International Remote Internship in London: The Experience of Working Virtually

Vicki Xiao on her remote London internship

International Remote Internship in London: The Experience of Working Virtually

Undertaking an online internship can be challenging, especially for the first time. 

Even though I’ve had a few years of study experience in the UK, the online internship was a new experience to me. The opportunity was offered by London Basketball Association (LBA), which is a non-profit company helping the most disadvantaged communities through the sport of basketball in London. My main responsibilities included administration and marketing.

At the beginning, the trainings provided by LBA were watching some online courses to get prepared for the internship which included how to use Canva and Trello. After that, I received some basic knowledge and ideas of handing them, which benefits my learning process of new technologies in reality as well. 

Personally, I would like to say I have learned lots of knowledge and many practical skills of marketing, for example using Canva and Photoshop for designing images and photos, which is different from my background and previous experience. 

I also attended some online courses regarding marketing and images designing to build my skills. I would say it is really a personal choice, if you would like to learn or benefit more from the online internship and that would be your own responsibility to be proactive.

Online Course - Virtual Internships

Apart from these, there are some challenging parts of the internship as well. The most challenging thing would be different time zones – China is seven hours ahead of the UK. I actually really would like to work during the UK working hours to use the most of the virtual internship. 

The other thing was that the internship started on the Chinese New Year’s Eve, so I actually did not celebrate a real Chinese New Year this time with my family members and friends. I however do not feel in the way of being regretful. This is a different and unforgettable internship experience for me to share with my friends in the future.

“A virtual internship can prepare you for the real things”

For international students, since English is not our first language, the virtual internship might be daunting. I however would like to suggest that you take the first step and apply for (virtual) internship through Absolute Internship. The staff are helpful and patient to support you throughout all stages of internship. I would encourage all Chinese students to be confident and speak out loudly of your thoughts and expectations of the internship in English with the staff, and they would be very willing to help with I believe! 

The only thing needed to bear in mind is that this is a worthwhile experience to assist you with growing up and broadening your horizon. Absolute Internship also provides successful candidates with free online training courses (before, during and after the internship). For example, how to build your CV, how to prepare and manage your time during the online internship, as well as the different culture and important workplace etiquettes that you should notice. You would definitely find these materials useful! 

Proactive - Virtual Internships

Another suggestion would be that you should be self-driven and try to approach your managers or your leaders proactively. They are all very busy with business and customers, and probably could forget to check with you about how you are going or the tasks with details. Therefore, it is necessary for you to demand help, tasks and advice.

Completing the virtual internship actually helps me exercise my remote work skills, interaction and communication skills, and getting to know about the real workplace much better. 

For me, the internship is made for gaining experience, and thus I did not expect a perfect track record or performance. I think, last but not least, that we should give ourselves permission to make mistakes or not being perfect, because the greatest thing is that we can learn from these mistakes and imperfections. From collaborating online to completing the tasks on your own, I believe that a virtual internship can prepare you for the real things.

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