Virtual/remote-based internships are internships in which an intern works in a location other than the traditional office setting. Given the current COVID-19 health crisis, many employers are having their interns work remote over the next few months. In addition to the health crisis, there are employers in general that are looking to bring on new talent to their company, and virtual jobs/internships are an innovative way to do that! However, virtual/remote internships take discipline and a lot of communication between the employer and the student intern. There are several ways that communication can take place, through email, Zoom, Skype, phone, etc. It is extremely important for daily communication to happen and often multiple time throughout the day. All internships (in-person or remote) are supervised learning experiences.
Criteria for Virtual/Remote-based Internships:
- The internship description and communication from employer should clearly state:
- Description of intern responsibilities with clear expectations and deliverables
- The type of training provided and how training will be provided
- Supervision/mentoring provided including the communication plan with preferred methods of communication:
- Number of hours the intern will be working on projects per week
- Number of direct supervision/mentoring hours the intern will be provided per week
- Methods of communication: Email, Phone conferences, Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom, etc.
- Schedule/process for checking in with supervisor regarding progress reports (i.e., daily, weekly, etc.)
- Clear commitment of time and technology/tools required of intern
- Opportunities to present work and/or collaborate with other employees
- There should be clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.