Virtual Virtuosity

By: Jess McLean

Have you ever had that thought while getting into your black slacks and your best vest?

29477_1424802853094_8248026_n“Why can’t we all just go to work in our pajamas?”

Well, maybe you can.

Virtual internships appear to be overtaking the lives of college students. Every semester there seems to be even more opportunities to work in the comfort of your own bedroom. It is a great option for businesses and a great alternative for busy students to gain extra experience.

Here are some things to consider about taking on a virtual internship:

  • It can’t do everything. By no means is a virtual internship better or worse than a “physical” internship. It is still important to gain the experience of a face-to-face internship. However, a virtual program can be a great supplement to your other internships. The experience will be different but still very meaningful.
  • There are not enough hours in the day. Time management is crucial. Virtual internships are great for during the school year while you’re taking classes, but they can still demand 10-15 hours a week; that you are accountable for. Even if you do not have to physically show up anywhere, your work still needs to get done.
  • Bring your “A-Game.” Virtual internships mean that virtually anyone can apply. The competition is a little bit more extensive when a position can be filled by anyone in the United States. If you are really interested in a position, make sure you demonstrate all the ways you can benefit the company.
  • Sometimes you’ll be on your own. Depending on the intern program, these opportunities can require the responsibility of monitoring your own work and projects. Your supervisor will rely on you to provide quality work on your own.
  • Be Flexible. Email, social media, Skype and other communication tools are essential for virtual internships. However, life can still get in the way. Try to be patient while waiting for the important response and your co-workers will be more patient with you. Time zones, family emergencies, and poor Wi-Fi can disrupt anyone’s day.

Since starting at Ferris, I have worked with 4 virtual internships. Each one brought me a new type of experience and taught me about many different parts of public relations, marketing and communication.  And sometimes I didn’t even have to get out of bed.

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About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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