Internships are defined as professional learning experiences, provided and supported by employers in the field, to offer meaningful, real world work that is related to a student’s field of study or career interests. Experiences delivered through the internship structure may be short-term project based opportunities or more long term assimilations through placements within an organization meant to immerse the student into the work and culture of the company. In either structure, the end result is the creation of valuable learning experiences for college students and support for the identified work needs of employers. Virtual internships and specifically, micro-internships that are facilitated and managed remotely provide similar experiences and levels of opportunity for both students and employer partners.
With new partnerships and a creative resource guide, Lehigh students and employer partners can share work experiences and foster learning opportunities that are meaningful and mutually beneficial. Following are the ways Lehigh is supporting our partners who may be considering transitioning traditional on-site internships to virtual, remote learning experiences.
Register or access an existing employer account on Handshake to post internship and job opportunities that are accessible to students.
Decide which internships can pivot to virtual experiences and be managed by the employer. Lehigh’s Implementation Guide for Virtual Internships is linked and available as a resource.
Connect with Lehigh partners Lehigh Connects, WORK SIMPLR, and/or Paragon One for external assisted management of internships and project based learning opportunities. These company partners will facilitate and manage the work of our employer partners and remote student interns. Employers designate and structure the project-based work and provide mentorship, while Lehigh Connects, WORK SIMPLR and/or Paragon One manage the process.
As an additional resource, we welcome and encourage Lehigh alumni to support students during internships by serving as mentors, either through the companies in which they work or by connecting with Lehigh Connects to assist Lehigh students who earn opportunities in published Micro-internships. The assimilation of college life into work life for a Lehigh student can best be mentored by our alumni, former Lehigh students working in the field.
Internships, whether on-site or remotely managed, are a powerful resource for employers and students, alike. They serve to provide students with experiential learning opportunities and a lens into their chosen field of study, while also providing skills and service to accomplish identified tasks and project-based work for employers. To this end, it is important to develop and frame the work and learning experiences in the most beneficial way for students, managers, and entire companies, whether in a traditional on-site approach, a virtual remote work environment, or perhaps a blending of the two.