Taking Advantage of Social Distancing & the Virtual Environment, Part 1

During these uncertain times, college students and job seekers alike find themselves scrambling to secure relevant and adequate employment experiences. In this blog series, I will provide advice on several ways to virtually gain relevant experience and exposure during times of social distancing. 

Virtual and Micro-internships 

Do you wonder when and how you are going to get the requisite skills to launch your professional career? Did COVID-19 put a damper on your plans?  

Dont fret. You have options to help you take advantage of the almost unlimited virtual environments we all find ourselves navigating. 

Virtual internships are a great way to develop skills and gain experience that can enhance your career readiness in the comfort of your own home.  A virtual internship is an employment opportunity where the individual gains experience while working in a remote setting like your home, or an on-campus space. Micro-internships are a type of virtual internship that is usually short-term with a project-based focus. These types of internships offer a variety of benefits to someone seeking skill development and practical experience.  

Wiley’s list of Pros and the Cons: 

Pros  Cons 
  • Safer alternative 
  • Convenience of location 
  • Flexible work schedule 
  • More independence 
  • Develop career skills 
  • Gain relevant experience  
  • Exploring options 
  • Isolated work 
  • Difficult to balance work/life dynamics 
  • Harder to team building and network 
  • Increased distraction 
  • Connectivity and technology issues 
  • Lacking adequate workspace 

Like most things, virtual internships are not for everyone, but you wont know until you evaluate your work values, personality type, skills, learning style, and your circumstances. In most cases, virtual internships are ideal for the individuals who seek opportunities that provide flexibility in work schedule, and more independence as it relates to workflow and motivation.  

Scams, Know the Signs 

While these types of opportunities are convenient and ideal for these times, please be aware of scams. Here is a short list of warning signs. 

  • The employer is soliciting bank or personal information 
  • Received an unsolicited email or direct message on social media 
  • As an expectation of employment, you are asked to: 
  • deposit a check or money order into your bank account 
  • send money to another individual 

Scrutinize postings that exhibit the following elements: 

  • Catchy job title 
  • Lack of employer details  
  • Fake websites  
  • Guaranteed job offers  

Where to get started 

You can get started today on Handshake by selecting the remote filtering option when searching for available internships. Do you want to get more practice on specific skills or techniques? I recommend signing up on Parker Dewey as a career launcher so you can start applying for micro-internships. 

Whatever you decide to do, I recommend that you carefully consider all the factors before you choose to pursue these opportunities. If you would like to talk with a Career Coach, please schedule an appointment with a career coach on Handshake.

  • Handshake: Over 250 CCD-approved virtual internships are posted
  • Parker Dewey:  Micro-Internships are available year-round 

Image by Monoar Rahman Rony from Pixabay

By Wiley Dawson
Wiley Dawson Assistant Director, Hartford Campus