10 Tips for a Successful Remote Internship

  1. Understand on-boarding. Typically when you start a new position, there is an on-boarding process that effectively serves as your orientation to the company. This will of course look different in a virtual environment, so check-in with your HR representative to understand what that will look like for you. 
  2. Check your tech! If you’re assigned any technology, test it before your first day to ensure everything works. Contact your employer’s IT person if you need any assistance.
  3. Dress appropriately. Check with your HR representative or supervisor on the dress code and make sure you follow it; you want to make sure you look like you’re put together and taking the job seriously! 
  4. Clearly define expectations with your supervisor. Make sure you understand your role and the tasks you’ll be working on, as well as when your manager expects you to check-in.
  5. Learn team communication norms. Pay close attention to how your team prefers to communicate -- i.e. is it via email, calling, messaging, or video conferencing? How often are they communicating on these platforms? Ask your supervisor the way in which they prefer you communicate with them.
  6. Establish a relationship with your team. Admittedly, it’s easier to do this in person, however it’s possible to do this virtually. Consider setting up virtual chats with your colleagues to learn more about their roles and responsibilities, and to get to know them better as people.
  7. Set boundaries. It’s unrealistic and unhealthy to be tethered to your tech 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Do you have set working hours? Stick to those and walk away from the computer at the end of your day. If you don’t have set working hours, try and maintain consistency in the hours you work, to set realistic expectations of your availability. Take a lunch break, and try and get up from the computer at least once per hour to stretch and give your eyes a break.
  8. Periodically ask for feedback. Make sure to solicit feedback from your supervisor and team to ensure you’re on the right track and are continuing to grow professionally. Some suggested questions: (1) How did I do after my first week? (2) How is my communication thus far; is there anything I can do to improve? (3) Here’s what I’ve done so far on this project; is this meeting your expectations?
  9. Keep a record of your accomplishments. Make sure you write down your achievements; this will help you when you update your resume when the internship is over.
  10. Grow your network. In an effort to replace the normal face-to-face networking that you get to do with colleagues in an office environment, consider setting up “walk and talks” via phone to get to know them! Make sure to add your new colleagues on LinkedIn and make a mental note to check-in with them periodically, post-internship, to maintain your network.