Working virtually

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Recent months have seen exciting changes in how employers offer work. There are now a variety of virtual work experience opportunities that you can do from home, including internships, insights and vacation schemes. You may also hear them referred to as remote internships, online internships or virtual experiences.

What is virtual work experience?

Virtual work experience opportunities refer to any kind of work experience that you can do from home.

As more organisations have supported their employees in working from home, some employers have designed web-based platforms and activities to support students/interns wishing to undertake short-term work experience and to gain valuable experience and develop their skills online.

Each organisation offering virtual work experience will want to offer you an insight into its business and culture.

Find out more: 

More about working virtually

Virtual opportunities can be found in all the usual places that you would search for work experience and jobs so take a look at the work experience and looking for a job sections of the website.

Below are some organisations that specifically advertise virtual opportunities:

RateMyPlacement: search their vacancy database for virtual work experience opportunities

ICAEW - virtual internship programme 2021

GoinGlobal: - the Careers Service subscribes to GoinGlobal - an international vacancy database (DS login required).  It now features a Remote Jobs filter on the Job and Internship search pages; all country guides include a Covid-19 section under Finding a Job / Job Search Overview.

(Please note that some of the organisations who advertise via these vacancy platforms will charge you a fee to participate in a virtual internship.)

 

From: TARGETjobs Guide to Virtual Internships

Take part in all training modules open to you, even optional ones.

Contribute to online chats and networking sessions, even if you feel awkward. Other people will feel similarly.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from colleagues on your current work, your future career and so on.

Actively seek feedback and, whatever you do, learn from it and act on it. Ask questions but make a note of the answers, so that you don’t need to ask the same question again.

Work on your time management so that you prioritise and complete tasks promptly.

Make brief notes of what you did, what you achieved and any feedback so that you can update your CV later (particularly keep track of numbers to help quantify and scale your achievements).

 

 

 

From: PWC tips to stay productive when working remotely:

Get ready for the workday as if you’re heading to the office

Create a morning routine—even if it’s as simple as making coffee, checking your personal email, and fixing breakfast

Stand up and move around your house, just as you would in the office

Unless you’re speaking, mute your microphone on conference calls to reduce audio feedback

Headphones can help with clarity and eliminate background noise

Don’t allow work to consume your life. It’s easier said than done when working from home, but make sure you set limits for the amount of time you’ll work

Define your space to separate work from home if possible. Have a room (or desk/table) dedicated to working. That way, you know consciously what you’re there to do. It changes the state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”

Embrace the positive. Sharing space with your children, pets, or family members? Schedule a break to spend quality time with them—similar to catching up with coworkers at the water cooler

Careers Online Toolkit

Short Course:  The tools you need for remote working success

Short Course: Being productive when working from home

 

Next Step Support

Suggested daily schedules

 

University of Strathclyde

Strathclyde Wellbeing & working from home hub has lots of useful tips and resources.

 

 

Prospects Your career and COVID-19 page provides advice for students preparing for and applying for jobs during the pandemic. It includes tips on increasing your online presence and preparing for phone interviews

Next Step Support provides additional support to students regarding employment in light of COVID-19. It offers content and tools from various trusted sources including hiring updates, webinars and virtual events from employers. You can register for alerts and ask to be connected back to your Careers service, where appropriate.

TARGETjobs has published an article on Job-hunting in 2021

TARGETjobs has prepared advice on work experience options

Forage is an online resource which offers virtual experience programmes designed by leading companies. Develop your skills and gain a real understanding of different roles and sectors by working through these self-paced modules, with tasks similar to those you would undertake during a traditional internship.

What does it involve?

You will work through a series of resources and hypothetical tasks that are designed to simulate the sort of work you would undertake as an intern or a graduate employee at the organisation. It's a unique opportunity for you to try out a career at your own pace and in your own time, from the comfort of your home.  It takes five to six hours to complete one programme and you can complete as many programmes as you like. 

Programmes include:

  • Video instructions and real life examples from employees within your chosen organisation
  • Work that reflects real day-to-day tasks of interns and graduates
  • Curated resources to help you complete the tasks

What are the benefits?

  • Sample what real life work at leading companies would be like
  • Try out different types of work and discover which career path is right for you
  • Build confidence and gain skills to get you ready for the workplace
  • Boost your CV with a company-branded virtual internship and get a personalised certificate for your LinkedIn profile

How can I take part?

There are no lengthy application processes as programmes are free and accessible to all students and graduates. Simply pick your programme, create an account on the Forage website and get started right away.

Bright NetworkInternship Experience UK this is a programme of virtual internships for students and graduates, across a range of careers.

‘Tubu’ by Think Pacific, is a FREE virtual programme, designed to help students learn about global sustainable development, develop cultural IQ and gain international remote working experience, from home.

Programme fees and charges

Some companies facilitate virtual internships in both the UK and overseas.  However, you should note that most of these organisations charge a fee.   

In some cases, the fee for online/virtual internships can be substantial so you must be sure that it is the right decision for you and your career before you decide to invest. 

We strongly advise you to conduct your own research and make an informed decision before taking up one of these opportunities.

The University is unable to provide funding to students to engage in online work experience or skills development.