Guide to Virtual Internships
Our students’ health/safety both inside and outside of the campus community is first and foremost our primary concern, during the current Covid-19 crisis. The Purchase College Career Development Center continues to fulfill our mission and commitment in strengthening our student’s career and internship learning experiences moving forward.
The Career Development Center continues to support student experiential learning as well as seek to engage with, develop, and provide opportunities for employers to connect with our students. This best practice guide was developed to support and enable organizations to offer their virtual projects along with professional development, and other applied learning activities for internships now and in the days ahead. Also included are additional suggestions for Internship Site Supervisors to further assess and determine remote projects, training, research, and professional development activities to support learning outcomes.
For further assistance or discussion on how to create and maximize your credit-bearing internship, please visit our Site Supervisor Guidelines or contact the Experiential Learning Coordinator (Jeffrey Arroyo) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for supporting our students! Wishing you all good health during this challenging time.
Beyond the virtual projects already identified by our valued employer internship sites, career related/professional development virtual activities may be offered to complement the already existing Learning Outcomes (LOs). Virtual activities may include: industry/career-specific webinars, (Purchase Career Center Webinars), resources like Candid Career, or related Tedtalks from professionals. You are welcome to also use other resources recommended by the supervising professional.
- Whenever possible, depending on the activity, internship hours should be adjusted or added to a student intern’s learning outcomes
- In cases where this is possible, such projects and experiences may be appropriate to count towards their credit hour requirements with your approval as a Site Supervisor
- Students that have participated in Career Development Center “Mid-Semester Internship Workshop” will have that count towards their internship hours and participation efforts • Faculty Sponsors can view their students’ participation which is updated on their students’ Learning Contracts
- If your student is a graduating senior, it is crucial that they speak with their Faculty Sponsor about their hours/additional projects if the Site Supervisor needs supplemental remote work • Students will keep track of their hours to review their current progress for credit requirements (less than 50%, 50% - 75%, 75%-100%)
Remote Projects & Additional Learning Objectives
The below suggestions are offered to supplement academic projects that may further enrich the internship with related career readiness activities:
- Assign Candid Career Get Hired “Featured” videos to be watched and corresponding quizzes to be completed/submitted through the platform
- For Faculty Sponsor’s academic projects, please consider professional development with support and partnering with the Career Development Center to expand upon research and industry specific reflection
- Professional Preparation: Resume updating, cover letters, personal statements (graduate school, professional school), mock interviews, and networking (informational interviews)
- Creating a LinkedIn profile, attending Career Development Center’s virtual events: View Maximize Your LinkedIn (Chaim Shapiro)
- Taking the Internship Adaptation Feedback Survey
Virtual Internship Strategies: Best Practices
- Test software before utilizing for management and communications with student interns
- Train staff on how to implement any new technology adapted in remote work transition.
- If a software is crucial for projects and would be accessible to students on-site, employers are expected to provide students access remotely (free of charge)
- Define internship description, training, supervision, and learning outcomes - this information is utilized for the Academic Learning Contract and can be referenced when needed
- Asynchronous writing can substitute or supplement video conference meetings
- Sharing documents open to notes and feedback between the team can aid in giving time to map out decisions
- Asynchronous writing also helps to produce a log of the intern’s contribution to group ideas
- Proactively mapping projects and a timeline throughout the experience will assist students as they work independently
- Materials and instructions will need to be accessible online and comprehensive
- Communicate clearly with incoming interns after making decisions to establish trust and confidence
- As this is a challenging period for organizations, students may be concerned about internships being cancelled
- Examples include consistent one-on-ones, mid-internship check-in, and a concluding discussion for an evaluation of the intern’s performance
- Create rapport and team building with your intern, include them in virtual meetings when possible and remind staff to be accessible for collaboration when appropriate - this will help your student intern in learning more about your structure and team
Unlike traditional internships, Micro-internships can take place throughout the year, typically range from 5 – 40 hours of work, and projects are due between 1 week and 1 month after kick off.
- For employers, this may be beneficial to acquire additional talent despite a full internship program during busier seasons, without the commitment of a full semester
- Micro-Internships are used by companies ranging from those in the Fortune 100 to emerging start-ups, and go across departments including sales, marketing, technology, HR, and finance
- Students are provided a safe and practical project-based learning experience and while doing so, can cultivate their technical, inter-personal or intra-personal, project management, communications, and networking skills
- Allows for accessibility despite location by removing potential travel and housing costs