Are Virtual Internships Better?

An article that talks about virtual internships in the Philippines and the benefits of virtual internships. The pandemic had caused drastic changes in our everyday lives. Many companies and establishments adapted new systems to continue their day-to-day activities. In the Philippines, the continuous increase in the number of confirmed cases caused lock-downs and quarantine protocols to be never lifted since its implementation. It forced companies to change to work-from-home setting for their employees. Now, even internships were not spared.

Internships before the pandemic

An internship is a short-term work experience offered by companies and other organizations for people. Usually students, to get some entry-level exposure to a particular industry or field. An internship gives a student the opportunity for career exploration and development, and to learn new skills. It also offers the employer the opportunity to bring new ideas and energy into the workplace, to develop talent and potentially build a pipeline for future full-time employees. Before the pandemic, students work directly on the company to have first-hand experience of a professional environment. Now, internships are also done at home or virtually.

What are virtual internships?

A virtual or remote internship is just like the previous internship programs, but students can do it from home. During the virtual internship, students would be communicating to their supervisors and co-workers via various communication tools like, Skype, Gmeet, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, emails and many more. From the on-boarding, up to the OJT period, team managers would be monitoring the interns virtually and interns would be working and learning at the comfort of their homes.

Virtual Internships in the Philippines

In the Philippines, more and more companies were adapting this method of conducting internship programs. One of the notable such company in the Philippines is a startup company called MVN Photostudio Events and Workshops that offers virtual photobooth and other services for virtual events. MVN offers a virtual OJT program to Filipino students across different regions of the country.

What are the benefits of virtual internships?

The best thing about virtual or remote internships is that they are flexible. The flexibility is in terms of “the hours of work, project timelines and how people connect.” Interns wouldn’t be burden by strict workplace guidelines like the previous ones. It could save interns from things like commuting from home to work and spending money for lunch meals. It also improves your time management and self-discipline while you gain work experience. You can work at your own pace and would be trained to gain cross-cultural and global perspectives. Which would be helpful if ever you plan to work in an international firm in the future.

Any drawbacks?

The drawbacks in virtual or remote internships depends on several factors.

• The firm
If your boss hasn’t set you clear objectives and you don’t have access to regular feedback, then the internship won’t be as fulfilling as you might’ve hoped. To prevent this, outline aspects of the role in the interview: ask how your progress will be monitored throughout the internship, and exactly what will be expected of you.

• Yourself
If you have problems staying motivated at your own, then you will also struggle during your virtual internship. Time is in your hands, that’s why self-discipline and self-motivation are essential in a remote setting. Internship might give you set working hours or may simply say that they want you to complete a few sets of tasks each week. Either way, establish your set working hours and stick to them, as you would if you were attending in person.

• Lack of experience in an office environment
For employers, one of the major advantages of in-person internships is that graduates have experience working with a team in an office environment – something that you miss out on during a virtual internship. But, through various online networking sites, such as Skype and Microsoft Teams, you can still work and simulate an office environment.

The future to come

In the Philippines, online critics were predicting that the current state of the country wouldn’t get better any time soon. That’s why firms will most likely continue utilizing remote work settings. Perhaps, even after the pandemic, they might still integrate this method, as remote work settings can save both the employees and employers from spending various resources. Regardless, it is very fortunate thing for students to still be able to gain valuable working experience through virtual internship programs despite the pandemic that the country is facing.

By: Cezar Castro

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Article Tags: virtual internships , remote internship , ojt , philippines

Submitted On Sep 14, 2021. Viewed 7 times.

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