Online internships, also known as remote and e-internships, are conducted remotely via online collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom. These internships can be cost effective for both company and intern – no relocation costs or requirements for office space or equipment, but are thought to be potentially more difficult to manage in terms of social communication and practical tasks. Online internships have become an important avenue for student employability both in terms of the current Covid-19 crisis, and longer term for companies who employ a percentage of their workforce remotely and view online professionalism favourably.
The current research project was conducted as a summer internship project with two interns: Leah Hillari and Darja Wischerath, supervised by Dr Amy Irwin and Dr Joy Perkins. There were two main aims: 1) conduct a literature review and develop a set of information leaflets to support online internship management (see leaflets below), and 2) conduct an online research study designed to examine attitudes towards online internships across three stakeholder groups – students, academics and employers.