By Sean Mortell
For many international students in Australia who are searching for a foothold up the ladder in their chosen career, internships provide a helping hand. They are an effective way to give university graduates a chance in major companies so that they can learn and grow while earning some money.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has limited the amount of internships that are being handed out. This LinkedIn blog post highlights that the number of internships being posted on LinkedIn has dropped by 60% since March 1 of this year. But many businesses are still running internship programs throughout 2020 — they are just in the form of virtual internships.
What are virtual internships?
It should come as no surprise that the world’s leading companies have resorted to technology to combat this issue. Virtual internships are programs that allow budding prospects to mingle with co-workers, attend meetings and produce high quality work through an online portal. Different companies will use various programs to achieve this hub, but all internship programs share the same elements.
Instead of having to travel into work, interns just dress up for their laptop screen and hop on video call meetings. They then receive a golden opportunity to converse with other employees and receive feedback from superiors on the work they have done. Surprisingly, little changes from a normal day at work — the only difference is that all work and meetings are completed remotely through online video calls.
Is it worth it?
Virtual internships are not a new idea that were hastily thrown together once COVID touched down. These programs have been in place for a few years, as they provide larger companies more opportunities to hire and teach young talent from all across the world. Virtual internships have been a key pillar for many Australians seeking to break into the global financial or corporate world, as they can learn under the tutelage of foreign businesses in any country.
The most popular area for online internships is the business or economic world. The majority of companies offer virtual programs to anyone worthy of a place — KPMG is one Australian branch that has a fully established online internship area.
Prospective lawyers and marketers can also benefit from online programs. Majority of content can be easily transferred to virtual interactions, as video calls can compensate for any face-to-face meetings.
Where can I find a virtual internship in Australia?
Many virtual internship programs aren’t offered on the company’s actual websites. Instead, internships websites have been created to pool all businesses’ programs together and offer an easily navigated sphere for prospective workers.
An example is this listing of the KPMG Virtual Internship Program, which is listed on the website InsideSherpa. This is one of the rare sites that offer this work experience guidance for free — other American internship hubs will usually require a membership fee to be able to access the wide range of programs available.
InsideSherpa is the leading site in this space, and is highly recommended for checking out which internship programs may be available for students looking to gain an advantage in their career. But if the website isn’t giving you what you want, check out the Australian Internships page and their virtual programs section to sift through the programs available. Once you track down the ideal placement, follow the website’s steps to apply for the opportunity.