19 Dec 4 Things to Do to Prepare for Your First Virtual Internship
- Preparing to take on your first virtual internship? No worries, you’ve got this!
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40% of businesses have chosen to convert their programs into virtual internships.
Remote internships are every bit as important, exciting, and nerve-racking as ones that are held in person. After all, internships are a great opportunity to hone your skills, meet new people, and learn more about the career you’re pursuing! It’s only natural to feel nervous or overwhelmed at the beginning.
If you’re wondering what you can do to prepare for your first virtual internship, look no further: here are some tips to ace your remote internship!
How to prepare for your first virtual internship
1. Be mentally and physically ready
Just like an in-person internship, a virtual internship requires you to prepare both your mind and your body. It’s very likely that you’ll be working within a certain timeframe within the normal workday, so it’s best to align your body clock with that schedule.
Keep your focus in check by staying well-rested and getting a good night’s sleep! You might also want to consider practicing sleeping and waking up early in case you don’t have a regular sleep schedule already.
Another important way to mentally prepare yourself is by appropriately scheduling your commitments. Make sure to calendar everything – especially if you’ve got a busy academic schedule! Something else that might help is keeping checklists. This is especially important to help you keep track of all of your tasks, particularly in your first weeks as an intern.
Creating checklists for your non-internship tasks will also help you retain your focus!
Aside from preparing to prioritize, you should also make the effort to eliminate distractions. This means letting people around you know that you’re busy during certain times, creating your own workspace at home, or minimizing phone use!
While completing your virtual internship, reduce the chances of being distracted as this can cause you to lag behind in terms of tasks and progress.
2. Set up your virtual internship supplies
One important thing about having a virtual internship is creating your own workspace. You don’t need to have a fancy home office setup, but a quiet space to focus is ideal! Having your own workspace can help you devote your focus to what matters most.
Aside from ensuring a focus-inducing workspace, probably the most important factor of your virtual internship is your equipment. If you’re receiving equipment from the company you’re interning for, make sure that the items work before your first day! You’re going to need to report back if something isn’t working or if the kit is incomplete.
If you’re using your own gadgets, you have to make sure that you’ve got all necessary programs installed and have all of the necessary logins.
These may seem like small, obvious things – but a little extra consciousness wouldn’t hurt! When you prepare for your virtual internship with the utmost detail, your road to success will surely be smoother.
3. Stay connected
Of course, preparedness isn’t only done through lists and supplies. When taking on a virtual internship, the path to success isn’t just one and done: you have to make a continuous effort to do good and get better!
Staying connected with your supervisor, your team, and the company adds a ton of value to your virtual internship experience. On your first day or weeks, you should have a discussion with your supervisor about expectations. You should know what your tasks are, what your growth path is expected to be, and what other tasks and events they might want you to participate in.
Another important part of your virtual internship is being able to connect with your teammates. Not only does this make work and communication easier, but it helps you expand your network! One day, you’ll enter the workforce as a full-time employee – knowing people who are already in the industry can help you significantly, not to mention the great advice you’ll be able to collect in the mean time.
(And here’s something cool: 56% of interns actually receive full-time role offers. Isn’t that promising? 👀)
Additionally, another crucial part of staying connected to your team is by staying in the loop with company news. Having a virtual internship can mean that you might feel disconnected from everyone else, so making sure that you’re going the extra mile to know your stuff and know the people is definitely going to give you a boost!
4. Prepare to learn
The last, but definitely not the least: you have to stay open to learning.
This might seem like another “duh” tip, but when you’re taking up a virtual internship, it can feel difficult to adjust. This is especially true if you’re completing your internship at home, where things feel comfortable! It can feel challenging to take your mind to another place and divert your focus to something completely different.
You should make sure to set goals for yourself, perhaps in alignment with those things that you’ve fleshed out with your supervisor.
These are just some of the questions that you might want to reflect on when it comes to setting goals!
Aside from setting goals, you should also be able to measure your progress. Some students prefer keeping an internship diary or tracker that helps them remember what they’ve done in a day! Seeing your daily activities in a notebook might help you look back on what you’ve accomplished and see how far you’ve come. You can also choose to document your virtual internship by taking photos or videos, as well as creating a scrapbook or some other memento.
You also have the option of consistently checking in with your supervisor and asking questions and for feedback. A lot of students may feel intimidated by not knowing something, but that’s precisely the reason why you’ve taken up a virtual internship: to learn!
Don’t shy away from asking about things, whether it’s feedback on your progress or anything related to your tasks. You’ll thank yourself later!
While virtual internships can seem intimidating, they’re just as exciting and promising as in-person internships. Imagine the benefits of remote work – but with a lighter load as an intern! You’ll still be able to maximize your personal time, all while working on professional development.
It might take a little bit of adjustment and effort on your part, but the rewards of taking on a remote internship are definitely worth it!