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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Virtual Internships Save Government, Students Money

Virtual Internships Save Government, Students Money

In response to federal office space reductions and the need for more creative workforce solutions, the federal government is expanding its use of virtual interns.

The term, “virtual intern” describes interns who provide services and perform a job for an agency or organization without being physically housed within the federal workspace. Whether they work from their own home, or out of a university, these individuals will have jobs which require a minimum amount of supervision, to include: research, writing, social media, editing, human resources, graphic arts, video creation and production, and numerous other tasks. 

The program isn’t a new phenomenon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been offering virtual internships since 2001 and has found them to be a beneficial option for the agency and the intern. The ability to work while attending college, without having to be physically onsite enables more students to work on projects which would be geographically restrictive and create scheduling issues. The program also offers significant cost-savings compared to funding interns living in the Washington, D.C. area. 

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