This blog was written by Lauren Nevidomsky, a Campus Ambassador from Binghamton University. She is studying Political Science and Global Management and would love to work in sports one day. Follow her on Twitter at @nevidomsky92.
The summer is a time for growth, while enjoying the warm weather and having a fun time going to the beach, seeing concerts, and hanging out with old friends. The summer also brings with it the opportunity for internships and to explore future career options. Although most students take the traditional route of interning at an office either part- or full-time, some students find themselves at a computer virtually interning from the comfort of their own homes. I’ve taken the latter route, and couldn’t be happier. However, with the comfort of working from one’s home, comes the possibility of procrastinating and not actually getting your work done when needed. Here are some tips to keep those of you virtually interning this summer on track:
1. Create a Schedule
The most important thing to do when virtually interning is to make a schedule. Being at home affords you the liberty to wake up late and work at your own pace, but you shouldn’t take advantage of that. If it makes it easier for you, work out specific times that your internship coordinator wants you working so you know when you are on the clock. Another alternative is to determine daily or weekly goals with your internship coordinator, and then allotting yourself enough time to complete the tasks at hand.
2. Don’t Take Advantage of your Work Environment
Just because you are working from home, doesn’t mean you can go on day trips, take long lunches, or say you’re sick when you’re not. Even though you don’t have to come to an office with set-hours, and your boss doesn’t necessarily have any ability to make sure you are working when you need to be, this doesn’t mean you can blow off your work. I know this first-hand, as I personally find it tempting to spend the day at the beach, and do my work at night, when some of my tasks are really meant to be done during the day. Virtual internships should be built on trust; therefore you should create an environment for yourself where you know your boss will be able to trust that you are getting the work done.
3. If you do plan to take a day off, find other times to do your work
So let’s say you do take a day-trip to the beach or an amusement park. This is definitely one of the perks of virtually interning, since you don’t have to lie about why you didn’t come to the office one day. If you do decide to do this, plan ahead to get your work done the day before or at night after you come home from whatever you were doing. You should never make your boss believe that you are slacking on your tasks. Also, be honest about what other commitments you may have, in case your boss tries to contact you during the day and you are nowhere to be found.
All in all, being a virtual intern definitely has its perks: working at your own pace, waking you up whenever you want, saving money on transportation, having time to go tan and work out, the list goes on and on. However, as described here, it is important not to take advantage of these perks, since your boss hired you for a reason and you should value the opportunity as much as you would an opportunity to intern at an office. Now with these tips, you are well on your way to being the best summer virtual intern your company has ever seen!
To check out another perspective on virtual internships check out a blog post by our CA from USF, Ashley Moncrieffe, titled The Inside Scoop on My First Virtual Internship Experience here!