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With new and different ways of working devised due to the pandemic, a project was trialled to offer students on the Global Digital Entrepreneurship learning programme a virtual work experience internship as part of their studies.

The programme is non-credit bearing and supports second career seekers, current entrepreneurs and students to become competent global digital entrepreneurs.

The interns were degree and visiting students from the UK and abroad studying at the University of Chester, with one student from the University of Oxford. Students joined the online ceremony from the UK and China.

The virtual work experience placements ran for four weeks with a start-up education company to help developing curriculum for 15 to 18-year-old students. The interns helped with market research, data analysis, social media campaigns and designing pitches to secure funding as well as strategic development and planning. 

During the project, the students had the opportunity to go through the process of applying for a job, taking part in an interview and an induction as well as their virtual work experience. Each student also developed a three-year career development plan at the end of the project and will take part in a yearly catch up with a Mentor after the project’s completion. The University provided students with training and mentorship and incorporated research and case studies into its long-term academic research. ​

The online ceremony was opened by Project Leader Lucy Liang and the students were presented with their Certificate of Completion online and given the best wishes for their future.

Student Vivian Zhou was part of the project co-ordination team as well as a participant. She said: “Taking on two roles was a challenge but I managed both successfully. Every step counts on the road to development.”

The University plans to run more virtual work experience placements in the future.

Lucy Liang said: “The Virtual Work Experience Project offers students a ‘go beyond’ experience-based e-learning opportunity. It links students, employers and education together. It is a multiple-win project that gives the students an insight of real workplace and improve a range of work-related skills for their future success in life.”

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