If you’re a recent graduate or older, an internship might be a good fit for you if you:

  • Want to make a career change

There may be a variety of reasons why you want to change careers, and an internship can help you gain a better understanding of a certain area so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you.

  • Took a break from the workforce

An internship can help you get back into your chosen career and keep you up to date on any current changes in the area, whether you took a hiatus to care for a family member, travel, or be a stay-at-home parent.

  • Unemployed

If you were fired from your job and are having trouble finding something new, an internship might be a good option to avoid a large gap on your resume. During your unemployment, an internship might help you retain your skill set and avoid falling behind.

  • Desire to work for a specific organisation

An internship can be a fantastic method to get your foot in the door at a specific organisation. You may wish to work somewhere because of the advantages, because you agree with the company’s ideals, or because the work atmosphere is ideal for you. An internship, for whatever purpose, can provide you with direct access to managers who can make hiring decisions about you.

How to find a virtual internship

There are lots of ways to find internship vacancies. You could:

  • Talk to your school, college careers, or work experience co-ordinator
  • Visit your university careers service
  • look online at sites like Milkround.comProspects, and Target jobs
  • Go directly to the company websites that you want to intern for
  • Follow companies on social networking sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
  • Network with your family, friends, and older students with internship experience
  • Contact companies that interest you by sending off a CV and a cover letter 

Tips for a Successful Virtual Internship Application

  • Organize yourself: Keep track of both your college and the companies where you’d like to intern deadlines. Setting calendar reminders to follow up on applications is also a good idea.
  • Apply to a range of roles: You can’t always expect to receive your dream internship, so apply for several.

  • Pay attention to practical details: If you’re interning during the summer at a location other than your home or college, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll live—and how you’ll pay for it. Consider your financial situation as well, especially if you’re looking for unpaid internships.
  • Create a professional resume/CV, as well as a cover letter: Both documents should be adapted to the specific function in question.
  • Follow the steps outlined in the application. You may be asked to provide references, provide work samples, or respond to questions. Pay close attention to the instructions. Hiring managers may dismiss your application if you demonstrate a terrible lack of attention to the instructions.
  • Interview Preparation: Make sure you practise answering typical interview questions once you’ve landed an interview. Arrive early for the interview and dress professionally. Don’t forget to send a thank-you note afterward.

How to apply for a Virtual Internship

There are a few different ways to apply for virtual internships and find them. Of course, you may use Google to look for virtual internships given by organisations directly or go to job boards like LinkedIn or We Work Remotely.

You can also use third-party service providers. Research virtual internships and third-party providers who can assist you in finding one, and choose the option that best suits you and your professional aspirations.

You will still have to send the employer your CV, most likely have to submit samples of your past work, and have to interview with someone from the company via telephone or video conferencing and give them your references. 

How to Prepare for a Virtual Internship

  • Decide on a workspace and set it up

Prepare a workspace to make your virtual internship experience a success. One of the most difficult aspects of virtual internship is maintaining a professional environment in which to operate. Avoid working from your couch, bed, or bedroom if at all feasible. Additionally, to project a clean and professional picture during video conversations with coworkers, consider establishing a virtual background.

  • Organize your gadgets

When doing virtual internships, technical challenges are a huge impediment to productivity. While some technological issues are unavoidable, others can be anticipated.  Prepare the PC and equipment several days ahead of time. This allows you plenty of time to work with the IT team on software or set-up. To verify that your audio and visual equipment will function on the first day, test it with a friend. Finally, if you’re doing your virtual internship, create a separate folder for work-related files so they don’t get mixed up with personal ones.

  • Re-research the company

Check the company’s website to see if any new statements about the company or its employees have been issued, and note what has changed since you were offered the internship. Create Google alerts for the company to stay up to date on corporate news. Investigate your competition as well as the industry. A thorough study will enable you to get up and running right away.

  • Make a Schedule

Virtual Internship successfully requires structure and routine. Set your own start and end times for the internship if the organisation does not supply them. Decide what time you’ll get up each day and how you’ll start your day. Make sure to take pauses during the day to keep your mind and energy levels up. After your first day of the virtual internship, establish a daily routine.

  • Connect with team members on LinkedIn 

While it may seem strange to connect with people you haven’t met in person, it will demonstrate a desire to learn more about the team. Connecting with your team members will help you put faces to names and understand the many functions that each person plays. Include a tailored note with each LinkedIn request explaining that you are an intern at the organisation and are looking forward to working with them.

  • Ask for feedback 

The most valuable aspect of any internship is the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the industry, which can help you develop your future plans and tailor your skill set to meet your career objectives. To get the most out of your remote internship, make it clear to your manager that you want feedback so you can improve as a professional. This could entail making a quick phone call to discuss modifications they’ve made to a project draught you’ve sent or using a Google Sheet to collect recommendations and comments.

When asking for feedback from coworkers, it’s important to accept it politely; think of criticism as a favour that will help you better your work. The lessons you learn during your internship will stick with you for the rest of your life.

Top 20 Internship Programmes

  • NASA Research Internship Program
  • Google Internship Program

  • Apple Summer Internship Program

  • Microsoft Engineering Internships

  • Goldman Sachs Global Summer Internship

  • Tesla Internship Program

  • SpaceX Internship Program

  • J.P. Morgan Internship Programs

  • Morgan Stanley Summer Analyst & Associate Internship Programs

  • Dow Jones & Company Internship Program

  • Berkshire Hathaway Internship Program

  • Amazon Internship Programs

  • McKinsey Summer Analyst & Associate Programs

  • Deloitte LLP Internship

  • Facebook Internship Programs

  • NBA Internship Program

  • NFL Internship Program

  • EY Launch Internship

  • The Walt Disney Animation Studios Internship Programs

  • Nike Internship Programs

Mistakes to Avoid While Doing an Internship

You must put your best foot forward and avoid anything that would jeopardise these benefits in order to get the most out of your internship. The following are some of the most common intern mistakes that could cost them a good professional reference or a full-time job offer with the organisation.

  • Taking an Internship Nonchalantly

Interns must conduct themselves professionally during their internship. Setting objectives ahead of time will help you clarify what you want to achieve and how to get there. Students must recognise the competitive nature of the world and respond accordingly because we live in a global marketplace.

  • Time Management Issues

Employers don’t like it when interns arrive late or take long lunch breaks. As an intern, you must follow the office’s rules and regulations. Be at the office on time and don’t take much time during lunch break. You should also set out time for yourself. It is your responsibility to prioritise various projects if you have them. Speak with your supervisor if necessary to establish which tasks are the most time-sensitive.

  • Avoiding Menial Tasks

Everyone has something about their job that they dislike. It’s possible that there are too many meetings for management. Jobs like filing are tedious for interns, but completing basic tasks promptly and pleasantly displays a solid work ethic. You’ll also acquire your boss’s respect, which may lead to more challenging job. However, you don’t want to be taken advantage of. If you talk to your boss about your responsibilities ahead of time, you’ll have a better chance of getting to know them on time.

  • Failure to Follow the Office Dress Code

You’ve probably heard the advice to dress for the job you want, not the one you have. College students have more latitude in terms of clothes, but dressed too casually or poorly in the business makes you appear unprofessional. If you’re not sure what to wear, observe your coworkers or consult your supervisor before you begin.


A virtual internship defies the stereotype of what an internship should entail. It allows students to obtain significant work experience while still balancing school or even a part-time job. Virtual Internship from your laptop gives you access to organisations all over the world. Putting the entire world at your fingertips. Despite the obvious advantages of virtual internships, they are not without their drawbacks.

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