When the first lockdown came, the dynamics of how organizations operated changed. Employers and partners worked together to run virtual internships for students, in order for students to gain a real understanding of the company and the sector despite the difficulties posed.
Having found my virtual internship on LinkedIn through Inside Sherpa – now known as Forage. It was a tremendous opportunity to learn during these tough times. I enrolled onto the KPMG data analytics virtual programme with no experience and decided to take it as a learning experience and a way to build my skills.
As a student who has done a virtual internship, below are a few tips on why one should do a virtual internship:
- Networking Opportunity– During my internship there were groups created on platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn which allowed me to get into contact with other students around the world who were doing the same internship. It further allowed me to keep building a global network. I still remember one of my connections asking me if I would like the opportunity to collaborate with him on a professional project in Singapore. Internships like these open up doors for you. You only need to click the button.
- New skills-One of the easiest ways to build your personal brand is by learning new skills. As Richard Branson said: “the best way to learn is by doing.” A virtual internship is like your playground, you enter a playground as a child, unfamiliar of your surroundings but as you keep going to play you get used to it. The same goes for a virtual internship once you get familiar with your ‘surroundings’, you tend to build your skills and have more confidence in taking on more tasks. For instance, in my internship I had no experience with the software Tableau, however by taking the initiative to learn how to use it not only did I add a new skill of ‘data analysis’ to my ever-growing portfolio; I also picked up on how to use new software.
- Flexibility- Usually virtual internships allow you to be flexible in working whenever you like. Most times you can do a virtual internship from anywhere in the world as long as you have a good internet connection and a laptop. This has opened up an arena of opportunities where students can complete international opportunities from the comfort of their homes. As everything is essentially online from the task you are given to the submission, you don’t have to worry about the commute to work. Furthermore, carrying out my virtual internship from Kenya a developing country allowed me the same opportunity as someone from a developed country.
To students out there, who feel they have demanding schedules and can’t fit in work due to general office working hours, a virtual internship allows you that flexibility of working whenever you can. As long as you take the initiative to complete the work it is possible. It allows you to build on new skills and enhance your uniqueness in an ever-increasing competitive environment. The people you meet in a virtual internship essentially are part of your net worth and doors may open up for you if you take that one step.
Don’t wait, you only have to click a button to get started.
Prinal Shah – Final Year Student
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