This is a guest blog post written by University of Indianapolis Campus Ambassador Hayley Good.
As a virtual intern, I feel that I have learned so much in a short period of time. I have been a virtual intern for Astonish Media Group for about 3 months and it is always different every day. I have definitely learned appropriate conference call etiquette and become a better communicator as all of my instructions come via phone or email. While I was hesitant at first to try a virtual internship, I am very glad I did! Considering a virtual internship? Check out this list of pros and cons to help you make a decision.
You don’t have to report to an office. One of the best feelings is getting up for work and not having to get out of your pajamas if you don’t want to. It is also nice to be able to work from a place where you are comfortable. Virtual internships are great for people who don’t have cars or a way to get to an office.
You may be able to pick your own work hours. The great thing about my internship right now is that I can work on it for an hour or two and then go to class and then work on my internship again for another few hours when I am done. It is nice to have the flexibility.
You have the opportunity to work for a company that is not in your area. You can meet people from all over the country and it provides a great networking opportunity. You will also get to learn about a new area when contacting local media or making travel arrangements.
You cannot turn to a co-worker and ask a question. Therefore, you may spend a lot of time on the phone asking questions or getting clarification. There may be a delay in receiving your next assignment because you have to wait for a phone call or an email. This means you may not finish as many tasks.
It is harder to stay on task. Some people are easily distracted and what was a 5 minute break on Facebook just became an hour. Taking a break is always good for your mind, but be sure to stay on task. This can be tricky because there is nobody around you to keep you on track.
You miss out on the office atmosphere and don’t get to know your co-workers as well. One of my favorite parts of my internship this past summer was being able to show my co-workers a funny video or hear about their weekend. With a virtual internship, while you may spend a lot of time on the phone, most of it will have to do with work.
Whether or not you choose a virtual internship, the decision to do an internship is always the right one!