April 19, 2016
by Sue Luethi

Priceless value of virtual internships

Most likely, your HR team receives uncountable CVs from recent graduates desperate to find an entry-level position. It’s easy to send a rejection message to them, as they do not bring along the experience and the relevant skills for your vacancies. Looking at the consequences for our economy and society however, the issue is by far more complex and tricky to solve. But with the awareness and active support of employers, we can make a difference.

The global skills mismatch leads double digit numbers of youth unemployment and underemployment.  Not fully utilizing the potential of our youth means a lower income for individuals and on a large scale a reduced spending potential, ineffective use of the labor force, a competitive disadvantage in productivity as well as limitations in innovation, higher welfare costs and higher social spending. But what can we – you and me – do against it? While studying at university students need access to opportunities that allow them to transform theoretical knowledge to practical skills. They need practical settings that let them interact with business professionals and grow an understanding for the world ahead of them. Internships can often positively influence the school-to-work transition. Virtual internships make internships over great distances affordable to a wider range of young talents. Virtual settings are an excellent opportunity to combine university with a short and focused part-time engagement in a company. A good-quality virtual internship does not only allow the intern to grow and demonstrate disciplinary skills but lets him or her gain valuable insights into a specific domain. The intern can acquire contextual knowledge, often a combination of industry status, company size and position, regional aspects and other characteristics of the particular setting. And on top, interacting with practitioners helps develop more global skills such as oral and written expression in the business world, flexibility, creative thinking, virtual collaboration or productivity.  Typically, virtual internships also boost the intern’s self-esteem and self-efficacy, two very crucial aspects you as an employer are looking for.

By letting a student or first-time job seeker collect virtual work experience in your organization means the world to the individual. So often, your reference and acknowledgement of his or her performance may turn out vital in the quest to find an adequate entry-level position. A CV with first relevant practical experience is key to put the foot into the recruiter’s door. At Dual we are currently looking for companies ready to offer virtual internships of 4 to 12 weeks to individuals from around the world. We are happy to offer you our free support and expertise in setting up and running such programs.

business skills development, Dual internship, recruiting, school-to-work transition

Sue Luethi

Co-Founder and Head of Global Skills Alliances at Dual Academy. Positive nature with a genuine interest in Human Capital and intercultural aspects.