For most of us, summer 2020 was a time to discover new things about ourselves. Whether you enjoyed remote learning, how many episodes you can binge watch in one sitting, which food delivery service is the fastest — these uncertain times brought new experiences.
Many university students had summer internships to look forward to but were disappointed to learn that they were cancelled. Read about how Marymount student, Sibeso M., adapted to these challenging times.
As Global Experiences launched our virtual internship program, we met many motivated and enthusiastic young professionals who did not want to miss out on a summer internship — the time to gain real world, real work experience.
Interested in the new opportunities available through virtual internships, Sibeso came to us unsure of what to expect:
Initially, I was afraid of the idea of a virtual internship because I thought of how it would not be a hands-on learning experience due to not being there physically. I thought I would not receive a lot of feedback and help during a virtual internship due to time difference problems, but this was completely not the case.
After working with her Admissions Counselor, she realized that there were many business internship opportunities. We matched Sibeso with one of our employer partners, a finance company based in London, and scheduled her an interview.
Interview, check! Virtual internship offer, check!
Despite her worries, she found her employer to be very supportive and communicative:
I received so much feedback from my supervisor and I got to meet other interns and have weekly meetings through platforms like Google Meet. It was a great learning experience because other than learning about my career field, I gained a lot of tech skills with the internship being virtual.
Digital literacy is one of the many new professional skills that interns can learn through a virtual internship. While many students are familiar with writing emails, using social media, and navigating Microsoft Office or Google Suite, the professional applications of these tools are endless.
The professional development portion of the virtual internship programs helps students navigate these new challenges along with helping them identify and utilize their strengths:
The thing I found most useful was the Clifton Strengths... [They] helped me understand myself in terms of character strengths...I recall one of my strengths is “Learner” and I used this strength to learn and understand more about my job.
Global Experiences Virtuoso (GEV) program is more than just a virtual internship placement opportunity. In addition to the professional development support and guidance, we also offer virtual cultural events, check-ins with staff, and webinars.
What surprised me about the GEV program is how organized and supportive every GE member was. It was very nice to be able to catch up with other interns in the GEV program and attend meetings even though we could not physically see each other. Every GE member was there to help and was organized when it came to presentation meetings. One meeting that stood out to me was the Virtual City Tour. It was interesting to see other cities through GE members that were in the respective cities even though we could not be there physically.
From Sibeso’s experience, it’s clear that a virtual internship is a great opportunity to develop your professional skills and network with other interns and professionals from around the world — all from the comfort of your home!
I would advise them to try out a virtual internship with GE, to be themselves and to ask as many questions as possible on internship placements because everyone at GE is dedicated to helping them find the best internship with a memorable experience.
I would recommend this program to other [students]. It is a great learning experience and one gets to meet people (other interns) in the program. I would also recommend it because everyone at GE is very dedicated to ensuring that one has a 10/10 experience and makes sure one finds the internship they want.
If you’re thinking about a virtual internship, know that you’re not alone and you have the Global Experiences team to support you. We are dedicated to making your remote internship experience enjoyable and educational, and seeing you succeed.