Your hard work has paid off. After clearing the assignments and/or interview, you have been finally hired as a virtual intern. You know the various advantages of being a remote intern and are understandably very excited for your internship to begin; however, there are some tricky aspects to working online that you should keep in mind. Since this could be your first experience of a virtual internship, here are some tips to help you on your way to make the most out of this internship:
The first week of any virtual internship is really crucial
Establish proper communication with your mentor – clear all your doubts about the stipend, expected work hours, or the daily schedule. Convey your exam dates, semester breaks, and any college fests which you will attend beforehand so that your mentor can come up with a detailed work plan.
Get acquainted with the tools like Skype, Google Docs, Dropbox etc. – you will be using them for the most part of your internship. Since e-mail would be your primary mode of communication, it is imperative you learn the art of effective e-mail writing.
Ask for continuous feedback
You only get limited guidance and mentoring in a virtual internship but don’t let that hamper your professional development during the internship. Send your mentor daily updates through e-mails and ask for her feedback regularly. You need to be patient too; your mentor may have lots on her plate and probably won’t be able to give the feedback right away.
Take an active part in team building activities
As virtual internships take place outside of the workplace, there are generally few opportunities to get an insight into the working environment of the company. So, whenever there’s a team activity (virtual or physical) make sure that you participate actively and leave an impression on everyone’s mind. That way you can develop interpersonal relationships and strengthen your network.
If you just do what you have been told and keep waiting for the directions from your mentor for every new thing, there is only so much you will learn. Take initiatives and go that extra mile to leave a lasting impression. For instance, if you are hired to write articles for the company blog, you can also learn to create personalised cover images using Illustrator or suggest relevant Social Media campaigns. Similarly, if you come across a website with features which your company lacks, you can suggest those to your mentor.
Stay on top of the deadlines
It’s harder to be on time in a virtual environment when you don’t have anyone constantly checking in with you. You need to be self-disciplined and motivated. Keep track of important dates and assignments in your personal calendar, along with maintaining a daily task list. Even if it’s a virtual internship, your goal should be to stand out as best as you can.
With a bit of planning and effort, a virtual internship can really boost your career. If you perform well, you can even convert it into an in-office position during your summer/winter break or after graduation.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication