THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
JANUARY FEBRUARY 2015
to nd something that interests them. I “e-interned” for the
O ce to Combat and Monitor Tra cking in Persons. I am the
founder of the Human Rights Club on my campus, and am
passionate about combating human tra cking, so this was a
dream internship for me.
I poured my heart into it, and invested more than 20 hours
a week doing media research and translating from Farsi and
French on a variety of human tra cking topics: individuals
tra cked for the sake of suicide bombing, forced begging and
Quranic schools, forced labor and tra cking in the hospitality
Some say that a virtual internship does not provide stu-
dents with real professional development and networking.
However, that is far from the truth. I had to learn to communi-
cate with formal language via phone, email and Skype with my
VSFS supervisors. I was expected to promptly return emails
and had to be on time for all phone and Skype sessions, for
which I dressed professionally.
My intern supervisors acted as mentors, o ering me profes-
sional development, academic advice and valuable letters of
ey even made the e ort to introduce me
virtually to other professionals in my eld to expand my net-
work. Maybe I was not sitting at an o ce desk from 8 a.m. to
5 p.m., but I gained valuable professional experience working
directly in my eld.
Overall, the internship surpassed my expectations, and the
virtual component enabled me to apply myself to meet high
standards. Like any internship, you get as much out of it as you
put into it.
U.S. News & World Report
states that “internships are a
near necessity in the quest to nd a job in today’s market.”
virtual internship is a unique avenue for students to e ectively
gain experience in their eld. Now it’s time for more students
to capitalize on globalization and technology. Financial and
geographic obstacles are no longer an excuse.
As the saying goes, “Where's there's a will, there's a way.”