Virtual internships: Learning opportunities and recommendations

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Jeske 2019 InternBridge.pdf(361.26 KB)
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Jeske, Debora
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As teleworking and remote working options are adopted more and more widely in many countries, so are e-Internships, one of two forms of virtual internships. The first form involves simulated training settings that allow students to train certain skills and test their knowledge in simulated environments. In this paper, virtual (or e-)internships involve real-world but computer-mediated internships with employers. This development is fostered by new tools and software that support e-mentoring, online webinars and remote working applications. In addition, cloud and social media make it easy to access work-related resources and networks. These features make virtual internships particularly promising options for small businesses that lack certain expertise in their local area or lack office facilities to accommodate interns. Indeed, a number of studies have demonstrated the increasing popularity of virtual internships over the last ten years. The present paper draws on the author’s online interviews with 13 internship providers as well as interns and the results of several surveys conducted with virtual interns over the span of several years. Interviewees included representatives of a dozen small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The interviewees were located across the USA, the UK, Ireland, Romania and India and the interns who were surveyed came from almost all continents and three dozen countries. The current article considers insights from these sources and focuses specifically on organizational learning outcomes that may emerge when employers adopt certain HR practices and processes. Relevant example references for further reading are also provided.
Mentoring , E-internship , Virtual internship , Organizational learning , Diversity
Jeske, D. (2019) ‘Virtual internships: Learning opportunities and recommendations’, in Shindell, R. (ed.) Total Internship Management - The Employer’s Guide to Building and Sustaining the Ultimate Internship Program (3rd Edition). Cedar Park, TX: Intern Bridge, Inc.
© 2019, Intern Bridge, Inc.