Here is our list of the best virtual internship ideas.
Virtual internship ideas are activities and events to engage your company’s remote interns. Examples include lunch and learn workshops, mentoring programs, and virtual escape rooms. These activities aim to ensure that interns working from home can feel included with coworkers and intertwined in the company’s culture.
These programs are similar to/ examples of virtual team games, internship orientation ideas, and virtual orientation ideas for students.
This list includes:
- virtual internship event ideas
- fun activities for online interns
- remote internship program ideas
- online internship games
Let’s get started!
List of virtual internship ideas
With the workplace rapidly evolving, many companies are moving internships to a virtual setting. As a result, it is essential to keep your remote interns motivated and engaged during their time at your company. Here is our list of the top ideas and activities for virtual internships.
1. Welcome Swag Bag
One of the best remote internship program ideas is to send welcome kits to incoming employees. Intern welcome kits usually contain fun and essential company-branded items, such as:
- Tee shirt
- Water bottle
- Coffee mug
- Sticky notes
In addition to fun products and items, we recommend including a welcome letter from your company’s CEO addressing incoming interns. A personal welcome message from the highest-level leader in the company will surely make your interns feel special.
By sending out swag bags, interns will feel welcome and included in the team from day one. Plus, these employees will have all the office essentials needed for the first day on the job.
For inspiration, check out this list of swag bag ideas.
2. Lunch and Learn Workshops
Lunch and Learns are educational workshops that typically take place during lunch hour. These seminars are a great way to help build your interns’ skills in critical areas. When planning your intern Lunch and Learn sessions, we recommend focusing on skill-building topics, such as:
- Resume and cover letter writing
- Time management essentials
- Leadership skill development
- New product demos
- Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
- Employee mental health and wellness
Lunch and Learn workshops are a great use of your interns’ time. These seminars provide a unique and engaging way to learn valuable workplace skills. In addition, organizing a virtual Lunch and Learn session is as simple as securing a speaker and setting up a Zoom meeting.
Here is a list of virtual lunch and learn ideas.
3. Networking Opportunities
With a virtual internship, you should remember how important it is to connect interns with their peers. For example, you can organize a variety of networking opportunities, such as:
- Speed networking
- Breakout rooms
- Lunchtime video chats
- Virtual watch parties
- Coworker competitions
Since remote employees are never in the office, there is no chance of running into each other in the hallway or by the water cooler. Therefore, providing enough virtual networking opportunities is critical in helping employees get to know each other and start to build a professional network.
Check out this list of networking event ideas.
4. StrengthsFinder Activity
The StrengthsFinder assessment, created by Gallup, is a personality test and career development tool designed to help folks discover their top strengths. These strengths fall into four categories, including strategic thinking, relationship building, influencing, and executing.
Most interns are early in their careers, with only a few jobs on their resumes. Conducting a StrengthsFinder activity can help students discover specific areas to help them succeed in the workplace.
Check out more personality tests.
5. Volunteer Day
Organizing an Intern Volunteer Day is an excellent way for your team to give back to the community. Here are a few suggestions for virtual volunteer activities that your interns might enjoy:
- Transcribing historical documents
- Serving as a Crisis Text Line counselor
- Providing career assistance and advice to students
- Writing letters to pen pals in the military
- Tutoring high school students
The best part about these volunteer activities is that they are completable online. Virtual volunteering is a great team building exercise that allows interns to make a difference in the community.
Check out these lists of volunteer day ideas and online community service ideas.
6. Fireside Chats
We recommend organizing fireside chats with company leaders if you are looking for remote internship program ideas that will positively impact interns. A fireside chat is a session where a speaker addresses an audience in a casual setting. For example, the leader of a company can speak with interns on Zoom from the comfort of their home office.
During these sessions, leaders can share insights on career growth and work-life balance. For instance, senior-level executives can share their career journeys, moving from an entry-level role to their current leadership position. When planning fireside chats, we suggest finding a leader who started their career as an intern at your company. Interns will be especially interested to hear from a relatable and genuine leader.
