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Internships Gone Viral

Virtual internships. They’re the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas, and the tiger’s spots. Virtual internships are not always considered by students or employers, but the obvious benefit is that it allows interns to work from anywhere. Interns who work remotely could be ideal for organizations that may not have the office space or personnel need for supervision.

What’s not to love? Some advantages of virtual internships include: flexibility, less limitations and more opportunities, and the chance to find a field which best suits you. If you’re a student interested in an internship, virtual gigs are perfect for someone with a part-time job, classes, or other obligations. Virtual internships give you flexibility to do your work when you want—as long as you know how to manage your time and are self-motivated. These internships may even save you money. You don’t have to dress up for work or use …

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Costs, Benefits of Virtual Internships

Chances are, you’ve heard about virtual internships—but have any of you actually been a virtual intern? (I’m guessing no, but if the answer is yes, please leave a comment below, and tell us about your experience!) Personally, I was never a virtual intern, but I’ve had friends with great virtual internship stories to share, so I thought I’d do a little research and explain to you what I’ve learned.

Both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today recently covered the increasing popularity of virtual internships—specifically opportunities with start-up companies, which are more likely to be found on the coasts and in Silicon Valley. The articles indicate, as a result of the struggling economy, the job market is extremely competitive. Therefore, completing internships—virtual or in-person—is more important than ever. In addition, companies are trying to find ways to reduce their costs, so having a virtual intern is a win-win for both …

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Students: How to Communicate Successfully during a Virtual Internship

Entry by Anastasiya Elaeva, Indiana INTERNnet Intern

In Monday’s blog entry, I provided you with Interactive Intelligence’s perspective on virtual internships.  I also recently spoke with one of Interactive Intelligence’s virtual interns, Courtney Guard, who would like to share her advice on having a successful internship experience.  An economics major at Purdue University with minors in business management and political science, she is currently doing an internship in the office of Interactive Intelligence, a global provider of business communications solutions.  However, last fall she worked for the company from her campus, assisting with the management of Interactive Intelligence’s customer accounts.

Courtney’s started as a regular summer intern in Interactive Intelligence’s office.  When her term at the company was over, she talked to her manager about the possibility of keeping her job over the fall while working from home.  Courtney really wanted to have a professional job in the fall semester, …

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“Employers, be brave, don’t rule anything out, and you’ll be surprised by the level of work of your virtual interns…”

Entry by Anastasiya Elaeva, Indiana INTERNnet Intern

Still not feeling ready to start a virtual internship program at your organization? Maybe reading another organization’s success story may persuade you. Interactive Intelligence Inc., a global provider of IP unified business communications solutions, headquartered in Indianapolis, has been hosting virtual interns for several years. Their corporate recruiter, Debbie Linville, shared with me how the idea of running a virtual internship program was born and what types of projects interns were working on remotely.

Interactive Intelligence launched their summer internship program in 2006. That year the company hosted six bright interns from different schools in Indiana. When the summer was coming to an end, and it was almost time for the students to return to their universities, one of the company’s managers came up with the idea that the interns could keep contributing to Interactive Intelligence projects by working remotely from their …

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Students: Are You Ready for a Virtual Internship?

In the June INTERNnetwork, we included an article about virtual internships, working for an organization outside of an organization’s office. Although there are benefits of being a virtual intern (no office commute, flexible work schedule, no dress code, more personal freedom, etc.), not every student can excel as a virtual intern.

Before you apply for a virtual internship, consider these questions:

– Do you have previous internship experience in an office setting?
– Are you interested in working for a web-based organization?
– Are you interested in electronic outreach, including email pitching and social media communication?
– Are you self-motivated?
– Are you independent enough to work with minimal supervision?
– Are you technology savvy?
– Are you able to meet important deadlines?

A virtual internship may be ideal for a student who may not have the opportunity or funds for a traditional internship …

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