Long gone are the days of traditional office settings and tiring work commutes to work, largely due to the brilliance of widespread digital advancements.
Through virtual work environments and speedy internet connections, interns can now gain vital work experience without having to move an inch from their home or university.
This may sound strange at first, and you may question the validity of the skills you earn from an online internship, but that’s the way our future could be heading…
Asking you to imagine you’re a student in the year 2030, writer Ishita Gupta believes schools will be completely different from the education your parents remember.
“Only attending school four days a week, most of your time is spent [in] outdoor learning spaces. With the help of Blended E-learning, you can study on your own, focusing time on strategic topics through a plan personalised for you. Your AI learning assistant grades and offers feedback on your assignments, guiding you through difficult problems step by step, reteaching you concepts from scratch if necessary,” Ishita explains.
Merging education with tech, the future of learning is dynamic.
“In geography class, you put on a virtual reality headset. Suddenly you are transported to the Andes in South America. Mesmerised by the colossal formations all around, you take notes on which materials constitute the vibrant spectrum of rock layers. History debates come alive as you and your classmates reimagine the Paris Peace Conference, sitting in the Palace of Versailles. The possibilities are truly endless,” Ishita affirms.
So, what’s stopping the future of student employment from adopting the same technologies?
Benefits of a global virtual internship
At the University of Michigan’s College of Literature, Science and the Arts (LSA), global virtual internships have become the norm within this hub of opportunity.
Though it’s like any other internship, students will never set foot into their employer’s office. Instead, they can complete their internship from their comfortable couch at home or the campus library.
Typically, interns work remotely for about 10-hours per week, unpaid. But there are plenty of benefits and opportunities for your study skills, according to LSA:
- You’ll make connections in major organisations and network across cyberspace.
- You’ll build professional references from around the globe.
- You’ll gain vital experience for your résumé and include experience that you can leverage to land your next opportunity.
- You’ll learn how to communicate in a professional setting and gain extra skills.
- You’ll enhance your familiarity with digital tools and tech-based work.
- The virtual internship could lead to a full-time job after graduation!
4 major universities to share their experiences with virtual internships at #GICAuckland2019. Blog – International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) https://t.co/FZz1UflKA7 @KateMooreAIC pic.twitter.com/tkYG7Pg5RQ
— Brett Berquist (@bberquist) March 1, 2019
But what are the drawbacks?
As with every type of internship, you may come across a few drawbacks to the virtual experience.
For instance, as you’re working from home, who’s there to keep an eye out and support you? There are so many potential distractions that could swerve you away from important tasks.
You’ll also miss out on the office vibe. By not being part of a dedicated team, your morale might drop and it could feel a bit lonely working on your own without fellow colleagues and face-to-face conversations.
Another drawback could be the strain it has on your studies. While in some courses, internships are required, in others they are not.
So is this a responsible choice? Will you have time to take on a virtual internship AND meet pressing course deadlines?
The pros and cons must be weighed, and the digital impact of new technologies on the future worlds of work must not be ignored.