By Victoria Robertson
Virtual internships are now a common occurrence as we adjust to the “new normal” when it comes to working. Many employers have shifted to remote workforces where possible, which has entirely changed the availability of internship opportunities. That being said, it can be easy to view virtual internships as a negative, especially when your heart was set on in-person work.
Still, there are many positives that can come from virtual internships that you should consider. With that in mind, below are six ways you can turn your virtual internship into a positive thing.
1. Consider the changing times
As the pandemic continues to change the way we think about the workforce, there is a strong possibility that remote work will become far more common in the coming years.
With these changing times, it’s important that we learn to adapt to the change and roll with it, at least wherever possible. If you find yourself with the opportunity to snag an internship virtually, consider yourself lucky and take advantage of it!
2. Use it for resume building
When it comes to building a resume, remote work can really sell your experience. For one, it showcases your ability to manage your time effectively and handle tasks on your own, which is a strong case when applying for a new position.
In addition, if you’re able to garner glowing recommendations from an employer that managed you remotely, it truly highlights those new skills that you wouldn’t have obtained without the remote work.
So, on top of all the skills you’ll be learning for this new job that you can transfer into your career, you’ll also have effective time management, organization, and prioritization skills that typically take much more experience to learn.
3. Consider the cost savings
There’s no doubt about it: having a job can cost quite a bit of money when you consider the commute into the equation. And, as some internships are unpaid, there’s no refunding that money.
With remote work, the costs are significantly lower, if they exist at all. You get to work from the comfort of your own home, no commute required. While being in person has a certain feel that’s difficult to let go of, working from home is arguably one of the best ways to store up some money in your savings.
4. Leverage Your Time Savings
Additionally, you will be saving yourself a large amount of time every day. Commutes are not only costly but also time-consuming, especially if you were planning on commuting an hour or more to your job.
Without that commute playing into your day, you gain some extra time to get things done that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. This includes many things, such as cleaning around the house, binging your favorite shows, or cooking homemade meals on a nightly basis.
While it doesn’t seem like much, the hour or so that you gain back in your day can be a real game-changer.
5. Take on new opportunities
Along this same line of thinking, there are sometimes that an opportunity is really calling to you, but the distance isn’t doable. Perhaps it was too long of a commute, or the job is out of state, but there are many reasons that the perfect job can slip away without even being a true consideration.
With remote work, that issue goes out the window. You can now broaden your horizons to areas that you likely wouldn’t have been able to apply to before. While not everyone has the same remote work capabilities, the availability of such options has increased significantly around the country, it’s just a matter of finding the right position for you.
6. It’s still experience
Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider the fact that a virtual internship is still an internship. Experience is experience, no matter how you obtain it. While it’s easy to write off a virtual internship as a way to fill time, but nothing more, you’d be doing yourself a disservice.
For that reason, understand that a virtual internship is still experience, and it’s still a very viable option to include on your resume. Basically, look at the bright side and be thankful that you have the opportunity to take on an internship, as there are many more out there that aren’t as lucky.
Virtual internships are the way of the future, at least, for the foreseeable future. For that reason, it’s important that we, as a society and incoming workforce, understand and adapt to these changes.
While viewing such changes as negative is common and understandable, turning a negative into a positive is a trait that this generation shares and should take advantage of.
The above six tips should help get you started, but if you’re able to snag an internship this year, virtual or not, consider yourself lucky and continue bolstering that resume as much as you can.
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