Virtual Internships in Australia

This article is sponsored by Melbourne Polytechnic

Are you keen to gain valuable work experience in Australia but can’t enter the country just yet? Virtual internships could be the perfect solution for you! These internship programs allow you to boost your professional portfolio by working remotely. That’s right – you can kickstart your career in Australia from the comfort of your own home. 

From the various internship providers in Australia to the skills you’ll gain through the experience, here’s everything you need to know about online internship programs in Australia.   

Who offers virtual internships in Australia?

Wondering where to complete your virtual internship in Australia? Well, you’ve got plenty of options to consider. 

The first is to pursue a virtual internship through your education provider. Several institutions offer internship programs, so it’s worth consulting your education provider’s website for more information on the programs available and the eligibility criteria you may need to meet. Often, education providers will partner with external organisations, such as Practera or Navitas, to run internship (or ‘experiential learning’) programs. You can reach out to these organisations to see if they offer any programs at your institution.

For example, Melbourne Polytechnic has a professional internship program in partnership with Readygrad, which provides 12-week internships to final-year students from four study areas. Depending on the organisation, students may have the option to undertake these internships virtually. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that these internships aren’t available to all higher education students – only the ones studying designated courses, as outlined on the Melbourne Polytechnic website. 

Another pathway you can take is working with an organisation like Australian Internships, which offers a Virtual Internship Program (VIP). Coordinating your internship with a company like this can be great because you’ll have guidance and assistance every step of the way. However, it’s important to note that you’ll need to pay program fees, which cover resume and interview preparation, support services for the duration of your internship and much more. Be sure to check out similar virtual internship websites to assess your options. 

Alternatively, if there’s a specific company you’re keen to work with, consider reaching out to them directly! Ask if they offer virtual internships and explain how you feel you could help their business. 

Can I do a virtual internship from overseas? 

Believe it or not, you can complete many virtual internships from overseas. After all, one of the most attractive features of virtual internships is the fact that you can save money on airfares, visa applications and other travel expenses. 

Keep in mind that your eligibility to participate in an international virtual internship may vary depending on the internship coordinator or educational institution. Make sure you visit the organisation’s website or get in touch with their staff to check if you can complete your virtual internship from overseas. It’s also important to remember that certain factors, such as time differences, may pose some unique challenges when doing an internship from abroad. Be transparent with your internship provider and try your best to plan ahead to ensure smooth sailing.

Are virtual internships worth it? 

Absolutely! One of the key perks that make virtual internships worth it is the valuable work experience you’ll gain, which will help you stand out to potential employers. In fact, Readygrad interns have reported that participating in an internship gave them a competitive edge when finding work as a new graduate: 44 per cent said they were offered a permanent role with their host company, while 99 per cent said that their experience helped them land a job.

Plus, by participating in a virtual internship, you’re starting to make connections and expand your professional network in Australia before you’ve even arrived. 

It’s important to note, though, that since many internships are unpaid, it’s key to save money wherever possible. Luckily, there are a number of simple ways you can save money as an international student and tips to manage your budget.

What skills will I gain from a virtual internship? 

Virtual internships provide you with many of the same benefits and skills as in-person internships. However, by completing a virtual internship, you’re actually gaining a few extra skills that you wouldn’t necessarily acquire in a traditional internship. Chief among them is the capacity to work effectively and independently in an online environment. 

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s no secret that businesses all over the world have had to shift many of their operations online. According to a 2020 McKinsey Global Survey, in just a few months, the pandemic brought about several years of technological advancement in businesses across all sectors and regions. In terms of Australian businesses, several were prompted to accelerate their transition to e-commerce sales, a move that has resulted in billions of dollars in benefits for companies and consumers alike. 

Many of these changes and shifts to the online space are expected to remain. As a result, employees have been required to adapt – and new graduates hoping to join the workforce will need to do the same. When you participate in a virtual internship, you’re demonstrating to employers that you already have the skills needed to thrive in an online workplace, such as computer literacy, the ability to work independently and strong communication.

Winning a scholarship as an international student can give you the financial freedom to take on exciting and unique skill-building programs, such as virtual internships.

The International Higher Education Scholarship at Melbourne Polytechnic saves students 10 or 20 per cent on tuition fees. Click here to find out more.