Remote work is becoming more popular for college students while they are earning their degree and after graduation. This change was imminent, but fast-tracked by a global pandemic that forced our workforce to adapt. So why is it growing in popularity?

Employers are offering more remote opportunities

Chattanooga, Tennessee, is home to some of the fastest internet in the world and was recently named the #1 Best Work-from-Home City in the U.S. by Forbes. There are several large employers in the Chattanooga area that have adopted the idea of remote interns including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Unum, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Research through Global Workplace Analytics shows that businesses lose $600 billion a year to workplace distractions, and that remote workers are 35% to 40% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Employers are not only saving money on facilities costs, but they are also seeing increases the productivity of employees within their organization.

“In the Financial Services department at Tennessee Valley Authority, our internship program is important for recruitment, as many of our interns become TVA employees after they graduate,” says Lyndsay Sneckenberger, Rotational Management Development at Tennessee Valley Authority. “Last summer, TVA made the decision to move forward with our summer internship program in a virtual environment. We were in uncharted waters conducting the entire program remotely, but are able to provide our interns with meaningful work experience, networking, job shadowing, technical skills workshops, and many other opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. With the success of the summer program, we have continued our remote internships through the fall and spring terms.”

Students can continue their education while working a remote internship

Many students need the flexibility to attend class in-person or online throughout the day. Because of this, business students who are interested in experiential learning through internships must look for flexible work options.

Popular areas of study for remote work in 2021 within business fields

According to U.S. News there are several areas of study within business fields that will be popular for remote work careers in 2021:

  • Accounting
  • Market Research Analysis
  • Marketing Management
  • Actuarial Studies
  • Management Analysis

Remote work offers flexibility and often improves quality of life for some

According to FlexJobs, having a choice of work environment and work location is now a key factor for many job seekers when searching for a better work-life balance and evaluating new career opportunities. Business students and recent graduates can choose to work from home or even in a coffee shop if they choose to.

In an interview with Jaclyn York, Career Services Internship Coordinator in the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business, she explains “…as long as your duties can be performed online, whether it be data analytics or accounting, many companies are allowing students to have remote internships in 2021.”

How can you stand out in such a competitive arena?

Set yourself apart by making employers remember you, not just your resume. Ways to stand out in a crowd could include creating a portfolio of your work, creating special projects for yourself to show what you would do in the role you are applying for, and networking to build a community of professionals around you that can help you make the right connections.

For additional career development and internship resources, reach out to the UTC Gary W. Rollins College of Business Decosimo Success Center by emailing DecosimoSuccessCenter@utc.edu or call (423) 425-5111.

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