12 Jul 5 Myths Of Remote Internships
Like most growing trends, the concept of a Remote Internship might raise some red flags and doubts to the layperson. It is normal, as human beings we usually tend to reject the unknown at first. But we live in a world that is open to new methods as long as they prove beneficial and most of all, sustainable in the long run.
Every day, more and more companies across the world are turning to remote work and hosting remote interns. Full time staff and interns have had to adapt to these circumstances and it has been a great test for many people and companies across the world to address myths and misinformation about remote work.
In the case of interns, this situation has been a bit more complicated as to what this means to their professional development. Many are wondering if this actually provides a valuable work experience or not, especially for when it comes time to apply for full time jobs..
Myths around remote internships can be a source of concern, which is why we have chosen the top 5 and will separate out the fact from fiction, and how they actually apply to the professional development or interns embarking in a virtual work experience:
1. No social interaction
Oftentimes “loneliness” has been addressed as one of the top concerns of working remotely. As an intern looking to expand your network, this might seem very problematic.
However, while it is true working remotely means not being part of the physical office space of a company, it doesn’t mean that an intern will be working alone. If anything, finding a way to build social interaction will make you develop communication skills you might not otherwise put in to practice. You can grow your relationships to colleagues by asking about their day, or their experiences as a working professional using company communication tools such as Slack, Teams, Zoom, Skype or even WhatsApp.
It’s about your eagerness to engage in social interactions!
We live in the world of digital interaction, even with our closest friends we do this; and this is no different in the remote working environment. The opportunity to adjust your schedule to attend local events, conferences and even working in co-working spaces can help you increase your social interaction and professional networking opportunities, oftentimes even more than if you were interning at one specific location.
Absolute Alumni during their internship in Singapore
2. Little guidance
It is true that a remote internship experience means not having your supervisor next to you all day, every day at work. However, this also happens when working at an office, and there’s a difference between having little to no guidance and having to do research on your own to understand how to best tackle a project you are working on.
Companies often trust their remote interns to be proactive in learning and teaching themselves to get the job done, it is one of the reasons they look for remote help. But this does not mean that you will not have the support of your supervisor and team for important questions and to clarify doubts.
Remember that your host company is first and foremost interested in having you do the work properly so, if you list your questions, doubts and comments, you will be able to address them when you have meetings with your supervisor, and get the required guidance. Linked with myth number one, asking your colleagues for clarification when needed is another way to grow bonds with them.
3. I cannot show my skills remotely
When starting in the professional world we want to be able to prove ourselves as professionals. There is a misconception that it is easier to prove oneself when people can see what we do every day at an office desk. So, without a doubt, this can seem to be one of the challenges of a remote internship experience.
However, challenging is not the same as impossible or not being able to show your skills remotely, so this too is a virtual internship myth.
Showing your value isn’t a matter of physically being at an office, but about doing the job right, on time and effectively. To do so, you will need to exercise your hard and soft skills: effective communication, hands-on and proactive approach, research and analysis, among others.
In fact, it is extremely important to show your remote host company that you have the right attitude and possess a variety of tools to undertake all your tasks successfully, which can turn out to be excellent for future professional references!
You will have the opportunity to showcase your value in original ways, even in an internship that is a bit less traditional. If you work hard, your host company will notice!
4. Remote Internships tasks are easy
Undertaking a remote internship and thinking it will be easy might not be the best reason to sign up. It is not true. Not only because of the aforementioned requirement of creatively showing off your skills, but because companies will assign you the same tasks as if you were with them at the office. It is a real world experience with the added challenge of managing yourself and your time to accomplish your duties to a high professional standard. So,this means, tasks are not easier because you will be engaging a remote internship experience.
What does remote internship means, then? Commitment, organization, time management and learning the same you would at an office, but remotely. Stepping out of the comfort zone and delivering good work to your employers.
And with this in mind we go to the last myth-question:
5. Is remote internship legit?
In a world where remote working is growing fast, if being a remote intern is not valuable work experience then no remote worker would be legit either.
When it comes to the work environment, “legit” means being trustworthy; is not the place you are in, is the drive and passion you put into your responsibilities. You can be at an onsite internship and work poorly, the same as you can be located with a 10h time difference from your host company location and be the best intern they ever had.
Undertaking an internship is an amazing experience to start building your professional path, whether you choose to make it in person or remotely, remember it is always the quality of your work, not your surroundings, that creates a memorable impression and serves as a great starting point on your path to building your professional career.
Student working from her laptop at home