I was going through the InternQueen Blog, and I came across a post, The Intern&s Closet, by our University of Central Florida Campus Ambassador, Sara. It got me thinking about what your closet should look like – if you&re a virtual intern! Because, granted, you don&t have to dress up to be productive at work – and your best impression is your voice over the phone, or your grammar in your e-mails, and the way you express yourself behind a computer screen.
So let&s get to it. What does a virtual intern need in his or her virtual “closet”? Here are a few essentials.
One. You need a laptop. This one&s a given. We&re talking about virtual internships people: this is the 21st century and you need your laptop if you&re going to be working mostly online.
Two. Google Calendar is your best friend. What I love most about Google Calendar is that you can have multiple calendars (for instance, your InternQueen blogging schedule in one, your classes in another, and your social life in yet another calendar) and view them in one go so that it&s easy to tell whether you&re available on Wednesday at 6.00 PM or not. You can also access Google Calendar from your iPhone, or other smartphones, on the go. It&s easy to share and very user-friendly, which is why I think it works great with internship schedules.
Three. Assertiveness. If you&re going to be talking to people you haven&t met, over the phone, you need to be sure of where you stand, what you know, and what you don&t know. If you don&t understand something, let the other person/people on the line know. They won&t be there to see the confusion on your face, so you need to be straightforward about anything and everything.
Four. A conscience buddy. I love this one. This is an outsider (could be a friend) who knows about your internship, and will keep on asking you about it and how it&s going on a regular basis. Why? Because it&s easy to slack off at a virtual internship. There&s no one behind your shoulder wanting to know how far along that one project you are. A conscience buddy keeps talking to you about it, and keeps you disciplined. It&s just helpful to have someone nagging you about work sometimes.
Five. Time. It&s easy to pile up on virtual internships because the myth is that they&re often not a lot of work. Wrong! It all depends on how much effort you put in, and what the company&s expectations of you are. Just make sure that when you add a virtual internship to your plate, you have the dedication needed. The company is depending on you, someone who isn&t going to be there physically, to put in time and effort. And you don&t want to sign up for something you don&t have the energy for!
What else do you have in your virtual “closet”? I might have missed something since every closet depends on what kind of internship it is. Leave your “items” in the comments below to share with others!