6 Ways to make the most of a virtual internship
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
A virtual internship can offer you a lot of valuable workplace experience and the chance to make lasting connections, despite being different to a regular in-person internship.
In some cases, it might just mean you have to put in a little more effort to get the maximum benefit. Like with any internship, your goal should be to stand out as best you can.
Here are some tips about how to make the most of your remote internship experience.
1. Be pro-active & build trust
Do not wait for things to happen, be pro-active and find out if there is anything more you could be doing or helping with. In the first week or two, take on tasks, no matter how small. Your supervisor and colleagues will notice if you take your work seriously and do your work well and this will most likely lead to larger, more important, and more challenging tasks. Once you have finished a task, ask for new projects. This will demonstrate that you have a genuine interest in the organisation and will build trust and give your supervisor confidence in your abilities & willingness to contribute.
2. Stay organized
Working remotely can make you feel like ‘nobody is watching’ and you may forget to stay organized by noting down deadlines, meetings, and follow-ups. Keep a notepad by your side and write things down to stay on top of everything, such as agreed deadlines, dates & assignments. This is especially important, as you will not necessarily have those daily ‘passing moments’ where somebody asks how you are doing on your project, you’ll need to remind yourself.
3. Be honest about your workload
Don’t be a super-hero. You might be tempted to take on more than you can handle to impress your new co-workers or might simply be afraid to say ‘no’. Remember, there is only so much time in a day, and the virtual internship experience is really for you to learn & grow. If at any point you are feeling overwhelmed, be sure to communicate with your supervisor. In most cases, quality will always be preferred over quantity.
4. Stay connected
As a virtual intern, you do not want to disappear from your supervisor’s radar. To avoid this, agree with your supervisor & co-workers how best they would like to be updated, and make sure to use their preferred channels, for example, email, chats, or project management systems. Request to schedule at least one call per week directly with your supervisor throughout your internship to talk things through, and for your supervisor to check in with you.
5. Ask questions
When you receive instructions on an assignment for your remote internship, ask questions before starting and as you work. Firstly, this will help make sure that you fully understand what it is you are doing or expected to do. Secondly, this will give confidence to your supervisor and/or co-workers that you will be able to do the work as you have understood the expectations & paremeters of your assignment. During the first couple of weeks you might feel a little verwhelmed as you adapt to not only new people but also a different work culture – it is expected that you might have lots of questions.
Your primary job as an intern is to learn. During your virtual internship it is important to ask for continuous feedback and especially during the last week. Be sincere with your supervisor and co-works by requesting that you would like feedback, including constructive criticism. This will help you self-reflect, improve, grow & consider the skills you are learning, things you have done well and on what areas you could improve;
Did you accomplish your personal goals? Did you exceed the expectations of your mentor and co-workers? Did you learn what you wanted to? Could you have done more?
This blog post was written & published by Intern Colombia on 02 June 2021