Preparation

Five Tips for a Successful Virtual Internship

Virtual internships are more common than ever due to the pandemic. Even as offices start to open back up, it’s likely that at least some virtual internships are here to stay. Here are five tips to make the most of a virtual experience:

Communicate regularly with your supervisor. Since you won’t be able to pop by their office with questions, it’s really important that you have consistent communication with your supervisor so that you can update them on your progress, ask questions, and seek out new projects. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor to set up a recurring meeting time with you to check in!

Build relationships with other interns and professionals. It can be challenging to build relationships in a virtual format, so that’s why it’s great to participate in any informal virtual coffee meetups or team building opportunities that your organization provides. You should also also make an effort to set up meetings with professionals or other interns on your team to learn about them and their work. Learn more about how to build relationships in a virtual internship in this video

Show initiative. If you find yourself with free time during your work hours, resist the temptation to turn on Netflix, and instead volunteer to help with a project or ask a colleague how you can support their work. This will help you to make a great impression and to continue to learn from your internship. 

Ask questions about the company culture and office norms. You might be wondering if your organization offers employee resource groups or flexible work arrangements. Or maybe you’re not sure about the proper Slack etiquette or if interns participate in team meetings. Asking these types of questions will not only help you to be successful in your internship, but will also help you to learn if the company culture is a fit with your values.

Stick to a schedule and limit distractions. Maintaining a consistent work schedule will help you to be productive during work hours while also knowing when it’s time to log off. If you live with others, share your schedule with them to limit interruptions. Using timers and putting your phone on do not disturb can also help you stay focused. Learn more about these strategies in this article about overcoming WFH distractions. 

If you’re interested in learning even more about having a successful virtual internship, check out this guide on virtual internships. You can also schedule an appointment with a Career Coach to talk about virtual internship strategies. 

—By Salome Miclette, Assistant Director, Career Education

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