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5 Tips to Succeed in Your Remote Internship

Published by Paula Mora on April 8, 2020
3 min read

Paula Mora

Paula is the Head of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Symba. Prior to joining Symba, Paula worked at the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. She is passionate about professional development for at-risk-youth, immigrants, and people of color.

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Remote work is quickly becoming the new norm. Not only are full-time employees adapting to home-based work, but so are thousands of students who are gearing up for what can potentially be the future of internships.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employees, nearly a million internships may be cancelled this summer. However, thousands of companies, such as Google, are leading the change and will soon be hosting their internships remotely. For many students, interning remotely is a brand new experience, one that causes uncertainty but provides exciting opportunities.

Here are five tips to help you make the most of your internship experience from home:

Be prepared 

Whether in-person or remote, preparing for your internship is key! Here are some extra steps you should take to ensure you are off to a great start from day one of your remote internship: 

  • Make sure you have read all relevant documentation provided by your company. This includes any training materials, role descriptions, and IT support guides. 
  • If your company is not providing them, have all necessary gadgets tested and ready for use. This includes secure high-speed internet access, a laptop or desktop, a webcam, and a headset with a built-in microphone.
  • Set up a dedicated workspace free of distractions. This can be a place where you feel inspired to work and where you have the necessary tools and materials to be productive.

Stay on track 

A remote internship gives you the opportunity to revamp your organization skills. By adopting self-monitoring practices, you can stay on top of your projects and deliverables.

  • Explore new tools to keep yourself organized. You can use either a monthly planner, an online app, or a combination of both. There are lots of tools out there to help you stay on track.
  • Just as you should keep track of future due dates, you should also keep a running list of all the projects you have completed. This way you can easily access all of your accomplishments once you finish your internship.
  • By being responsible and keeping track of your work, you will demonstrate you are reliable and have a better chance of being considered for a full-time position.

Communicate often 

In remote internships, as with any home-based work, communication is key. Having the right amount of communication can make the difference between a rewarding internship and a not so rewarding one.

  • Goals and expectations should be clearly outlined from the get go. If you have any doubts or questions, make sure to voice them as soon as they arise.
  • Communication is not a one-way street. When communicating with your supervisor, do so in an active and engaged manner.
  • If you run into any issues, make sure you reach out to your supervisor. They are here to help.

Engage with mentors

One of the most rewarding aspects of any internship is the opportunity to be mentored by seasoned professionals, and this is still the case with remote internships.

  • If your internship program does not already pair you with a mentor, reach out to potential colleagues whom you’d like to learn from and see if they’d like to grab a virtual coffee and share career advice.
  • If you are paired with a mentor, maintain active contact and communication. Be the one to schedule virtual chats, and be very clear on what you would like to gain from this mentorship. 

Go a step beyond 

Remote internships prevent us from being fully immersed in the physical and cultural space of an organization, but you can make the most of it by going above and beyond.

  • Don’t wait for your supervisor to ask for your input. Instead be proactive and creative, and prove that you can be a valuable team member in the future.
  • Engage in projects outside of your area of responsibility. These projects could help you strengthen your network and explore new career opportunities.
  • Share suggestions for how your internship program can be improved. Remember you are not a passive participant but an active creator of the internship experience. Come up with new ways of doing things, suggest online events, share interesting content, and lend a helping hand.  

The future of work is remote, and interns are the future of work. We hope you adopt these tips to succeed at your next remote internship! Stay tuned for more remote internship articles.

By Paula Mora Arias

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