Virtual internships have risen in popularity since the global impact of COVID-19, affecting companies’ budgets and forcing businesses to adapt quickly to working from home.
Cloud9 has been featured in Top Universities’ article on the pros and cons of paid and unpaid internships.
In the article, CEO Carlene Jackson gives her top tips on how to turn unpaid placements into valuable work experience:
1. Find a mentor
Having a mentor can help you learn more and build your confidence, try to find someone other than your line manager to act as your mentor. Doing this will help if your line manager is not delivering on what you expected in terms of learning opportunity. At Cloud9 we adopt a coaching approach to working with employees, so that they can take ownership of their own learning and gain confidence to achieve their highest levels of potential.
2. Ensure the role is aligned with your career ambitions
Ensure the role is strongly aligned with your career and preferably industry ambitions as this is likely to lead to future career opportunities. We encourage everyone to write a future 10-year CV – this can be a creative process that allows the individual to be open minded about where their career may go, and the skills needed to achieve this. By having this clarity, both the employer and the student will look for learning opportunities which are aligned with the employee’s own personal ambitions.
3. Be highly motivated – you may land a full-time role
You will need to be highly motivated to maximize your learning and the opportunity to increase your future earning potential, at Cloud 9 Insight, internships sometimes lead to full-time paid roles, which is a huge investment in that individual. Consider what your future CV needs to demonstrate and seek out opportunities to learn these skills.
4. Learn a wide range of skills
Use the time in your internship to learn transferrable skills. Professionalism is something all interns should strive for. Be customer-focused, even down to how you engage or speak with clients, as well as being commercially minded and entrepreneurial. It’s also crucial to learn planning skills and even email management and meeting skills to ensure that your personal brand is optimised.