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Is a Remote Internship for You? The Pros and Cons of a Remote Internship

Are remote internships good? You might be wondering yourself. Or is remote internships legit? People have been working remotely for years, so it’s not a brand new concept for employers around the world and definitely very legit. Now it’s easier than ever to both work and intern remotely due to the technology that we have available. Most of the host companies of Absolute Internship in China and Hong Kong were forced to change their infrastructure to remote-based due to the strict regulations in the country at the beginning of the year. Thanks to tools such as Slack and WeChat companies were still able to keep in touch with their team members and interns.

Before you make up your mind on a remote internship, it’s important to take into account the pros and cons of a remote internship rather than completing an in-city internship.

 

Pros of a Virtual Internship

Saving Time and Money

By doing an internship online, rather than traveling to an office or a country abroad for an internship you definitely save a lot of money and time. Think about it. You don’t need to get a passport. You don’t need to get a visa. You don’t need to worry about buying flight tickets. You can literally intern from home, which saves you money which you can invest in other things. Above all, if you’re an international student and are studying abroad already your visa limitations might restrict you from interning in your university country. An internship online does not restrict you - you can intern for any company you want remotely. 

Flexible Hours

As a university student you want to gain professional skills. But you are busy with your course work. A benefit of an international virtual internship is that you can work anytime of the day, anytime of the week as it is likely your internship will be project-based. You’ll have pre-agreed meeting hours and check-ins with your internship mentor, who can be either in sunny Stockholm or in beautiful Barcelona so you decide your own work hours.

Can do Multiple Internships at a Time

What are some other benefits of a global virtual internship? You can intern locally in-city at a company whilst at the same time intern remotely for a company based overseas. It’s a huge resume booster and a great talking point for you in any future interviews with employers. Alternatively, it allows you to intern for a company during the semester, while at the same time balancing your school work. Win-Win. 

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Build Your Skills and Test-Drive a New Industry

You already have a certain skill set. However, you can always gain new skills. Another benefit of a global online internship is that you can try out different industry sectors. You’re not stuck with one industry. As you have more time with a virtual internship, you can test out different types of interests and industries. You might major in Business Administration, but have a big interest in fashion. Through a remote internship, you can intern part-time for a fashion label whilst at the same time intern for a startup in marketing.

Expose Yourself to a New Culture

As you’re not restricted to a location when you are doing a remote internship online, you can end up interning for a company in Shanghai or Barcelona. That means that you’ll be exposed to a new business culture and etiquette. You will learn how different cultures run meetings, how different cultures communicate via email, how different cultures approach life and work. Those are invaluable skills that will help you tremendously when you graduate and you will work with international clients and colleagues. Global business etiquette is one of the most demanded skills that employers are seeking in new graduates. 

[Interning Abroad in Times of COVID-19 - Interview with the Alumni Kalil]

 

Cons of a Virtual Internship

Social Interaction

What are some of the virtual work environment challenges? You won’t clearly benefit from the social interaction that you get by doing an in-city internship. There are ways to still have those water-cooler-conversations over Slack or company remote happy-hours, but it won’t be the same as in-person.

Lack of in-office experience

Once you graduate, employers will be impressed by your remote internships experiences on your resume. But, you will lack in-office experience if you don’t gain some. By doing an online internship, you won’t be getting an in-office experience. However, you will gain the transferable and professional skills that global employers are looking for in new recruits.

Distractions

Interning virtually from home can be a great experience, but it can also be a double edged sword. There are also a lot of distractions at home such as TV-, possible roommates-, comfortable sofa. How do you overcome this challenge? When it’s time to work. Focus. Focus on your remote internship. It starts with scheduling time in your calendar when you will work. No social media. Only focus on your remote internship. Put on a work outfit so you actually “feel” and send a message to your body and mind that you’re at “work”. It will help you stay focused on your tasks and most importantly make you feel more self confident about yourself! 

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Challenging to Stay on Track

It may be challenging to stay focused and on track when you’re interning from home. For some students a 5 minute break on Instagram can become an hour. Taking a small break is always good for your mind and body, but when you’re not working in an office there is no one checking in on you. 

Challenging to Develop Social Skills

If you are an extrovert, you love to communicate and meet new people. For some professions and industries, employers are looking for graduates with excellent social skills. Although online internships are an excellent and a fantastic opportunity to gain experience with an international company there may be some challenges. You can develop new business etiquette skills whilst at the same time working with international colleagues as well as test-driving a new industry that you might be currently into. However, developing your social skills may prove to be a challenge. That’s simply because you won’t be meeting anyone from your company in-person, but only virtually. If you’re not looking to develop your social skills then this little drawback doesn’t matter.

[5 Tips and Insights on Working Remotely]

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