What is a Remote Externship?

For companies, Remote Externships are an efficient way to offer a real world work experience opportunity to a large group of diverse students. Typically, companies would be able to reach many more students than they would through a traditional internship.

Tamara Mathias
February 2, 2022

Paragon One answers the question we get asked the most, and a few others.

Since the Industrial Age, human society has developed dozens of ways to prepare young people to join the workforce and develop specialized skills. 

Even though apprenticeships of the ancient world have been supplanted by coding bootcamps and internships today, the value of experiential learning has remained steadfast through the ages.

Fast forward to 2020. Researchers estimate that 1.3 billion people around the world have competencies misaligned with the work they perform, making it vital for education systems to impart students with job-ready skills before they begin their careers.

While young people no longer indenture themselves to master craftsmen to learn new trades, modern versions of apprenticeships continue to exist under various names. Doctors complete residencies. Universities intersperse their academic training with practical work opportunities via co-op programs. And every generation of college students hustles hard to find summer internships.

In a digital age that not only requires but expects graduating students to enter the workforce with skills and savvy, remote externships stand out as work experience opportunities that allow students the flexibility of asynchronous work, while providing them with a scaffolding of mentorship that eases their transition from classroom to office.

Internships vs Externships

What is the difference between internships and externships? 

While the lines blur, externships are typically shorter and more structured than internships, so students are supported with training and mentorship as they work on corporate assignments. This gives them the opportunity to contextualize what they’re learning and quickly gain an understanding of what it is like to work in a particular industry.

At Paragon One, an externship is an online experiential learning program that is more accessible and flexible than an internship and that comes with structured training and mentorship. Students who pursue remote externships through the Paragon One platform spend six to eight weeks with a diverse, global cohort, working on a real business problem for a company.

The Paragon One team collaborates with the company offering the project to distill it into a format that students can grasp, develops training that will equip them to work on it and manages the team from start to finish.

Unlike internships, our externships are fully-managed remote experiences optimized for a company’s time. They’re also designed to be student-focused, so all candidates receive a cohesive, consistent learning and mentorship experience, from cohort to cohort. 

The quality of internship programs at many companies are notoriously reliant on the coaching capabilities and availability of individual managers assigned to oversee interns. Paragon One’s remote externships create opportunities for students to ask questions, receive coaching and feedback and aim to ensure all “externs” receive a worthwhile experience of uniform quality. Our externships are broken down into modules that each provide discrete and continuous learning opportunities.

Remote Internships for the Summer of 2021

Does Paragon One have any available?

COVID19 and the dawn of the work-from-home age has ensured that people all over the world have adapted to virtual work environments. As we head into 2021, Paragon One will continue to offer remote externships that allow students to gain work experience in different industries, all year round. This means we’re also able to cater to students looking for spring 2021 internships and summer 2021 internships.

Our remote externships in fields like venture capital, digital marketing and market research will run throughout the year and can be completed alongside other commitments, like school. Our externs typically work about 10 hours a week.

Explore what remote externships are available here.

Because all our externship programs are remote, students log in on their own devices from anywhere in the world and complete projects on their own time, at their own pace.

While the program is structured with definite start and end dates, and certain virtual meetings call for live attendance, the flexibility that remote externships give students allows them to develop a work schedule that fits in with other commitments, such as classes, travel or a job.

Students regularly engage with program managers and each other via instant messaging and video conferencing, receive project-specific training and input work on Paragon One’s proprietary platform.

The best part? Our remote externships are open to all students, no matter what their majors are. We believe students should get a chance to explore what it’s like to work in different industries as part of their education.

Do Remote Externships Replace Internships?

Short answer: no. 

We believe the remote externship is a prequel to a traditional internship or first job. Why? Remote externships are designed to be accessible to all students, no matter their background and training. They’re great for young people who want their first taste of what it would be like to work in a particular industry. It can often be difficult for a student to lock down an internship or job without already having relevant work experience to demonstrate their abilities on their resume. That’s why we offer remote externships to students based on their potential, rather than prior work experience.

For companies, remote externships are an efficient way to offer a work experience opportunity to many more diverse students than it would be possible to reach through a traditional internship. It can cost companies between $6,000 to $7,000 to bring on a summer intern and many more resources, such as manager time, that make it difficult to offer multiple spots in an internship program. Companies can use remote externships as a scalable early talent identification tool to assess which candidates merit further investment. 

Candidates who successfully complete Paragon One’s remote externships have a chance to demonstrate their commitment to an employer, make an impression with their work and showcase presentation and time management skills that typically are harder for companies to assess before hiring, even through a series of interviews. 

Since remote externships are designed as experiential learning programs, students build specific skills based on the projects they’re assigned. They’re motivated to stay committed and demonstrate what they’ve learned via assignments and a final presentation, because they receive tangible credentialing and letters of recommendation to showcase on their portfolios at the end of the program. When eligible, students may apply externships toward an academic program with their institutions.

Remote externships strive to close the opportunity gap by opening up valuable work-learning opportunities for everyone. 

Paragon One is proud to have served over 1,000 students this past year, giving many who live in small towns or foreign countries, or come from underrepresented communities, the chance to work on real projects for competitive startups, Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms.  

Tamara Mathias

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