Karen Brown New York offers a virtual internship program four times a year and this Fall we had the pleasure of working with Kim as our Social Media Intern.
Why did you choose to apply for a virtual internship opposed to a traditional office internship?
Kim: A virtual internship was the way to go for me as I am currently employed full time. I wanted an opportunity to grow without taking time away from my 9-5. I’ve held traditional office internships in the past and I was curious to see how a virtual internship would compare.
What are the pros of a virtual internship?
Kim: For the most part, a virtual internship works around your schedule. Aside from managing your own time, you save time as well – no commuting! Another highlight is being able to work anywhere; your living room or café, even at a park. It’s a great way to draw inspiration and try a new working style that might work for you.
What are the cons of a virtual internship?
Kim: Interning remotely makes it difficult to network. But with the same token, it challenges you to improve your ability to communicate. Since you’re unable to walk up to your supervisor, there will be fewer opportunities for chats. It’s important to effectively communicate with your supervisor – setting up calls or emails for requesting feedback.
What advice would you give other students who are trying to decide if a virtual internship is right for them?
Kim: Virtual internships are easy. If you’re thinking this, don’t do it. Not only do you have to be great with time management, these internships take a lot of commitment. You are still completing the same tasks and learning the same as you would in an office setting, instead you have to do it on your own. At a virtual internship, the concern is less when you work and more whether you get the job done.
What advice would you give future interns on how to succeed as a virtual position?
Kim: Virtual interns have to be especially motivated and deadline-driven. In any situation you learn as much as you are willing to take on and how much your supervisor is willing to teach. Virtual interns can do just about anything interns can do, except make coffee (which shouldn’t be a task anyway). Use visuals; calendars, print outs, and stay organized. Don’t let the nontraditional stop you from gaining this experience because I wouldn’t trade mine for the world!