This is a guest post by one of Lauren’s interns, Melanie Rowe. Melanie is a Retail Merchandising major at Florida State University.
“The Pros of a Virtual Internship”
Most of us dream of interning in New York or Los Angeles; getting to work with celebrities and take in everything these big cities and their fast paced lifestyles have to offer. But like many, still in school in Florida and unable to even begin to afford to live in either one of these amazing places, I had to look for something closer to home that could still give me great experience. That’s when I started asking around and eventually was told by a close friend about a virtual internship with Internqueen.com. My friend was currently interning for Lauren and told me how much fun she was having and that she had learned a lot from what she did over the semester. Excited about what she had told me, I immediately applied and after a couple interviews and a few days of waiting I was offered a position and eagerly accepted. Now almost two months in, I have to say this is one of the best job experiences I’ve ever had.
But, virtual internships offer a lot more than just a supplement to not being able to work in a different city. Here are a few other things I have found to be definite pros.
1. You learn the basics of proper email etiquette.
In this day and age where most words have been reduced to a few letters through texting and social media sites, we tend to forget how to write proper sentences and address someone on a professional level. Most of my time during my intern hours every day is spent writing emails to very important clients and other people Lauren does business with on a regular basis. Although you may think writing professional emails should be common sense, it really is a great skill to have that can really impact how people view you, especially if that is the only way you communicate with them. This is also something that you will most likely be using throughout your professional career.
2. There’s potential to make a lot of great connections.
Through a regular internship, in a lot of circumstances you are limited to the small circle of people or businesses that the company is associated with. But with a virtual internship, especially one like Internqueen.com, so many more doors are opened to you. With my list of clients that I was assigned, as well as other individuals that I have been working with for Lauren, I have made dozens of new contacts that could potentially help me in the future.
3. Flexible hours!
Generally, most internships and jobs have set hours and shifts they want you to work every week. But since the majority virtual internships are done completely online, it allows for some flexibility in when you can and want to work. Lauren has been so great with working around my and the other intern’s schedules. I intern almost 15 hours a week and none of my hours interfere with my school and regular work schedule. It has been great. I’ve been able to attend all five of my normal classes, work part time, and do my internship all while maintaining my social life. Talk about awesome!
4. You get some diversity along with your local opportunities.
When I started looking for an internship, I quickly began to find out that there weren’t a whole lot of options near where I’m living, at least not any that truly interested me. Already working part time in a retail department store, I wanted an internship where I could learn and experience new things to help broaden my skill level and add something unique and valuable to my resume. After exhausting all my local options, I started looking into virtual internships and realized that I could have almost any kind of internship I wanted. Nowadays more and more companies are looking for virtual interns to do a variety of tasks which allows for us to get the experience without having to actually live where these opportunities are.
5. Wearing your pajamas to work won’t get you fired.
Although I am a Retail Merchandising major and love fashion, I also love being comfortable. Since my intern hours consist of me spending most of my time at the computer and not having to go anywhere, I can virtually wear anything I want including my big comfy sweats! Now unless you speak with your boss via SKYPE and use the camera I definitely would wear something professional and appropriate. But since Lauren, the other interns, and I all communicate via chatting on SKYPE and through phone calls and emails there’s no real need to worry about dressing to the nine’s.
So to wrap it up, having a virtual internship is pretty awesome especially with Intern Queen! And I highly suggest, even if you aren’t in a position like I was, to look into what these internships have to offer. I guarantee it will definitely be worth your while!