It is time for everything we know to become digitalized. Some work positions are now remote, you can finish your education online, and even purchase any item on the internet. It was only logical for internships to become available through online platforms, a presence many are yet to get accustomed to.
While it still is not a familiar concept, as many fields require direct experience and practice, it is becoming a more prominent part of our education. However, finding the adequate one that will give you the knowledge you want takes time and effort. Hence, this article focuses on the top remote internships for any college student.
How Do Remote Internships Work?
A virtual internship is a professional experience that allows the intern to work remotely. You will often have to use various online tools to collaborate and communicate with your teammates and supervisors. While challenging to switch to, you learn how to gain the most experience and hone your skills over time.
Like a traditional internship, a remote one allows you to work on tasks and projects related to a particular field or industry, paid or unpaid. However, unlike traditional ones, virtual internships require a dedicated workplace and a solid setup on your operating devices to manage any tasks and jobs given to you.
Regardless, according to Forbes, online internships are on the rise. Such a sudden shift occurred across all industries as a direct result of the pandemic in 2020. However, many college students prefer completing an internship online instead of traveling to find a good one that suits their goals.
But there is a catch; working online can be demotivating, especially if you do not prepare for the environment you will be working in. You must use online tools, platforms, and communication tools to ensure you are fulfilling your tasks. Below is a list of steps you should follow to ensure your remote internship experience is a seamless one:
- Set up and design a workspace: since you will be working from the comfort of your own home, you will need space to focus and eliminate distractions. Get rid of clutter and designate an area of your home to work, preferably not your room.
- Constantly collaborate with your team: it might be an innovative idea to work on a call with your team occasionally. This ensures you are all motivated to collaborate and allows you to communicate instantly if any problems arise.
- Know the tools and communication equipment: get your headset, computer, and keyboard, then ensure they all work smoothly. Then, know which typical applications and software you are expected to use. Some might include Slack, Google Drive, Zoom, and Calendar.
- Make your goals clear and communicate them with your supervisor: you should have an apparent objective daily and a general plan you aim to achieve by the end of your internship.
Why Choose Remote Internship?
At first, the premise of online internships for college students might sound like it could be more appealing. For instance, an engineering student might need help enrolling in such an experience, as their work does require more firsthand work.
Hence, choosing a remote internship will depend on the industry you want to work in. According to CNBC, many jobs allow remote access work, and each has the potential to compensate very well. Some include cloud engineering, customer success management, enterprise architecture, and product marketing manager.
But there are numerous benefits why one would choose to participate in a remote internship, some of which include:
- Improved communication skills: while it might sound counterintuitive, a remote position allows you to hone your ability to communicate with others. You develop the ability to efficiently talk with your teammates through phone calls, video conferencing, and email.
- Hone your time management skills: as a student, you will struggle with managing your time at some point throughout your career. This is the perfect time to tap into the self-motivation, organization, and general structure your life demands.
- Saving costs: of course, a remote internship comes with fewer costs. You will not have to pay additional transportation expenses or order out as much since you can cook in the same place you will be working.
- Flexibility: believe it or not, you can work remotely in the Bahamas, and no one would know. However, that also demands enough self-restraint for you not to lose focus and have other things distract you.
- Access to more opportunities: if you want to collaborate with a company located abroad, you can find a remote internship with them. You will also learn how to network online and gain a more extensive list of connections.
Briefly, the remote experience allows you to gain valuable skills and abilities while working in a more convenient and flexible environment.
Difference Between Remote and In-House Internships
First, let us define both terms. As mentioned above, a virtual remote internship allows you to work from home and communicate over the internet. An in-house internship is the traditional one, where you go to the workplace to collaborate with colleagues and immerse yourself in the field.
But there are a variety of differences, five of which you can find below:
- Cost: an in-house internship will often require you to spend money on transportation, housing, and food. On the other hand, you can access free virtual training if you work in the comfort of your own home.
