With remote work come remote internships. And with remote internships, people in rural areas or foreign countries gain access to jobs they might not otherwise have access to. In addition, they attract candidates companies might otherwise not attract. That’s great news for students seeking new opportunities. Ed Holroyd Pearce of Virtual Internships explains how they’re solving the problem, how they’re helping HR folks, and how they’re training interns to be better employees.
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What is Virtual Internships?
In April 2020, an estimated 16% of employers revoked internship offers according to CNBC. That doesn’t mean internships weren’t needed, however. The average hourly wage for paid interns in the summer of 2020 was $20.76, an increase of $1.22 from the previous year. This is the highest rate measured according to survey data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Virtual Internships raised 2.5 million dollars to fill this gap, increasing the talent pool to be globally competitive. They also train HR departments and students on how to work better together remotely, which is good, considering HR departments struggle to adapt to new trends. To date, they have over 4,000 host companies using the platform and have a lot of overseas students benefiting from their startup.
Students who otherwise wouldn’t be considered for a job due to proximity are suddenly fierce competitors to those who may live in the area. Students from rural and overseas countries now have a shot to compete for jobs on a global scale. According to an NACE survey of 5,286 interns in the intern class of 2020, 66.4% received and accepted full-time offers, so virtual internships could change the job landscape.
Are remote internships effective?
One area of difficulty for virtual internships is the potential difficulty in collaboration, but Holroyd Pearce explains one unique aspect of their platform overcomes this difficulty by focusing on project-based internships. Instead of filling an intern quota, companies using the platform are trained to hire interns within the scope of various projects. This means interns and their supervisors focus on output, not getting coffee for the team.