Introduction to Virtual Internships
The goal of this session was to gain studentâ€™s input on how they imagine an ideal virtual internship. The imaginary internship was split into sections and each section was evaluated in further detail.
Section 1: Duration and workload Duration of a virtual internship is dependent on several factors. The most important variables pointed out by students were the difficulty of the task and whether the student is during that time having some subjects on his University or not. Also, the duration of the project that the student is working on in the company should be taken into consideration. Nevertheless, students shared the opinion that independently on the above mentioned, virtual internships should be from 6 to 12 months. Another important aspect was deadlines within the project and having the ability to manage them and have a clear overview at all times. A good computer platform that is easy to use was seen as a key factor to make it happen. Also a weekly report to monitor workload and progress or a presentation to the team in order to bring coworkers closer together and all updated was proposed. In order to keep university involved and updated a monthly report should be written by the intern. Students saw flexible working hours are a huge advantage. In case the internship was to be combined with full time studies not more that 2h a day should be expected from the intern. It was pointed out that most of the work would be done during the weekend due to other obligations. If the internship is a full time job, regular working hours should be applied. In both cases necessary adjustments according to the time zones should be made to avoid any misunderstandings.
Section 2: Communication Communication during the internship focused on three main points, university involvement, relation between company and intern and the tools used to facilitate it. According to students, university should be involved throughout the whole lifetime of the internship. It should promote virtual internships to its students and then follow-up on milestones. They should monitor the progress and next to the company, ensure success of the project. The overall involvement would be
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