This is a guest blog post written by our current summer 2016 intern Sarah DeLuca. You can find her on Twitter @sarahfdeluca.
Virtual internships are great opportunities to gain new skills and explore various career paths for those of us who don’t live in a major city or cannot commute to a traditional in-office internship. However, if you want to learn a lot, make good connections, and really excel in your position (as all good interns do), a virtual internship does present its own challenges.
Don’t worry though, with passion and a good Wi-Fi connection, you’re already on your way to being a rock star virtual intern! Here are a few tips to help you stand out to your employer and ace your remote internship:
1. Set Yourself Up For Success
In order to succeed in a virtual internship, you need to take it just as seriously as you would take a more traditional internship! I like to get ready in the morning just like I would if I were going into an office. I wear business attire (down to the shoes!) to get myself into the proper mindset to hustle and be productive.
In addition, a clean, quiet workspace with your chargers, a notepad and reliable Wi-Fi is essential to a virtual intern. Conference calls or Skype check-ins are common methods of communication for a virtual team and you don’t want your boss or manager to have any difficulty reaching you.
2. Keep Everything Organized
Staying organized during a remote internship includes staying on top of deadlines, meetings and follow-ups. Consider keeping a notepad or planner by you at all times during your virtual internship so you can jot things down! From dates and times to ongoing projects, writing everything down will help you stay ahead in your position!
3. Stay Connected
As a virtual employee, it is easy to disappear from your manager’s radar. You never want your team to wonder what you’re working on (or even worse, if you’re working at all). To avoid this, I would recommend checking in with your team at the beginning of every shift detailing what you will be working on throughout the day. Then, follow up as you make your way through your tasks.
Let your team know when you move from one task to another and then at the end of the day, send a recap email to your manager listing exactly what you accomplished during your shift. These recap emails are good opportunities to really highlight your work ethic and quality, and they also keep you in the front of your manager’s mind when the time comes to ask for a recommendation.
4. Take Initiative
My last tip for rocking your virtual internship is to take initiative! Once you’ve completed the items on your to-do list, let somebody on your team know that you’re available to take on something new. Do not just sit around and wait for somebody to reach out to you!
The goal of an internship is to learn, so take advantage of all of the opportunities that you can. If you see an opportunity to work on a new kind of project or to listen in to a call with the CEO, don’t be afraid to ask about it!
Whether you are completing your internship over the summer or during a semester at school, stay driven and follow these tips and you will be an outstanding virtual intern!