By Kristy Amburgey
Although not typical of the aviation, aerospace and related industries, virtual internships are becoming more prevalent in some areas of today’s work fields. Virtual internships can be thought of as “tele-work” or “tele-commuting” experiences, where everything you do is accomplished remotely. The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Co-op/Internship Program requires current students, who hope to earn credit hours for their experiences, to be present at employers’ sites for all co-ops or internships, so a virtual internship will not be considered part of the program for credit. But additional, relevant work experience is still beneficial. For students who don’t need to earn credit or the companies do not require them to earn credit, a virtual internship may be an option for you. Students in geographical locations not conducive to some industries, those who can’t make a temporary move or someone who enjoys self-directed work can explore virtual opportunities. More common in career fields such as computer science, software development, sales/marketing, social media, publishing, and business, you can explore these virtual opportunities for personal and professional growth.
The Invisible Office: A Guide to Virtual Internships, by Ira Daniels, provides a good comparison and realistic picture of virtual internships.
Kristy Amburgey is the Associate Director of Career Services – Daytona Beach campus and currently manages marketing and employer relations for the department. She has been with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for approximately 10 years and with Career Services for nine years.