Why You Should Host a Virtual Intern at your Company
Updated: Oct 14
The post-COVID 19 market will be a lot different than what we are used to. The sudden uncertainty has changed the way we will do business forever. Hiring an intern remotely can help your company to adapt to the rapidly changing way to do business.
Interns often already have the technical abilities to do pretty much anything online! Students have been recently disappointed that their international internships have been cancelled, they are worried about the long-term implications for their career. Students are motivated and ready to add value to companies who hire them for remote internships. By hiring a remote intern in your organisation, you can:
1. Improve your Team's Working Environment
With interns on your team, everyone has a lighter workload and more time for creative or innovative projects. The team will also have the opportunity to build their confidence and leadership skills by guiding interns.
Furthermore, interns bring eagerness, enthusiasm, and positive energy. This positivity attitude can be contagious, improving the overall culture of your company.
By including interns in team meetings and allowing your team members to assign tasks to the intern, you can help to offload extra work and reduce pressures on the team.
Giving an intern 2 hours of your time each week to discuss and assign projects and allowing the intern to present their findings is usually a sufficient commitment and will allow you to see a return on the time invested when the intern completes 25-30 hours of project-based work per week.
2. Add an International Element
An intern with relevant industry experience in their home country can bring interesting concepts and ideas to the table. Alternatively, if you are trading in international markets or aiming to expand to another country the language skills and cultural nuances that an intern possesses can be extremely valuable for developing marketing campaigns and material.
Interns are often bilingual or multilingual. Take full advantage of this by translating your material languages relevant to your company. Posting blogs in other languages will improve your chances of being found by a person speaking that language. Host interns with language skills that are relevant to your target market.
3. Improve your Online Presence
The average intern has expert IT skills and can really help a business of any size to get online and get seen by their target audience. They can help to organise Skype/Zoom/Google Meet meetings with the team or customers, improve your social media presence, run targeted online ad campaigns, create content to improve SEO and so much more. The possibilities are endless in regards to online tasks that your intern can take part in and you can NEVER have too much content.
4. Trial Potential Entry Level Staff with Zero Commitment
An inspiring 39% of unpaid internships become full-time employment. An internship is essentially a trial, if you have a gap that needs to be filled in your team you can handpick the perfect intern to fill the role. You already know that the intern works well with your team and that they are capable of carrying out the work assigned. Training will be minimal as they will already know the operations of the organisation.
5. Get an Opportunity to Become a Mentor & Give the Opportunity to the Team
Being a mentor for a person trying to enter your industry has many advantages and really no downside; it is an opportunity to improve your coaching, leadership and interpersonal skills, it is impressive on your own resume, and of course, you are helping an individual to increase their employability and their future career prospects.
Giving the members of your team the opportunity to mentor an intern will benefit everyone. It will also allow you to assess which staff members are good leaders and potential future managers or supervisors.
6. Your intern will be a Brand Advocate
Interns are brand advocates to both potential customers and future interns and staff. Interns past, present and future will interact with you online and often share their experiences of their time with your company. Take advantage of this and give the intern an exit interview and request that they write a review in feedback forms for use by the company at a later stage.
7. Project Management
Hire a group of interns to divide & conquer big projects while working together as a team. Allow them to work together throughout the week on the project and provide a progress report or presentation during the weekly meeting. Provide a specific outline of the project that will allow the team to effectively work as a team to develop projects.
8. Get a Fresh Perspective
Have an intern or team of interns evaluate the company and report on what changes or improvements they think can be made in regards to the companies training, policies, procedures, products, services and so on. A fresh perspective can often harness innovative ideas and even simple changes which increase efficiency.