Virtual internships are a great opportunity to gain hands-on experience, while being able to keep a flexible schedule. Following the suggested tips and guidelines below, will ensure that individuals have a rewarding virtual experience.
- Set goals and know the expectations
At the beginning of your internship, be clear about your work goals and expectations. It is a good idea to schedule a meeting beforehand to discuss your future plans and your mode of work with your supervisor. Also ask your supervisor about any ongoing projects and learn about their expectations and deadlines.
Communication is different when you’re working remotely. Most will happen through chats, email, and video calls, so you cannot rely on in-person connections to clarify something. Therefore, it is vital that you maintain and emphasize communication with your supervisor and colleagues. As an internship is an opportunity to learn, do not be afraid to ask for help if you are confused.
- Time management
Keep track of important dates and assignments and be sure to submit work in a timely fashion. (Consider keeping a calendar to keep track of deadlines). Complete assignments on time and let your supervisor know in case you are falling behind on your tasks. It is important to limit distractions and treat your working time seriously.
- Create your own professional environment
Even if you are not in a traditional office, making an effort to dress professionally will help you stay motivated and get into a work mindset. Set up a workspace in your home that will serve as an office. Keep a planner to write down your day-to-day responsibilities and priorities and make sure to finish them on time.
- Keep a work-life balance
Do not get overboard with your work. Internships can be hectic, especially for newcomers. Try to follow a work routine, as this will save time for you to relax and do other things. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and have too much work to do, communicate with your supervisor or colleagues on how you can be more efficient.
Become a virtual intern at ICRP!
The Institute for Cultural Relations Policy (ICRP) is a non-governmental and non-profit international organisation based in Budapest that brings together future politicians, diplomats, decision-makers, researchers and intellectuals. We believe in intercultural dialogue, in promoting human rights and we aim to spread awareness of cultural diversity around the globe. The ICRP gives an opportunity to meet for a discussion on the most recent affairs at various seminars, conferences, training projects, workshops and other related events.
What do we virtual interns do? Our obligatory tasks include researching and writing articles about current affairs around the world. We write and edit articles for the ICRP’s many publications–such as its monthly magazine and its publication on diplomacy. Every month, we also write at least one opinion piece each for the ICRP’s blog. Interns also have the opportunity to conduct research and contribute to other ICRP publications, including its international academic journal which is called the Cultural Relations Quarterly Review and the ICRP Human Rights Issues Series.
Virtual interns can also focus on more dynamic tasks, such as organising events, conferences or training projects, where they can sharpen their skills in either event management, public relations, or communication. On top of these responsibilities, we also have the opportunity to interview diplomats or other important figures during these events.
Since the ICRP is an Erasmus+ partner, virtual interns also have the chance to engage in youth exchanges in another country and virtual workshops with other young intellectuals from other countries. In addition, interns can participate in international conferences or become guest speakers of other conferences that are organized by the institute.
How does a virtual internship work? In ICRP, a virtual internship is just as enriching as a regular internship (perhaps, even better). From the solace of your home, you can work on your assigned individual or group tasks at your own pace. Due to the flexibility and degree of freedom that this virtual internship offers, you can do what you want while doing this internship; you can get a job, pursue your studies, or even go on vacation. But you are expected to respect the deadlines that you and your colleagues set for yourselves.
Although we are granted a lot of autonomy in the sense that we set our own deadlines and working hours, we are required to attend a weekly online meeting (usually Tuesdays) to discuss projects, deadlines, goals, and other issues. Correspondence is not limited to this meeting, as you can freely ask for guidance–through social media, online correspondence, or phone call–from the supervisors even if regular office hours are over. Experienced supervisors are always there to answer your questions and aid you on your tasks whenever you need clarification or suggestions.
You may not be able to meet people in a traditional office setting, but you will get to meet and work with several talented and knowledgeable people from all around the world. Not only do you work with them, but you also learn from them. In this internship, we are placed in coordinator and team member positions. In this sense, we get practical experience in the dynamics of teamwork from both roles. The connections you build are not only limited in one country, as you get the opportunity to work with and learn from a culturally diverse set of people from all over the world and expand your network globally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Can anyone join ICRP as an international intern?
Absolutely! The ICRP is looking to expand its international network and therefore welcomes individuals from around the world to take part in the virtual internship.
Q) Are there any requirements to join?
The basic eligibility criteria states that applicants should be students or entry-level professionals in fields related to: journalism, social studies, law, economics, international relations, political science, or other relevant areas.
Additionally, it is also required that individuals have a high level of English – both written and spoken – as well as access to the internet and electronic devices throughout the internship.
Q) What is the application procedure?
In order to apply for a virtual internship, one must send their CV and cover letter – which should include the individual’s background and interests, reasons for applying, specification of proposed dates and period, as well as one of the preferred responsibilities.
Once you have submitted the application, the CEO of the organization will review it and decide whether you should be short-listed for an online interview. After having successfully conducted the interview, the CEO will contact you with an offer to pursue the virtual internship.
Q) What are the benefits of undertaking a virtual internship – specifically at ICRP?
Undertaking a virtual internship provides you with the opportunity to work from the comfort of your own home. Specifically working with the ICRP, you have the chance to expand your network, enhance your remote working skills, receive professional development and gain access to an international work environment.