7. Spirit Week
If you want to excite your interns, one of the best virtual internship event ideas is hosting an Intern Spirit Week.
During this week, you should choose a theme for each day, such as:
- Motivational Monday: Share your favorite motivational quote
- Taco Tuesday: Enjoy tacos today and share pictures of your meal
- Wellness Wednesday: Share pictures of how you prioritize wellness, such as meditation or yoga
- Throwback Thursday: Dress up as your favorite decade, for example, the 80’s, 90’s, or 2000’s
- Fitness Friday: Show us your best workout gear and fitness routine
To successfully host a virtual Spirit Week for interns, you should ask all participants to upload pictures or videos to a shared Google Drive folder related to each day’s theme. You can also host daily Zoom calls where interns can catch up with each other and enjoy their peers’ creativity and spirit.
Check out this list of virtual spirit week ideas.
8. Social Media Takeover
We recommend organizing an intern takeover if your company has a social media profile on websites like Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. During this social media takeover, you should allow interns to take over your company’s social media channels for a whole day.
You can encourage interns to share photos and videos related to their daily life as virtual interns at your company. For example, they can share photos and videos of their home workspace, team meetings, and lunch breaks.
Allowing your interns to post content on your company’s social media channels will help these employees feel included while giving your followers an inside look at what it is like to work at your company.
9. Slack Channel
Slack is a messaging app used for business. This tool allows employees to send instant messages to team members across the company. We recommend creating an intern Slack channel to help interns get to know each other.
It would help if you encouraged interns to use this channel as a valuable resource to ask questions, share tips, and connect with peers working in different departments. In addition, this channel can serve as a safe space for interns to make friends, share experiences, and navigate the corporate world.
Here are more Slack channel ideas.
10. Mentoring Program
One of the best ways to support virtual interns is by creating a mentoring program. As part of your program, you should pair interns with experienced team members. These pairs should meet via video chat monthly or weekly to talk about goals, progress, questions, and concerns.
There are many benefits of mentoring, such as:
- Learning new skills
- Increasing job satisfaction
- Building a strong network
- Developing leadership skills
- Focusing on career growth
In an ideal mentor relationship, interns should be comfortable asking questions about work projects, time management, and personal development. Likewise, mentors should provide valuable and actionable feedback that mentees can use to improve.
To keep the mentorship program on track, we recommend creating a Google Sheet to track goals, tasks, and relevant progress. You can also create an ongoing Google Doc where mentees can drop questions and comments for mentors to address at their next touch base.
Mentoring is a valuable career development tool that can also help foster a sense of community.
Check out this list of mentorship program ideas.
11. Virtual Coffee Chats
You have more opportunities to catch up with coworkers in the hallways or over a cup of coffee while working in an in-person environment. We suggest creating social opportunities for remote interns to catch up with teammates easily. Virtual coffee chats are the perfect way for interns to connect with employees and peers across the company.
A virtual coffee chat is an opportunity to sit down with coworkers in a relaxed and informal setting, most likely over a cup of coffee or tea. We recommend pairing interns with employees in different departments to set up virtual coffee chats. Then, you can set up a virtual conference on Zoom and agree on a meeting time for the two. Most employees are free during lunch, which can be the ideal time to host a casual coffee chat.
During a coffee chat, employees can talk about work-related topics, such as current events, personal milestones, and life updates. This activity can help coworkers get to know each other and build personal connections.
Here is a guide to virtual coffee chats.
12. Employee Panel Discussions
An employee panel discussion is one of the most fun activities for online interns. To organize this event, you should gather a group of current employees who speak about their time at the company. We suggest picking a group of employees who started their careers as interns and then moved up in the company.
Example topics include:
- Advice to help interns succeed
- Career growth tools and resources
- Leadership skill development
- How to prepare for an interview
- Transferrable professional skills
- Personal career stories
You can close out the panel discussion with a live question-and-answer session. During this portion of the event, encourage interns to ask specific questions to each panelist.
