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Looking For A Virtual Internship? – Here Are The Advantages, The Flipside And The Pro-Tips

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By Punyaslok Rath:

Father: Look at Kapoor sahab’s son! He goes to his big office at Khandala every day from 9 to 5; earned eighteen thousand during summer break through an internship. And you! Your holidays are about to end, you just sleep all day and sit in front of this bloody laptop screen all night!

Son: I work from home, Dad! FYI, I work for a company in California and till now I’ve made 63K!

Father: What?! How?

Son: Virtual Internships!

Organizations are slowly but surely waking up to the fact that there exists a large talent pool among the college students, but not every student can travel to the company’s office. That’s how the concept of virtual internship comes into picture.

online internships

Why virtual internships?

Work at your own pace – Need to meet a long-time friend in the afternoon? No problem. You can work in the evening, at night, anytime! Flexible working hours can be a bliss especially to the student community who have to put up with college classes. As long as you meet your set deadlines, no one cares when and how you work.

Gain valuable skills and experience – Virtual internships are a great way to learn valuable skills, without having to join a 9-5 office, that can be translated into relevant job experience. Many students do such internships in their 1st or 2nd year of graduation alongside college classes, building a healthy resume in the process.

Receive college credit – Many universities have now made a semester of ‘industrial experience’ compulsory in their curriculum. Getting out of the proving-the-boring-theorems in papers and instead earning credits as well as money from the comforts of your home – it couldn’t have been better for students!

• Save commuting expenses – You wouldn’t need to travel some x kilometers to your office. Ask someone who has his/her office located far from their home and you’ll know how frustrating the daily travel is.

The drawbacks-

Miss out on working culture exposure – An exposure to the work culture is the highlight of advantages of internships. Virtual internships, irrespective of the numerous benefits they offer, miss out on this.

• Suffer from no set timings – If you do not have set timings for work, then you don’t have set timings off work too! Flexibility in timings might require to keep checking your mails at all times and could even possibly ruin your weekends.

• You might not belong to a virtual internship – Some fields, like social marketing, are more suitable for virtual internships and some, like mechanical engineering, are not.

• No supervision – Some students thrive in the freedom of no supervision whereas some find it extremely difficult to stay motivated in its absence.

The pro-tips

1. Meet your deadlines – Talking of deadlines, they are your way of impressing your employer. By meeting your deadlines you develop a certain degree of trust and faith with your employer. It sends out a signal that even though you don’t come for the 9-5 office job, you take your role seriously.

2. Choose a workplace – It is highly advisable to have a workplace set aside for the job. (Word of caution- beds should be strictly off limits!) It is not necessary to go for the conventional desk-chair workspace but anything that doesn’t lull you to sleep would do!

3. Stay connected – Since you’re not in office, it is a good practice to stay in touch with your employer and your team. Weekly Skype sessions to discuss about the progress in task is a nice idea. In addition to motivating you to complete your work on time, this will also make your employer aware of your merit.

4. Make sure you get it right – Most employers give tasks to their employees through mails and email communication can, at times, be ambiguous. It’s upon you to ensure that you understand the work properly. Ask as many questions you feel is necessary. Being clear on the work is much better than goofing it up at later stages.

5. Work on communication skills – Improve your written English and email etiquettes. Effective and correct language usage goes a long way in establishing your impression on the employer.

6. Schedule your work – It’s difficult to follow a schedule when you are your own boss. There are always a few temptations that threaten to disrupt your concentration and work ethic. You don’t exactly need to have a super-ninja self-discipline, but a strict work schedule might come in handy.

The conclusion:

Reputed companies have started shifting their focus on virtual internships and there has never been an easier time to start interning ‘virtually’. Just like traditional internships, one can find the numerous work-from-home internships at internship portals like Internshala. So if you have internships on your mind but are hindered by your geographical location, then now you know the solution- go for virtual internships.

This article has been contributed by Internshala– India’s leading internship portal.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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