Virtual Internships: What To Know and Why You Should Do One

Talk to anyone you know and ask “Who do you know that I might speak with about a potential internship?’

Travis Bodden

Although he wasn’t able to witness the full transition to virtual internships at Millikin University, Travis Bodden, Tabor School of Business’s Internship Coordinator, is strongly encouraging students to continue their efforts in seeking out internship opportunities.

More and more of life is becoming virtual, and internships are no exception to this trend. Many students are struggling to adapt to virtual schooling, nonetheless virtual internships. Bodden has noticed many difficulties presented by the pandemic predicament, but he stays positive by noting the pros by noting “I have seen an increased flexibility by businesses trying to figure out how to make this work.”

In essence, there’s no need to be pessimistic about the idea of virtual internships without having the proper student perspective explained. Several of our own Millikin students have embodied the notion of Performance Learning and dove into the abyss of virtual internships so you can have the ‘inside scoop.’

Millikin’s Student Perspective: Virtual Internships

In reference to the topic of virtual internships and its relation to Performance Learning, we interviewed several students about their experience.

Headshot of Haley Vemmer.
Haley Vemmer, Senior Double Major in Actuarial Science and Computer Science

Haley Vemmer, who interned virtually at Genworth Financial in Richmond, VA, described her actuarial intern position on their Fixed Annuity Valuation Team very enthusiastically!

“My experience with my virtual internship was great! The company did a really good job of making the transition to a virtual internship, and I don’t feel that I missed out on any major aspects of doing an internship in person.”

Vemmer goes on to note that most of the difficulties she faced were technology related in that the problem was often out of her hands. Yet, she still strongly urges other students to look into virtual internships as it was “… a great way to gain experience and learn a variety of new skills.”

Jesse Embrey
Jesse Embrey, Senior International Business Major

Jesse Embrey, who did a Hybrid internship for International Education, has a rather unique perspective because he received both an in-person and virtual experience.

“Having a half-online experience actually gave me more freedom in my schedule to get things done on my own time.”

Embrey further emphasized the flexibility offered by virtual internships and even went on to describe his appreciation for the blended internship opportunity. Although Embrey was able to complete some of his internship in person, he did mention some various confusion resulting from miscommunication from the blended style.

Now, Tips For You From Us

  • Network, network, network: “Make sure to take the initiative to meet other people who work at the company. Networking is more difficult in a virtual environment, but don’t be afraid to reach out…especially if it’s something you might be doing in the future.” – Haley Vemmer
  • Practice being self-sufficient and communicating: “How the internship is going to work is a bit confusing for the first week or two, but with good communication, it will work out well.” – Jesse Embrey
  • In general, be knowledgeable and advocate for your career. If you are going into work that deals with a lot of online aspects, consider doing a virtual internship so you can get more experience in an online environment.

We’ve said our piece… now it’s your turn! Go forth and find your dream internship, whether it be virtual or not.

Author Bios

Isabella Voss “I’m a sophomore double major in Accounting and Management Information Systems. I’m from the Chicago area, and I’m an avid reader.”
Nhung Tran (Emmy) “I am a junior major in International Business at Millikin University. I am from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and have been in Decatur for about 4 years. My hobbies are discovering new things, new places and listening to music”.
Marcus Moore “I’m a junior major in Management Information Systems at Millikin University.”
Justin Nedoss “I’m a senior double major in Digital Media Marketing and Sports Management.”
Kade Hrabak “I am a Cyber Security Major at Millikin University. I am from Pana IL. I like playing games and traveling”.
 Bryan  Dabulskis  “I am a Junior, and an Environmental Studies Major at Millikin University. I am originally from the Chicago-Land area, but I have lived in Decatur, IL for the past 12 years. I am a United States Marine Corps Veteran.”
Lan Dao
Lan Dao “I am a Junior international student from Hanoi, Vietnam at Millikin University. I major in Information Systems and Computer Science. I am a big fan of traveling and trying out different cultural experiences.”
Kaitlyn Mayer
Kaitlyn Mayer “I am a sophomore business management major at Millikin University. I am currently on the Millikin swim team and I’m in my 12th year of swimming competitively. Originally I’m from a small town called Centralia, IL.”
Jacob Russo “I am a Junior information systems major and play baseball here at Millikin. I am from Bloomington-Normal, Il and have lived there all my life. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, also watching and playing sports.”