13. Virtual Escape Room
Virtual escape rooms are online activities where a group must solve puzzles and riddles to escape from a room. Virtual escape room templates and activities are available online, making this activity simple to organize.
Online escape rooms can take on different themes, such as:
- Catch the computer hacker
- Murder mystery
- Haunted mansion
- Super secret spy mission
- Futuristic dystopia
With a virtual escape room, interns will collaborate using online conferencing platforms like Zoom. Virtual escape rooms are a great way to promote team building while gaining problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking skills.
Check out this list of virtual escape rooms.
14. Online Team Building Activities
When it comes to fun activities for online interns, you cannot go wrong with team building initiatives. For example:
- At-home scavenger hunt
- Online office Olympics
- Trivia night
- Zoom happy hour
- Meditation sessions
- Virtual fitness class
Hosting virtual team building activities will help your team of interns feel more connected with each other. In addition, these types of activities encourage teamwork, problem-solving, and conflict-resolution skills. These skills are especially helpful for interns focused on career growth and advancement.
Here are more virtual team building activities.
15. Remote Game Night
Hosting an online game night is a great way to encourage friendly competition among your team of interns. However, if you are looking for fun activities and online internship games, then you should consider games that promote skills like group decision-making, socialization, teamwork, and collaboration.
Here are some good games:
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Murder Mystery
- Among Us
We suggest finding free online games or creating your own templates to make the experience even more personal. Hosting an online game night will help your interns take their minds off work responsibilities while building new friendships.
Check out more remote game night ideas.
16. Virtual Campfire
Most internships take place in the summertime. The hot summer months are also the perfect time for a campfire. We recommend hosting a virtual campfire with a remote team of interns to build excitement.
As part of your virtual campfire, you can get into the spirit by encouraging interns to make s’mores at home and sing a few songs around the virtual campfire. We suggest asking any musicians on your team to play their guitars to serenade the group. You can also ask participants to set fun virtual backgrounds on Zoom, such as a bonfire or forest setting.
Here is a list of virtual campfire ideas.
17. Remote Office Tours
We recommend providing interns with a virtual tour of your headquarters office location. Giving interns a tour of the office can help these early-in-career employees feel inspired and envision a future career with your company. Plus, you can organize a remote office tour no matter where your interns are located.
To set up a virtual office tour, you should find a group of volunteer employees willing to lead the tour. While these employees are at the office, they should start a Zoom meeting with your group of interns. Then, using a smartphone, these team members should give a full office walkthrough while explaining each space to interns. Tour leaders should also encourage the group to ask questions about the office location and company culture.
18. Virtual Field Trips
If you cannot take your interns on a team outing, then we recommend adding virtual field trips to your internship program agenda. Virtual field trips are team outings online rather than in person. These trips can happen using tools like Zoom or Google Street View.
In addition, many platforms offer online tours of historical landmarks, museums, or zoos. These field trips often use live video feeds, pre-recorded tours, and interactive activities to form the experience. Virtual field trips are one of the best interactive activities to enhance your company’s internship experience.
Check out more virtual field trip ideas.
19. Online Intern Party
An online intern party is one of the best virtual internship event ideas to end your program. We suggest hosting a virtual party on Zoom where the group can play games, discuss highlights of their intern experiences, and share goals for the future. To make the online party extra engaging, we recommend mailing your interns a gift box before this event. Inside your gift box, you can include items that can bring fun to your online parties, such as drinks, snacks, party favors, and games.
During your virtual party, you should also ask for interns’ feedback on your program. By gathering insights from employees who have completed the program, you can brainstorm ways to improve the experience for future interns.
Here is a list of virtual team celebration ideas.
Virtual internships are work placements where students can work from home. In a virtual internship program, you should remember to make the experience as engaging as possible. In a remote setting, interns cannot meet their peers face-to-face, making online events and team building activities even more important.
We suggest creating a calendar of social activities and virtual events that will take place throughout the program. You should remain consistent and plan events one to two times per week, giving interns enough opportunities to connect and interact with each other.
Next, check out these lists of virtual leadership activities and new employee onboarding tips.