The coronavirus may have upended educational facilities and the job market, but remote internships are still possible in the era of social distancing. Just because remote internships are still accessible doesn't mean they're easy, however, and new interns should be preparing themselves for the hard work that awaits them. To make the most of your remote internship, you need to learn how to manage your technology properly while also establishing relationships with other professionals who can help you out in the future.
From finding the right gear to adhering to a strict schedule, here's a review of how to make the most of your remote internship.
Start by reviewing your technology
If you've secured a remote internship, you've probably already given at least some thought to what technology you'll be relying on to fulfill your responsibilities. Ask yourself if you have a powerful computer - while you would normally need a portable laptop, in this era of social distancing a traditional desktop is more manageable than it otherwise would be. You should also familiarize yourself with video services like Skype and Zoom ahead of time, as there's no worse way to make a bad first impression than by failing to connect to an all staff video meeting on your first day.
If you're stressed out about the digitization of your internship, know that you're not alone. A review of the tech industry shows that big tech companies, which usually offer prized summer internships, are being forced to digitize and go remote themselves. Unfortunately, this may entail a smaller financial stipend than usual, and will probably mean that intern classes will shrink in terms of their overall size as time progresses. Making the most of your remote internship thus requires you to work particularly hard and set clear goals for yourself.
According to information provided by Princeton's Center for Career Development, setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself is essential. During a remote internship, you may not be able to achieve as much as you would during a normal in-person internship, and that's perfectly acceptable. Don't burn yourself out pursuing unachievable goals. Throwing your computer and work equipment into some Pod storage containers to collect dust is the worst option, so whatever you do, don't give up and quit your remote internship unless it's absolutely essential for your personal health.
Maintaining constant lines of communication with your superior officer and your colleagues is an important part of keeping your head in the game. Remote interns who feel alienated from their peers won't endure for very long. If you feel lonely or left out of your work environment, take the time to actively reach out to your fellow remote interns - they may be feeling the same way. Always bring up personal issues with your supervisor before they spiral out of your personal control if you feel you need a helping hand.
You still have to network
Getting a remote internship during the era of social distancing doesn't mean you can avoid your networking responsibilities. Ensure that you're present on social media pages and that you're giving off a professional image. Constantly connect with those you're digitally introduced to, and don't be afraid to establish videochat meetings to get to know someone better. By connecting with others, you'll forge invaluable relationships that help you out later in your career.
Do this by carefully managing your schedule - have specific hours that you dedicate towards networking and checking in with others. As you'll soon discover, making the most of your remote internship will necessitate frequent scheduling. With the help of a good planner and some fantastic digital technology, you'll be enjoying a rewarding and informative remote internship in no time.