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Virtual Internships for Semester 1, 2021!

What is a virtual internship?

A virtual internship is, in essence, no different from a traditional internship in that is a form of experiential learning that empowers students to integrate knowledge and theory learned throughout the curriculum with practical application and skills development in a professional setting.

However, participation in a virtual internship means that a student interns in a location other than the traditional office setting. A virtual internship would mean that the intern would work from a remote location, usually at home. Much of the communication between the internship host and their intern would take place via video call, phone call, and email.

Virtual interns are essentially learning two fundamental things: (1) integrating classroom knowledge and theory to practical application through the internship, and (2) how to perform effectively and efficiently in a virtual environment.

Examples of Virtual Internship Projects

We suggest that you select projects in which multiple staff are involved as a team. This widens the scope of available mentors (supervisors for the interns) who are knowledgeable about the project and can step in to help during unpredictable periods (unexpected leaves etc.), and it also provides the interns with the right exposure to their colleagues in a virtual setting.

If possible, avoid time critical assignments. Great projects tend to be items which are largely seen as “nice to haves” by full-time staff or other stakeholders. These are projects that everyone recognises would benefit the organisation, but do not rise to the level of priority necessary to demand immediate attention.

  • Gather requirements for software systems, process improvements or process design
  • Research comparable programs or competitive programs; competition intelligence gathering; ‘mystery client’ type virtual research
  • Financial modelling; forecast modelling; scenario modelling on available data
  • Trend analysis; data analysis; performance analysis
  • Mapping of moving processes online; writing new online SOP
  • Creating web content and webpages; creating social media content; creative input; brainstorming ideas
  • Preparing job descriptions; reviewing and scoring resumes

Hiring and Selection

Students may inherently lack the experience required to work virtually as this may be their first real-world work experience. Students who perform strongly in virtual internships tend to have the following attributes:

  1. an appreciation for self-learning and self-service,
  2. a penchant for documentation, and
  3. a proven ability to perform asynchronously.

Below are some examples related to virtual settings that you might want to ask students during the selection process:

(Dig for details on how they enjoyed it, what challenges they faced, and how they coped.)

  • Tell me about a time when you moved a group project forward, at work or university, where you were in a different physical place than your other team members.
  • Tell me about a time when you took an online course or virtual training session. Describe your process for managing your own time, respecting deadlines, requesting assistance, and solving problems.
  • Tell me about a time when you managed logistics remotely for in-person/online events/gatherings for clubs, societies, online community, not-for-profits, etc.

Contact Us

For further information about the CBE Internship Program or to register potential internship projects, please contact:

Jakob Voo
(pronouns he/him)
Student Employability Coordinator (Industry Programs)
Phone: +61 2 6125 9343
Email: internship.cbe@anu.edu.au

Updated:   25 August 2020 / Responsible Officer:  CBE Communications and Outreach / Page Contact:  College Web Team