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Tips on Setting Up a Virtual Internship Program

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Are you trying to decide whether your company should cancel its internship program?

Despite a number of businesses being forced to lay off employees or shut down, there are some organizations who have been able to get its staff members to work from home, including carrying on with its internship programs.

With the right planning and communication, it is possible to set up a virtual internship program. Below is some of our advice on where to start.

1. Think about pros and cons.

For example, if you had a student on board for an internship opportunity at your company, how would it look like as a business if you cancelled it? Cancelling it would mean that the student could find another placement at a competitor company who is doing virtual internships. Be fair to the student, they dedicated time to be part of your organization’s internship program, so make sure you give them enough notice to make alternate plans if you do cancel it.

2. How will a virtual internship program impact your staff?

You may have some managers or supervisors who are a little nervous about the effectiveness of conducting an internship program virtually. Make sure to come up with a plan on how your staff members are going to work with them – what types of tasks are your co-workers expected to give them, who will be the main point of contact if issues arise, etc.

3. Ensure your intern feels comfortable.

Make sure your intern has all the tools necessary to do their job:

- login access

- is their laptop equipped with the appropriate programs

- do they have a comfortable area where they can do their work at home

Create a schedule for them like having a call at the same time every morning to go over daily tasks. Maybe you’re capable of planning training sessions at the office once or twice a week with social distancing measures in place.

4. Have virtual social meetings.

It can be hard when working from home to connect with other co-workers, especially if you just started working at a company amid the pandemic. To make new employees feel welcome, you can set up weekly or biweekly virtual social meetings to help new employees integrate culturally with your other staff members.

Click here to watch President of Marc Belaiche, CPA, CA discuss this topic.

Want more entrepreneurial tips? Click here to check out the Toronto Entrepreneurs Conference & Tradeshow YouTube Channel for more!

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