Aston Business School in Birmingham is expanding its global virtual internship programme to provide international placement opportunities for its postgraduate students faced with travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Work Global, Stay Local programme offers students the possibility of working remotely for a real company for up to 300 hours in an industry related to their career choice and to develop digital and remote working competencies in the process. 

It also provides access to delivery partner Virtual Internships’ training platform, CareerBridge, which offers one-on-one career coaching sessions, an internship development report, host company reference, advice on building a CV and how to leverage the internship in interviews.

The virtual internship programme is part of a comprehensive package of online activities that has been developed to provide a ‘virtual skills framework’ for Aston Business School students to help them navigate the new ways of working and ensure that they are work-ready when their finish their courses. Activities include a business case competition, crisis management simulation, business clinic, skills development sessions, personal brand workshops and career management advice.

Elsa Zenatti-Daniels, postgraduate student development lead at Aston Business School, said:

“When all on-campus and face-to-face activities ceased at the end of March because of the UK government lockdown, our aim quickly shifted to delivering a virtual offering to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to continue learning. 

“For the last two years, we have worked with our delivery partner Virtual Internships to offer remote working placements to those of our students who were not mobile. In the light of the pandemic, we have increased the original 20 funded places to 70 scholarship places. 

“We are committed to providing valuable and relevant personal and professional development activities delivered virtually during the course of the summer term to get our students work-ready when their course comes to an end. 

“The whole programme is designed to take into account the new virtual and digital world the pandemic had thrown us into and focus on related knowledge and skills.”