Virtual Internships Programme

The Virtual Internships Programme offers University of Birmingham students and graduates the opportunity to undertake an exciting internship during this summer without having to leave home. 

Careers Network are working with Virtual Internships to provide students and recent graduates access to the Virtual Internships Programme. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week remote internship (30 hours per week) with an employer in the UK or overseas this summer. 

The programme is now open for applications and will close on Friday 26 March 2021. 

Virtual Internships information session

Virtual Internships are hosting an online information session to provide an overview of the programme, application hints and tips and a chance to get your questions answered. The information session will be held on Friday 5 March 2021 at 12:30 (UK time). Register for the Virtual Internships: Programme Overview session. The webinar will be recorded and made available on this webpage following the session.

More information and how to apply

Full details (including information about how to apply) can be found below. 

What is the Virtual Internships Programme?

Careers Network are collaborating with an organisation called Virtual Internships to offer the Virtual Internships Programme. Virtual Internships will manage the whole application process and match successful applicants to internship opportunities. All applications will be sent to and reviewed directly by Virtual Internships, and all communication and documents with regard to the internship will be provided by them.

Just like a traditional internship, you will be required to complete a specific project or undertake tasks for an employer over a set period of time. What makes a virtual internship more unique is that, instead of being based at the employer’s site or office, you will be able to complete the work remotely in a virtual context using tools such as email and video conferencing platforms. When completing a virtual internship you will still have access to many aspects of a traditional in-person internship such as regular catch-ups, meetings with supervisors/teammates and support from your employer during your experience. You may also be working with other students, both from University of Birmingham and other universities, to complete your virtual internship (this is dependent on the nature and requirements of your particular internship). 

Through the programme, successful applicants will have the opportunity to apply to undertake a 4 week internship (30 hours per week) with an employer in the UK or overseas. Successful applicants will not need to pay a fee to be part of the programme and any reference to the payments of fees made in supporting documents should be disregarded. The registration fee will be covered by Careers Network for successful applicants through this programme.

Please note that an internship is not guaranteed by submitting an application. Only a certain number of funded opportunities are available and internships will be offered based on the strength of an application.

What are the benefits of undertaking a virtual internship?

Job roles and styles of working are regularly changing, with an array of key skills required to deliver effective solutions to everyday tasks. In addition to this, the need to work in an enterprising manner is becoming more apparent in the current employment market. Undertaking a virtual internship is a great way to develop these key skills and enterprising mind-sets.

These are just a few of the benefits you can gain from being a virtual intern:

  • Develop your employability skills and help define your career path by getting involved in a structured work experience opportunity 
  • Advance your knowledge and skills of new technology & software as well as gain remote working skills
  • Use your enterprising skills to work and communicate with stakeholders in a virtual context
  • Gain a global network by potentially working with people around the world
  • Develop your initiative, self-discipline and time management skills
  • Increase your confidence and resilience  
  • Engage in a flexible working pattern
  • Improve your prospects of graduate employability

Who can apply to the Virtual Internships Programme?

The programme is open to:

  • current undergraduate students from all years
  • current postgraduate students (postgraduate taught and postgraduate research)
  • recent University of Birmingham graduates from the last 2 years 

Internships are available for a wide range of degree areas; students will be requested to identify their career area preference during the application process which will be used by Virtual Internships to match successful applicants to opportunities. 

If you are applying to other internship programmes offered by Careers Network (Impact Internships Programme, Experience Arts Programme and the Knowledge Exchange Programme), you would only be able to accept one opportunity in each academic year. If you accept more than one internship in the current academic year from any of these programmes, then only the first one will proceed and any subsequent offers will be withdrawn and funding not provided. Accepting any internships or work experience outside of the programmes offered by Careers Network will not affect your eligibility for these schemes.

How long are the virtual internships and when will they take place?

The virtual internships will take place over the summer vacation period and will start in early July. Internships will last for 4 weeks, working for 30 hours per week.

How to apply for a virtual internship

There are 2 parts of the application process: an online application form and a virtual video application. Both parts must be completed by Friday 26 March 2021. The whole application process and internship management will be organised by Virtual Internships. All applications will be sent to and reviewed directly by them, and all communication and documents with regard to the internship will be provided by Virtual Internships. 

Applications will not be made to specific internship opportunities. Instead, successful applicants will be matched by Virtual Internships to host companies and projects. Only successful applicants will be matched and the matches will be based on the career areas identified within the application form. 

The application process will consist of the following stages:

  1. Completion of an initial Virtual Internships Programme online application form:
    Applicants will be required to upload a CV as part of the online application form
  2. Completion and upload of a virtual video application:
    The virtual video application will take 10-15 minutes and recorded footage may also be shown to prospective host companies during the matching process. Applicants will be prompted to complete the video application and will be signposted to the platform once the online application form has been submitted.
  3. Full applications (both application form and video) will be reviewed and assessed by Virtual Internships
  4. Successful applicants will be identified and a formal programme offer will be made to these successful applicants 
  5. Successful applicants will confirm participation in the programme and the internship matching process begins

Please note that an internship is not guaranteed by submitting an application. Only a certain number of opportunities are available and will be offered based on the strength of the overall application.

To submit an application please complete the Virtual Internships Programme online application form. As a reminder, the application period will close on Friday 26 March 2021. 

Careers Network offer a range of services and resources to help with applying for opportunities. If you wish to receive support regarding your CV please use CV Checker in the first instance to receive immediate customised and detailed feedback. In addition to this, please also find video application and skills resources provided by Virtual Internships below:

What support is available throughout the virtual internship?

Virtual Internships have created multiple touchpoints to facilitate networking between fellow remote interns and staff. This support consists of the following:

  • Access to a dedicated Program Experience Manager
  • Assigned Internship Coach who can help at key points with your career goals
  • Weekly group discussions to get to know your Virtual Internship colleagues
  • Fortnightly Business Webinars hosted by key speakers of various topics of interest
  • A midpoint check-in to assess progress half way through your internship and a final coaching call to review your overall internship experience and assess your development 
  • Access to CareerBridge, an online professional development hub used to deliver Virtual Internships Internship Curriculum

In addition to this, you can contact the Careers Network Work Experience Team for any queries regarding the logistics of the programme delivery pre, during and post internship.

What do previous virtual interns have to say about their experience?

'I am beyond grateful for my Virtual Internships experience as I did not only acquire skills that are crucial in my chosen career field, but it also enabled me to obtain a mentor-mentee relationship with my manager even after the programme finished. Her guidance to find my next suitable opportunity meant so much to me and eventually helped me to find my next job which I feel is a perfect fit for my career progression in my desired field.'

'I have also been particularly shocked at how easily I was able to adapt to remote working. The project management system which my supervisor has put in place has shown me how to organise my workloads in a more efficient and manageable way. All of this experience has given me so much confidence in moving forward into my master’s course this year.’

‘This internship has given me great experience in working remotely. I have started the application process for graduate jobs as I have entered my final year of university. It will be beneficial to show my experience of working remotely to prospective graduate employers.'

‘I do think that the most valuable part of this internship is getting me fully ready for employment. I did not realise how much I needed to learn before going into full time employment, but there is a lot. This has been my first real working experience and I have been learning how a business works and how to develop one.’

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