5 Tips for Making the Most of a Remote Internship
Internships are a valuable opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience during the summer months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these positions have shifted to virtual experiences in order to adhere to social distancing and safer at home orders.
Remote positions are likely a new experience, even for seasoned interns. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to make the most of a virtual internship this summer.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Start your virtual internship off on the right foot by preparing in advance. Check in with your internship supervisor several weeks prior to your start date to make sure you have completed all the necessary paperwork and pre-onboarding processes. Stay up to date on news within the organization by following their social media accounts and reading any recent articles. Don’t forget to brainstorm a list of goals to guide your process. Note three to five different skills or competencies you wish to gain from your internship experience and refer back to this list throughout your experience to track your progress and stay accountable.
Interns should always strive to go the extra mile, but this will be particularly important during a remote experience. Avoid doing the bare minimum and spending the rest of your workday surfing the web. Instead, continue to seek out supplemental experiences and new opportunities to learn. Touch base with your supervisor at least weekly to discuss your workload, the progress you have made on various projects, and additional tasks you can take on to maximize your learning experience. If you have any downtime, research topics that relate to the work you are doing to stay engaged.
Don’t Shy Away from Asking Questions
It’s inevitable that you will have questions when learning something new. It might feel intimidating at first, but don’t be afraid to reach out to your supervisor with these queries. Particularly during a remote experience, it’s important that you’re very clear on how to perform certain tasks because you won’t have an in-person colleague to turn to. Whether it’s screen-sharing, video explainers, or written instructions, explore different mediums to make sure you have the knowledge needed to succeed.
Create Opportunities to Connect
Internships can be an important step in your professional journey. Supervisors can write letters of recommendation and serve as references for future positions. Consequently, building relationships with your team is important, but it can also prove challenging in a remote environment.
Many companies are taking advantage of platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to host virtual catch-ups and team-building experiences. If these opportunities are available to you, make every effort to join in. Regardless, make sure you have the chance to speak with your supervisor at least once per week. A standing weekly check-in is an excellent opportunity to review your progress and set new goals.
Put it in Perspective
If you’re struggling to adjust to a virtual internship, you’re likely not alone. For many companies, remote experiences are a relatively new phenomenon and your supervisor is likely still adapting to the experience as well. To make the most of this and smooth out any potential challenges, strive to keep the lines of communication open from day one. Update your supervisor and fellow interns and share what’s working for you and any difficulties you are facing.
While many students didn’t envision a remote position when applying for summer internships, these roles are still an excellent opportunity to expand your skillset and explore career paths that interest you. If you are preparing for an internship and looking for specialized guidance, our team of college admissions experts can help you ensure that you make the most of it.