- Location: this is the most obvious distinction between the two. A traditional internship demands you get to the company’s office regularly, as opposed to the virtual one that allows you to work from anywhere.
- Communication: it is yet to be determined whether the benefits of working online and learning to communicate efficiently outweigh the in-person contact with your teammates. Communication is more difficult when you cannot see the person before you. That is why, throughout an online experience working with others, you must learn how to utilize various online tools to manage your job and talk to others effectively.
- Flexibility: according to McKinsey, almost everyone offered a flexible job chooses to take it. This is how remote jobs often work, as you can work around the schedule instead of set hours. However, a traditional job will require you to come to work at specific hours, and complete tasks by a set time.
- Working environment: a traditional internship often provides you with the resources, tools, and experiences needed to work in the field. However, remote training might be challenging to organize and set up. You might have to buy a few additional pieces of equipment to tap into the remote experience.
Overall, each has its valuable benefits and its drawbacks.
How to Find Remote College Internships?
The critical question now is how to find remote internships. There are several ways to seek one:
- Talk to your college’s career center or supervisor: they have more contacts and connections than you could dream of. There might even be a listing of available internships, which often include remote ones.
- Utilize social media: while the first thing that pops into our minds when we hear social media is Tik Tok or Instagram, you can use it to find internships. Some of those include LinkedIn and Twitter.
- Talk to professors in your field: networking with others in your industry will always help. You can reach out to professors you have met or find ones online. Attend industry events, reach out to people in your network, and join any professional organizations.
- Reach out directly to companies: while often intimidating, talking directly might increase your chances of finding something. Even if no position is open, they might provide you with experience.
- Search on online job boards: there are a variety of different emerging platforms for remote workers. However, some of the more prominent ones include Remote.co and We Work Remotely.
Overall, whether you are looking for an internship or a job, it requires excellent persistence and proactive effort to obtain something. You will be on the right path to finding your dream position through the tools used above.
Top 5 Remote Internships for College Students
The best remote internships are from well-known companies that put effort into designing the ideal programs. These comprehensive ones include a combination of virtual mentorship, online training, and real-world projects. Find out what they are below.
Typically, the internships offered at Google are between 10-12 weeks long. For remote internships, expect to work full-time and participate in various virtual activities. Some fields include product management, data science, design, and software engineering.
You can work as an engineer, marketing intern, or designer through the Apple University Internship Program. The lessons you will learn with Apple are endless, and you will maintain an extensive list of connections after.
Microsoft offers a variety of internship programs. Those include the commercial, operations, and engineering teams. You can learn about the type of open spots on their website.
Amazon has positions open globally for all types of students. Get immersed in the technology, product distribution, services, and onboarding experiences as an Amazon intern.
IBM careers offer various positions worldwide. You can work in technology, learn about the environment, and enhance your business ethics through working with the company.
However, it is essential to remember that these companies are prestigious and competitive. You will often require a solid academic background, and you must have the relevant skills to succeed. While these companies offer remote internships for college students, companies might not provide some options you might be looking for online.
5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Remote Internship
Before applying for a remote internship, consider the following:
- Support and resources: only dive headfirst after figuring out what type of training and mentorship you will receive.
- Compensation: there are some paid remote internships for college students. Hence, find out whether your options offer any paycheck.
- The cultures and values within the company: make sure the values align with your own. Always search for positive, supportive, and inclusive environments.
- The duration and schedule flexibility: learn whether you can work on your own time or if you must be present at specific times.
- Nature and scope of your role: reflect on whether the position will assist you in achieving your career goals. The internship should boost your resume and prospects.
Wrapping Things Up: Remote Internships for College Students
Overall, remote internships are a terrific way to find flexibility and comfort. You will have to commute less or expend energy by talking to others frequently, moving around, or wasting time.
That said, the number of online internships offered is endless. The top five listed above are the most well-designed ones, as excellent, prestigious companies provide them. Remember, regardless of the role, you might have competition. Hence, focus on your academic aspect, enhance your grades, and gain more experience to better your chances.