When the Coronavirus crisis caused governments to declare health emergencies and businesses closed all over the world, those businesses, as well as schools, NGOs, and even churches all went virtual. At YWAM Converge, we help you make a difference with missional organizations. We have added virtual remote internships—that is, an internship that you can do from anywhere, which can take place over the summer, over the course of a semester, or throughout the year. Virtual Remote Internships are no longer only for internet-friendly companies. Everyone has been forced to adjust to a new normal.
Virtual Remote Internships are best suited for the following types of internships:
Just like any Converge internship, participants will need strong communication and time-management skills. However, Virtual Remote Internships require participants and host organizations to have both knowledge and experience with virtual collaborative platforms, such as Slack, Trello, and Google Suite.
You might call them Online Internships. Converge was originally built for the intern who travels to complete an internship with a host organization. But now, we are adding internships for both local commuters and those who do their internship directly from their own laptop!
Virtual Remote Internships give you and host organizations the opportunity to work together from anywhere, across the country or around the globe. A Virtual Remote Internship will not give you the experience of living and working with people. However, you can still develop remote relationships and share your passion for a cause or a community.
Students, your studies have likely all moved to online classes. Now you can do your internship online as well. And with YWAM Converge you can still support a missional organization and complete a unique project.
Options are different. Virtual Remote projects may be one or more of the following:
When you do a Virtual Remote Internship, you will still enroll in the Converge Course, and meet with your personally chosen Mentor. You will still meet with the Host or Supervisor and colleagues with the organization, depending on the needs of the organization. And you will still learn how to work with others and how to complete a personalized missions project.
When filling out the Create an Internship form, be sure to clarify that your internship is Virtual Remote. We suggest you include “Remote” or “Online” in the name you give to this Internship opportunity. When asked to give a description of the location, provide background that will help the remote intern understand your organization, the number of staff, and the various roles (not names) that your intern(s) will work with. When describing the culture and guidelines, be sure to clarify the expectations for remote interns, the number of hours of work per week, the frequency of meetings, the number of people typically in a meeting, and the tools you expect them to use. Explain your goals and the job description for the intern. Give the student applicant an understanding of your organization’s mission and history, as well as the culture of your organization. If you are a typically conservative organization, do you also have casual Fridays?
Again, it is important that you make it clear to the student seeking an internship that yours is a Virtual Remote internship and that they will not be expected to travel to your location.
If you have questions or you need further explanation, please do not hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help you make a difference.
This list of tips will help you think about how to contribute to the work of your host organization while building knowledge, skills, and experiences as you make the most of your Converge internship.
Your Internship Session dates define when your work begins and ends. However, you will need to be ready. That’s why you need to complete the Converge Course Pre-Session Phase lessons which will guide you through the process of preparing for a successful internship experience.
Before the Session begins, reach out to schedule a meeting with your host to discuss the logistics of your position, as well as mutual expectations and goals for you and for the work to be completed. Confirm your excitement and interest in the opportunity and your willingness to be flexible. In a virtual internship experience your dedication to communicate your interest and your willingness to be flexible is what is most important to your host. During your meeting, topics for discussion may include:
Working Remotely will likely require you to be highly motivated and a self-starter. But you should still expect some level of instruction and support as a virtual intern, just as you would in an in-person environment. You may or may not get a lot of mentoring from your host. That’s where your Mentor steps in. Be sure to continue to schedule meetings with your personal Mentor to pray, to process your personal challenges, and to discuss strategies to get assignments done. Hopefully your host or supervisor plans to share work examples and templates, discuss communication preferences, and establish project timelines and due dates. Decide on a weekly check-in day and time with your supervisor to provide updates on your projects, ask questions and get regular feedback on your work. You can also use this time to talk about projects that are nearing completion, and upcoming tasks that you can begin when those are done.
Take the opportunity to learn from everyone with whom you interact, your host, co-workers, clients, etc. Talk on Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or even the phone to communicate with and learn from others. Pray for everyone you meet and ask God for wisdom, humility, and flexibility in all your relationships. Here are a few questions to ask when you meet with co-workers:
Ensure you have fulfilled all responsibilities assigned by your host, completed your Field Project, and filled out your Debriefing questionnaire. Be sure to tie up any loose ends. Prepare a list of your accomplishments that you can share with your host or supervisor. Make sure to meet online to say good-bye to everyone you worked with. If you can't meet, be sure to send a note of thanks and good-bye. You may also want to ask your host or supervisor for a recommendation letter or if they would be willing to serve as a reference at a later time.
Give a copy of your Final Project to your host or supervisor, keep one for yourself, one for your college (especially if you are seeking independent study credit), and send a copy to the Converge Office. We will send you a completion certificate from the University of the Nations Extension Studies Centre.
Finally, don’t forget to update your resume with all of the skills and accomplishments from the internship, and be sure to connect with your colleagues on LinkedIn for future networking!