In today’s increasingly globalized and remote workforce, more and more students and young professionals are taking on remote internships. While remote work and distributed teams aren’t new concepts, the transition to remote internships may seem daunting. It might be difficult to know how to do well in an online internship if you’ve only ever had more traditional work experience. Fortunately, succeeding in a virtual setting is very similar to doing so in-person, with the added angles of time, space, and technology of course!
If you’re wondering how to do well in an online internship, look no further.
Here are five tips to help you stand out, and make the most out of your virtual experience:
1. Don’t be afraid of creativity
Most companies hire interns as a pipeline into full-time roles, and to encourage fresh thinking and creative ideas. Don’t be afraid of your creativity – bring interesting and new ideas to the table, and propose solutions to problems that others haven’t yet brought up. Not every idea you propose will be an instant hit, but as you get to know the company and its customers better, your proposals will become more targeted. Get in the habit of contributing, and thinking outside the box as much as possible.
2. Leverage your outsider perspective
Take advantage of the fact that you’re not a company insider. Your unique background gives you a different approach to business issues, and your suggestions will therefore be different from those who’ve worked there for years.
3. Ask questions
Asking questions shows you are engaged, attentive, and interested in what they’re saying and doing. Asking thoughtful, relevant questions, both in group and one-on-one settings, will get you noticed by the right people. However, asking people about themselves, their career trajectory, and advice, is a great way to begin building relationships. Ask questions to find mentors, build a network, and maybe even make some friends.
4. Be confident in yourself
Having confidence in your work and ideas is one of the most important tips for how to do well in an online internship. Your manager won’t be sitting next to you, looking over your shoulder, and your teammates aren’t gathered around brainstorming together. Be confident in your abilities, do good work, and be prepared to back it. If you can take an assignment and complete it with confidence, everyone will notice.
5. Make it personal
In a virtual setting, especially one where other people may have worked together in person before the company went remote, go out of your way to make personal connections. This includes turning on your camera for meetings, and maybe showing up a few minutes early to chat with the host. Attend all of those virtual happy hours and trivial nights, no matter how intimidating they may seem. Ask a coworker you admire to grab a virtual coffee and chat about their career path.
Discover our remote internship programs here.