COVID-19 continues to bring change into our lives throughout the year. We are slowly adapting to what seems to be our new normal each and everyday. As a student, we have learned to adjust our lives by attending many of our classes online while being physically at home in our spaces. One of the things you may not have considered is how we could participate in internships. One would think, how can you do that online? Well, many companies have switched to virtual internships for students and others all over the world. Students can still have a chance to network and explore different career interests they are passionate about. Illinois students are continuing to make strides in their fields and pursue their interests.
Kalyani Gopalkrishna is a senior majoring in psychology and English and has participated in a virtual internship. When asked how she has adjusted her life since the pandemic, she explained that physical life has been very different. Like many students, she now studies and works remotely from home with her family, although she resides in New York. Kalyani had other internships lined up before the pandemic hit, but things took a turn when we had to enter lockdown. She says that LinkedIn was crucial when it came to finding an internship The virtual internship she ended up landing was for the Unite Us internship program. With this position, she works in a tech firm that’s main goal is to bridge the healthcare inequity gap.
Participating in a virtual internship was really insightful, despite the nontraditional conditions, according to Kalyani. She loved working with her team and getting involved with impactful projects. Gaining a mentor out of the entire experience was the true icing on the cake. Her daily tasks and overall objectives were to work with various facets of the HR team with a specific focus on talent acquisition and learning and development. She was also charged with helping to renovate the onboarding processes and integrate different platforms in order to improve the HR processes as Unite Us continues to face fast-pace growth. With Kalyani’s internship, she learned better time management skills and how to use platforms such as Asana and Hubspot. Also, gaining HR experience in a corporate setting has given her an important preview into that field of work.
Kalyani says that it may be harder to network and build proper bonds with people when participating in a virtual internship compared to an in-person experiences. The hours are, of course, more flexible, and because everyone’s schedules are different and people work in different departments, it can be hard to meet all of the other interns. One of her favorite things was interacting with people from around the world. Overall, Kalyani recommends virtual internships. This is our new normal, for now, and many companies are turning towards remote opportunities. We might as well see what it’s about early on.