So there you are enjoying your semester break and the last thing that you want to think about is the compulsory On the Job Training (OJT) that needs to be completed before graduation. You’ve worked hard and you deserve a little rest and relaxation; but why should you starting thinking about OJT or internship now? The old adage of the early bird gets the worm applies here.
Internship is a requirement by most schools with good reason. Most corporations and their officers unanimously agree and desire students with some type of relevant internship experience before entering the work force (Knemeyer & Murphy, 2002). This creates a favorable condition for the students whereas the internship may pave the way to full time employment upon graduation as well as in-depth understanding of actual business practices (Cannon & Arnold, 1998). Research has shown that those with OJT/Internship experience tends to be placed in their first job more quickly than those without (Knouse, Tanner, & Harris, 1999). Additionally, graduates with internship experience tend to receive noticeably higher starting salaries and report greater job satisfaction than their non‐internship counterparts.
Now consider Virtual Internship. What is virtual internship? Virtual internship is a work experience program where the participant (intern) gains experience while working in a remote professional setting and is not physically present at the job location.
The Benefits of Going Virtual (Lucio, 2012)
- Flexible Schedules: Being a virtual intern gives you the opportunity to manage a work schedule around the time slots that work best for you. This works perfectly for students who are looking for work experience, but have additional commitments i.e. student organizations, part-time jobs…homework!
- Location & Time Management: Most virtual internships require only an internet connection to work, so you can set up shop anywhere. Work on a project at the library or complete work assignments between classes, since there is no physical office to report to, every open opportunity you have can potentially become “intern time.” One this is for certain participating in a virtual internship will teach you time management skills.
- Broaden Your Network: Since the freedom of a virtual internship can allow someone living in the Philippines to work for a company in U.S., participants have the opportunity to network with a whole new spectrum of professionals in their field. Aside from their direct-report, interns can connect and work with other interns and full-time staff members on assignments that will allow them to learn more and broaden their network in far away cities. This is especially helpful if the intern wants to relocate to the area after graduation.
- Practical Experience: All internships give students hands on experience outside of the classroom setting. Being a virtual intern is no exception. Interns can work on multiple projects and learn how to be part of a virtual team. The experience teaches students how to overcome challenges like working with limited communication and with time change elements.
- Ability to work under limited supervision: Not having constant supervision gives students the opportunity to learn how to be self-motivators and how to achieve deadlines without micromanagement. It also causes students to be more aware of the work they turn in because they need to meet deadlines and have to deal with the challenge of not being able to constantly be in touch with their superiors.
In conclusion, Virtual OJT/Internship offers the best choice for an intern to fulfill their graduation requirement. It can open doors of opportunities without the physical location limitation of a traditional office OJT. Enhance A Village, a U.S. based 501C3 nonprofit organization can made arrangement with your school for OJT/Virtual Internship. As the old adage goes “the early bird gets the worm” and enrollment is now taking place. To learn more, leave a comment and we will provide a contact for your school.
- Cannon, J., & Arnold, M. (1998). Student expectations of collegiate internship programs in business: a 10‐year update. Journal of Education for Business, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 202‐5.
- Knemeyer, A., & Murphy, P. (2002). Logistics internships: Employer and student perspectives. Retrieved October 18, 2014, from Emeral Insight: http://www.emeraldinsight.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/doi/full/10.1108/09600030...
- Knouse, S., Tanner, J., & Harris, E. (1999). The relation of college internships, college performance, and subsequent job opportunity. Journal of Employment Counseling, Vol. 36 No. 1, pp. 35‐43.
- Lucio, D. (2012, November 11). 5 Benefits of Virtual Internships. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from Braathe Enterprises:http://www.braatheenterprises.com/virtualproject/professional-developmen...