Create Your Own Virtual Opportunity

student working on computer

As current events unfold, there may be some disruptions in how or if employers will be able to hire or retain interns. If you are currently searching for an internship opportunity or are already hired, it is in your best interest to talk with the employer about the possibility of working remotely or moving into a more supportive online role (conducting research, social media influencing, etc.). Even if you are not physically in their office, you would be part of the employer’s overall mission and gain valuable experience.

Before pitching yourself for virtual work, you’ll need to strategize how to approach the conversation. Here are some steps for promoting your own virtual opportunity that benefits both you and the organization:

During the interview

Even as you are interviewing for an internship, there may be uncertainty about whether the position will continue to be available. The employer might suggest, or you might raise, the possibility of working remotely. Be open to options and work with the employer to consider how alternative configurations might meet your goals for professional growth and their current needs.

In the event that the employer must cancel or interrupt your internship

Take the opportunity to suggest to the employer that you are open to discussing working in other ways with the organization. For example, supporting a project remotely or collaborating with a team member through online research. Be ready to talk about your skill sets and strengths and to share ideas regarding how you can assist. 

In the case that an employer has to change their internship plans, they will appreciate your professionalism in understanding that decision. Your willingness to collaborate on an alternate plan, adaptability and eagerness to contribute to the organization and learn new skills could also create other future opportunities.

Outreach to organizations about possible internships

When reaching out directly to an organization that matches your interests, you might learn that they need help but do not offer formal on-site internships at this time.  Learn as much as you can about the organization and its work so that you can inquire about utilizing your skillset remotely in ways that specifically support their mission and allow you to contribute to it. 

Unexpected work and life events can be unsettling, but responding with an open mind, creativity, resilience and adaptability often brings new options to light. Collaborate with Hiatt to develop personalized strategies to stay flexible in this ever-changing, professional world. Hiatt will continue to be accessible for phone and video appointments this semester. Make your appointment.