Why Startups & SMEs must adopt Virtual Internships

I’m a college student. I’m smart. I’m connected 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I have a lot of free time. I’m looking for interesting opportunities to work on and learn from throughout the year. Does your company offer a virtual internship?

We thought this is a good time to write this article as we observed 40% of the internships posted on Twenty19.com (during the non-internship season) to be virtual internships. The internship application stats showed that the students have caught on to this trend too!

An internship is virtual when an intern works remotely – anywhere other than your office. Here are some of the reasons why employers, especially in Startups and SMEs, find virtual internships attractive:

  • 1. The smarter ones apply: Usually, it is only the smart and enthusiastic students, who are looking to take initiatives outside their curriculum, who apply for these internships – You should go after them!
  • 2. Larger applicant pool: Your choice is no longer restricted to the students in your city alone.
  • 3. Work with interns anytime/throughout the year – You don’t have to plan your internships based on their college summer vacation schedule!
  • 4. Space & Resource Savings: There is no need to create desk space or acquire additional resources like laptops, phone lines, etc.

Typical roles for which companies recruit Virtual Interns: Social Media Marketing, SEO, Content writing/Journalism, Marketing/Sales, Web Design, Front-end Web Development, Software/App Development, Back-end Web Development, Market Research and Campus Ambassadors.

Check out some of the latest Virtual Internship roles that companies are posting to get a better idea while designing your own virtual internship program.

Skype (communication, screen share and conf calls) & Google docs (real-time collaborative tool) are basic tools we recommend to help you communicate with/manage virtual interns better. You can also use other project management/CRM tools based on the nature of the internship.

The biggest challenge with virtual internships: Virtual Internships work the best only with students who are self motivated. The best way to solve this problem is to put them through the 10 hour task test (our previous article) before you select them for an internship.

If you haven’t already adopted a virtual internship program in your company, this is the right time to start!

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