Here’s what you need to know if you want to start one at your office
In 2020, recruitment agency, Caribbean Resourcing Solutions, and business outsourcing firm, Aegis Business Solutions trialed a virtual internship program at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Exploring this exciting idea presented new benefits and challenges alike. Bernice Antoine, Aegis Marketing intern shares her experience of a virtual internship, her work with Aegis and why more businesses should consider virtual internships.
Navigating A new Terrain
While the transition to a virtual world came with many benefits, this innovative idea is not without its own unique challenges. Bernice explained how the Aegis team worked to conquer these challenges and maximized the benefits.
While the lack of immediate availability of managers for feedback may be viewed as a challenge, Bernice saw it as an unexpected benefit. This encouraged her to solve problems independently and understand the platform thoroughly. Regardless, feedback is still a top priority, so weekly ‘catch up’ calls were scheduled to ensure each intern had the opportunity to highlight their work for the week and any challenges they had. Outside of these meetings, they were encouraged to ask questions for clarification and understanding.
Another challenge with virtual internships, and by extension remote work, presented was limited social interaction. For this, our team was deliberate about scheduling time to encourage social bonding between interns. One of the activities Bernice enjoyed the most, was our Aegis Christmas Party where our interns hosted a virtual Bingo. Here they were introduced to the entire staff in a friendly, celebratory environment.
Working with Aegis
As a social media and marketing intern, Bernice helped with several projects such as interviewing managers for Aegis’ Leadership Series. However, to help support staff during the COVID-19 lockdown, Bernice volunteered on the Change Agent Team in order to promote Mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence and Stress Management classes.
“I am really happy that I was exposed to the principles of Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence so early in my working life. But I know it’s not enough to just be inspired, I have to do something with my inspiration, I want to be a lighthouse promoting the importance of soft skills to other young persons.”
Bernice explained that working with Aegis has provided her with a healthy environment to grow.
“At Aegis, I don’t just feel like an intern, I felt like a member of the company. I remember being so excited when I got my work email! I was given a safe space to make mistakes, learn from them, and ask for feedback. I appreciate all the invaluable lessons I learnt from members of the staff”
If your business is thinking about hiring interns remotely and have questions, we would be happy to share our process. Please email us at email@example.com