The Advantages of a Virtual Internship – Geographic Connections
Mar 18, 2021
Now I know what you’re thinking. The benefits of a virtual internship are that you can roll out of bed, keep your sweatpants on, and work from the comfort of your own home. While these things are a major plus of the virtual world, I have a few other things in mind. Here at Cohen & Company, I have had the opportunity to connect with various staff members from across the different offices. I believe that without this virtual setting, I wouldn’t have met and made connections with the individuals I did throughout my internship.
One opportunity that Cohen provided was during their annual busy season Wellness Challenge. If interested in participating, employees signed up and were placed into teams at random. This randomization allowed for teams to be built from the various Cohen & Company offices. During this challenge, Cohen’s Human Resources Team put together weekly activities to accomplish in efforts to earn individual and team points. Each team member is responsible for their individual activities during the week. Every Friday, my team, also known as the “Couch Potatoes,” would meet via WebEx to discuss the activities from the week and to tally up our total points. From there, we would accomplish the team activity and then talk about our lives in general. I thought this was an awesome way to engage and network with new individuals, especially from different offices than my own. It was also a great way to take a step back from our busy schedules to relax and laugh with one another. It made the online setting feel less lonely. I believe these connections were true advantages of an online internship.
Another advantage to the online setting was the opportunity I had to interview one of Cohen’s Partners, Marie Brilmyer. As a part of the internship program, the interns were required to interview a partner or niche service group we were interested in learning more about. I chose Marie because I found her background interesting and wanted to hear more about her professional experience and involvement in the Not-for-Profit niche group. Marie and I were able to have an hour-long conversation covering items about our personal lives and her professional experiences. I learned a lot from Marie, and I admire her lively, energetic spirit. I can see how an attitude like hers has allowed her to accomplish such great things in life. I was very thankful for this opportunity and believe that without the virtual setting, I wouldn't have met this inspiring individual.
Overall, a virtual internship can be very intimidating. Trust me, I experienced many freak-out moments sitting in my room alone. Doubt would creep in, and I would ask myself “Will I be able to do this?” I soon realized that this internship is what YOU make of it. Instead of sitting back and allowing the circumstances of an online setting control my response, I chose to be proactive. I reached out and involved myself in as much as I could. I have built many relationships and made connections during my internship, and I have come to value the experiences I have gained and the individuals I have met during my virtual internship here at Cohen & Company. I believe they will only benefit me in my future endeavors.