While there are many benefits of doing a virtual internship from home — tackling chores during lunchtime, hanging with pets, ordering food without judgement — it can be a challenge to be focused and productive, especially if it’s your first remote position. As with any new experience, it’s important to educate yourself, prepare well, and connect with people who can guide or advise you.
Here are four tips our interns gave us to help you crush your virtual internship.
How does one stay organized when they don’t have access to a physical office? Despite what you might think, virtual internships can require more accountability and responsibility than in-person internships, especially when it comes to organization. It’s up to you to create a workspace for yourself, stay on top of your to-do list, and track projects without the presence of an on-site supervisor. On the bright side, if you can handle it remotely, you’ll be able to highlight this all-too-crucial skill to future employers.
Tips to stay organized:
- Set up your workspace in a way that invites organization. If you can, use a desk or table so you can keep your supplies organized in the same place. Make it so your workspace is distraction free. When you sit down, you want to feel ready to work.
- Make use of apps! There are tons of electronic resources to keep you on track, whether it’s Microsoft Suite, Google Suite or even Apple Notes or Evernote.
2. Time Management
Of all the tips we can give you for your virtual internship, this one is really important. In an office, you have fewer personal distractions and opportunities to waste time than when you’re at home in charge of your own schedule. With no boss around, it can feel like there’s more opportunity for you to play. A quick TikTok break can easily become an hour-long rabbit hole, leaving you wondering “what happened to my time?!”
Tips for time management:
- Start your day off the same as you would going to the office. Wake up with enough time to get dressed, make coffee and have breakfast.
- Remove unwanted distractions from your workplace. This could mean leaving your personal phone in another room, blocking access to distracting websites, or even working at a coffee shop to stay away from the TV.
One of the biggest challenges of working remotely is the lack of face-to-face socialization. Even if you’ll never meet your supervisor and coworkers in person, it’s important to connect with them on a professional and personal level. Although you’ll want to make a good impression and keep things professional at the beginning, you can slowly warm up and start connecting with them personally. Chances are that if they’re also working remotely, they’ll appreciate time to socialize too.
Tips for socialization:
- Realize your coworkers are starved for socialization as well!
- Try to increase your socialization with family and friends
- Make a “buddy” or mentor at work. This is someone besides your supervisor who you can go to with questions and who you can chat with and learn from.
In a typical office setting, you complete a project or assignment and typically get instant feedback. At the very least, you can see your supervisor’s reaction as they’re reviewing it. This isn’t the case for remote internships, and it can be tough to know whether your work is satisfactory. When it comes to feedback, communication is key.
Tips for feedback:
- Realize you are totally within your rights to ask for feedback. Communcation is key.
- Ask for regular meetings and check-ins if they aren’t already established.
Are you interested in a virtual international internship?
A virtual internship is a fantastic way to gain international work experience and boost your resumé from the comfort of your home. Start your application today and a member of our team will reach out to you to start the process!