Coronavirus is having a huge impact on the way that we all work. Many of us previously office based now work from home having virtual meetings across the globe and sharing projects we are doing across a myriad of online platforms. But for students with internships, you are likely to be moving into unfamiliar territory both in terms of the organisation you will be working for as well as how you will be undertaking the work.
But don’t worry, while your internship is a virtual experience, many of the guidelines and advice about making the most of your internship apply whether you are in the office or not. Here are our top tips for making the most of your virtual internship.
- Dress the part – it’s important to treat it like a regular internship and dress professionally.
- Create a professional set up – a quiet zone where you can work with minimal interruptions. Communicate that with anyone you live with.
- Get organised – create a clear desk and working area and keep tidy notes and online filing system.
- Keep regular office hours – this will help you keep on top of your workload and stick to deadlines.
- Set clear boundaries – like anyone working from home, it can be difficult to know when to switch off. Keeping clear boundaries will help stop you feeling overwhelmed.
- Connect with colleagues – although there’s no water cooler time, it’s important to get to know the company and the people who work there. Schedule in short calls with your team.
- Communicate regularly – ask you manager how best to communicate with them about the work you are doing. Get involved in all team meetings and chats too. Don’t limit your input to the chat function in meetings.
- Do ask questions – as you are less likely to pick up hints and tips as you go along, it’s even more important you ask questions to keep on the right track, particularly if you don’t understand something.
- Ask for feedback – like any work experience, a virtual internship is important for skill development and clarifying career goals. Feedback will help to ensure you keep growing and learning.
- Make a note of your achievements – this will be helpful when you come your internship review as well as when updating your CV and preparing for future interviews.
- Reflect on your experience – what were your objectives when you set out on your virtual internship journey? What skills did you develop? What did you enjoy most? There’s another blog about reflecting on your skills and experience here.