10 Tips to Make Your Remote Internship a Success
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
Remote working was on the rise before COVID 19 and is likely to stay around long after it is gone. A remote internship is a great way to kickstart your career, gain real world skills, and build a network of overseas contacts in your industry. It can also count as academic credit if the internships meet the minimum requirements of your university. Once you have secured your internship with a company the hard part is over, as long as you follow our 10 Tips to Make Your Remote Internship a Success:
1. Manage your time and schedule
Put all of your meetings, project deadlines and social events into your online calendar. Set notifications to prompt you to keep on top of your schedule. This will ensure that you are always on time for meetings, you will always submit your projects on time or early, and you will never miss a chance to socialise with your colleagues. Between events and deadlines manage your time by dividing your day between tasks and allocating a certain amount of time to concentrate on each one in order of importance. Prioritising and finishing important and pressing projects will free up your time to work on other tasks that you enjoy.
2. Develop a Clear Job Description
Work closely with your manager or mentor to define your job description. This will be a mix of the things that you are really great at, tasks you enjoy and the tasks that your manager or supervisor needs you to complete. Tell them what you are good at and what you enjoy doing and show how you can incorporate it into your tasks. Every company has certain tasks that are boring and repetitive but they just need to be done. Get it done quickly and efficiently and move on to a task that you enjoy more, this will show a good work ethic and positive attitude towards your job.
3. Stay Productive
Right now, companies are dealing with a huge amount of change which can be overwhelming for the entire team. They will appreciate you taking initiative. If you feel like you have some spare time during your internship, suggest a relevant research project or another project that can add value to the host company. For example; research some opportunities that have come from the current situation and make a proposal on how the company can take advantage of these opportunities.
4. Set Clear Goals for Yourself and Achieve Them
If you put your mind to it, you can do anything, right? Write down your goals and say them out loud. Hold yourself accountable for achieving them in a set timeframe. You will also have goals that your company or team are working towards, ensure your own goals are in line with these or that they complement each other. For example, while your company’s goals will often be aimed at improving products or services, your own goals should be about improving your skills and experiences while doing the work that the company needs to reach their goals.
5. Be Professional & Prepared
Meet your targets. Do your research. Be confident in proposing your ideas. Know your industry. Offer your help if you think you can add value. If you act and treat yourself like a valuable part of team, your colleagues and mentors will treat you accordingly. Remember that you only have a limited time to make a lasting impression on your host company.
6. Take Part in Social Activities
Most companies who now have a remote team are organising some kind of online activities. Get involved! These can often be a great chance to get to know the team, the company and also to practise English with native speakers. If your company does not have a social activity calendar why not work on creating one and pitching it to your mentor.
7. Don’t Panic
Your host company understands that you are at the learning stage of your profession and are also perhaps working in your second language. The most important thing is to relax, you will not benefit yourself or the company by getting in a panic. Just breath and evaluate your situation. If you need help, just ask! Pro tip: Instead of wasting time working on something you are unsure about, send a quick email to clarify exactly what is needed from you.
8. Follow Video Call Etiquette
Sit somewhere with a neutral background, not much background noise and good lighting. Using a head set with a built-in microphone can help to reduce background noise and also help you to clearly hear what everyone is talking about. When it is your turn to speak, be confident and speak clearly. Schedule the meeting with whoever you live with to ensure there are no interruptions. Look and act professional on all virtual meetings, whether it is a casual chat with your mentor or a weekly meeting with the entire team, bring you’re a game each time.
9. Ask Questions & Learn
You will learn something new everyday if you ask questions. Listen to experienced staff and managers in meetings and show your keen interest by asking a well thought out questions. Pro tip: prepare a handful or questions before your meeting and ask one of them when given the opportunity to speak in the meeting. Absorb all of the information that you can during your internship, learn about procedures, accounts, software, marketing campaigns and so on.
10. Ask for Feedback and References
Ask for your manager or mentors’ feedback and work on the areas that need improvement. Stress that you are serious about receiving real and honest feedback. This way you will receive feedback which you can reflect on and will eventually help you to improve your skills and your value within an organisation. While it’s not always easy to hear negative comments about your work, it is almost always helpful.
Always, always, always ask your company for a reference. It can either be a signed reference on company headed paper, a LinkedIn reference or just simple permission for a company to get in contact with them regarding your experience. Be specific about which you want or need for the country you intend to work in.