As a result of the pandemic the world is facing, many internships and jobs have been moved to virtual spaces in an effort to encourage social distancing. Don’t worry,it is possible to have a rewarding, meaningful experience while working remotely. If you find yourself in a newly appointed remote situation, consider the tips below to make the most of your experience. This list may also be helpful as you navigate your summer options at companies that are planning to host remote interns.
Communicate clearly and often. While communication is a key part of any position, in remote situations you do not have the luxury of being in the same space as everyone else. Dropping by to chat with your co-workers or supervisor whenever you feel like it won't be as easy. Make sure you set up clear lines of communication, or even schedule more frequent check-ins.
Master your technology. While most people have some technological capabilities these days, that does not mean we are experts. You will likely find yourself being challenged to use technology in new ways while working remotely. As you are exposed to new online platforms and programs, take the time to make notes, figure things out, and ask questions. It is okay not to know how something works, and you will benefit from seeking guidance either from manuals or help from co-workers/supervisors.
Consider your work environment. When working remotely, try to find a space where you can comfortably work, but away from where you might conduct leisure activities. This can help break up your day and distinguish between your working hours and your personal time. For those with family or roommates around, consider a discussion on how to share the space and time in your homes to allow everyone to work effectively.
Follow a schedule. Another way to keep on track is to set a daily/weekly schedule for yourself. Especially on days where other items can compete for time and attention, you can set yourself up for success by focusing on work during times when you are less likely to be interrupted.
Have you already obtained a virtual internship, co-op, or research position for summer? We recommend that you register for the Career Center’s Intern Success Practicum, a zero-credit, pass/fail, entirely free course that results in a transcript notation for your experience. Practicum students have the advantage of being connected to a Career Center advisor who can help you establish a strong relationship with your site supervisor and advocate for yourself as needed—two crucial ingredients of a great virtual experience. Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.