Against all odds you landed a remote summer internship. Congratulations!
Many students during the spring of 2020 have struggled to find summer internships. Placements have been cancelled and you have had to apply again to find a new one that is possible to do remotely. So yay, you managed to find a remote summer internship. Working remotely is not the same as working on site. It can be hard to find your place, to get to know your team and to make an impression that will last. In this blog post I'll give you some tips on how you can survive and also thrive on your remote summer internship.
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Commit to Connect!
Maintaining good communication with your team when in a traditional office is important. When you are working remotely - it is even more important.
When in doubt - ask! Make sure you let your mentor or co-workers know when you have a question. But don't expect to get a reply right away. Make sure you plan other things to do in the meantime while you wait for an answer.
You probably won't meet your co-workers in real life, but it is still important to get to know them. Connect with your co-workers on LinkedIn and book them in for virtual coffee break to get to know them. This is a golden opportunity for you to tie connections that can benefit you in the long run. They will not take the initiative to book a coffee with you. But if you ask they will make time for you, as initiative is often encouraged when you are new at a workplace.
Make sure you have a proper headset so that people hear you clearly when you speak during meetings.
Make sure you know how to manage your time. This can be hard in the beginning as you don't know how long certain tasks take to perform. When you are getting a hang of it, make a to do list based on deadlines so that you can keep track of what you need to do and when. It can be helpful to use a free tool such as Trello to manage your time.
Don't over do it..
It can be easy to over perform.. and also under perform when working remotely. That's why the to do list and keeping your priorities in check is key. Track your hours and don't over (or under) perform because no one is watching. It can be useful to set up your dedicated work station, one that has a subtle backdrop for zoom calls. Take breaks and remember to stretch. Sitting down all day in front of a screen is not good for our bodies. So don't forget to show that bod some love between emails and zoom calls.
.. But do it right!
Remember that you are gaining work experience in a time when a lot of other students are not able to. Make sure you honor and respect this opportunity by making the most of it.
Remote work comes with a lot of responsibility and trust. Make sure you show your supervisor that you are reliable by showing up to zoom meetings on time. Come into meetings well prepared. You should be ready to answer questions about what you have been doing lately. Make sure you speak up even though you are not in the same room as everyone else and put your ideas forward.
OK - you did it! You have completed your remote summer internship and you should be proud of yourself. But it ain't over yet.
Make sure you sit down with yourself - or even better; sit down together with your supervisor and reflect on your experience. This will help you understand what you have accomplished and what you can improve for the next time.
A good way to do this is by using the STAR reflection tool. It can be enough to only do a mental reflection. But putting a few sentences down on your phone or on a piece of paper can be good for future reference. If you remember to revisit your notes that is ;) Put them down in a place you know you will come across them
☕ Take a break and have a coffee with Cece when she summarizes this weeks topic.
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