Remote work is becoming more popular as remote internships (or virtual internships) are now more accessible than ever before. Let’s talk about the benefits of remote internships, how to find them, and how to make the most of your experience.
Advantages of remote internships
Getting a remote internship has its own set of advantages over traditional in-person internships. Some of the most notable ones include the following.
The best thing about remote internships is the flexibility of working from anywhere in the world as long as you have a reliable internet connection. You enjoy the benefit of working from home or even while travelling.
Remote internships provide opportunities to build skills that are highly valued in today’s workforce, such as communication and time management. You will need to communicate effectively with your supervisor and colleagues, manage your time efficiently, and work independently.
It’s far more affordable than traditional internships because you don’t have to worry about transportation costs or living expenses. You can save a significant amount of money that would otherwise go to things like visa processing, groceries, eating out, rent, and travel.
Gain more experiences
Doing a remote internship exposes you to different industries and companies that you may not have had access to otherwise. This can help you decide which industry or company you want to work for in the future.
How to find a remote internship
Finding a remote internship can be challenging, but there are several steps you can take to make the process easier. Here is a step-by-step guide:
Know your goals
Before you even start your search, you should ideally have your personal and career goals noted down. Ask yourself questions like what skills you want to develop, what industry you want to work in, and what type of company culture you prefer.
This will help you narrow your search and ensure you apply to internships that align with your career goals.
Do your company research
This is perhaps the most vital step in your search for a remote internship. You can find opportunities that align with your career goals and values by using various tools at your disposal.
Start by researching companies or organisations that offer remote internships. You can look for them on job boards, LinkedIn, or Google. Use specific keywords related to the industry you’re interested in to refine your search.
Many companies post their internship opportunities directly on their websites. You can visit the career page of the company you’re interested in and search for remote internships in your field of interest. If a company doesn’t have a specific internship listing, you can also check their job listings to see if they have any entry-level positions that could serve as a gateway to a future internship.
Professional organisations in your field can be a great resource for finding remote internships. You can search on Google, LinkedIn, or other social media platforms to connect with these professionals.
Whom do you know?
Perhaps the underused tool of all time — our personal network can be an excellent resource for finding remote internships. Reach out to friends, family members, and acquaintances who work in your field of interest and ask if they know of any remote internship opportunities. They may be able to connect you with someone at a company or give you leads to follow up on.
Customise your CV
Once you’ve identified some companies you would like to apply to, you should start tailoring your resume (and cover letter or email) to each specific opportunity. Use the job posting and company research you’ve done to highlight your skills and experiences that align with the company’s needs and values.
Be sure to include any relevant coursework, projects, or volunteer work you’ve done that demonstrates your abilities and interest in the field. You can find the basics of a professional CV here.
Look for career services
Contact your university or college’s career services office. They may have connections with companies that offer remote internships or a database of remote internships you can apply to. Make use of the resources available to you.
Networking is a crucial step in finding a remote internship. Reach out to your network in any way you can — be it through your friends, on forums, or through LinkedIn.
Let them know that you are searching for a remote internship and ask if they have any leads or connections. Networking is a great way to find hidden opportunities and get your foot in the door.
Once you have found companies that offer remote internships, submit your application.
As you’ve tailored your resume to the position you are applying for (and highlighted your relevant experience), you should also prepare to understand what the company does, who their target audience is, and more general info about the place.
Afterwards, send in your application — make sure to answer any questions carefully and utilise your knowledge of the company to do so. Make sure that you’ve attached all the required documents, such as your resume, and if needed, a cover letter
This also includes any writing samples or portfolio links that are requested. On occasion, some may even ask for a video interview or for you to complete a project as part of the application process. Make sure to complete these tasks on time and to the best of your ability.
Make the most of your remote internship
The best thing about remote internships — and their immense popularity over the recent years — is that the rise of technology has made our lives so much easier. Remote internships allow for virtual collaboration. This is amazing.
It’s important to keep in mind that, while remote internships offer many benefits, they can also present unique challenges. So, make sure to get the most out of your internship experience so you can continue building your career. Here are some helpful tips:
Communication is vital
Communication is key to ensuring you stay connected with your supervisor and team. Establish open and clear communication channels with your supervisor and colleagues. Set regular check-ins and communicate any challenges you face. Don’t hesitate to ask for feedback or clarification when needed.
In the present day, there are many communication tools that you can use for remote collaboration! Some are completely free and others provide limited services based on your chosen package. A few of the most commonly used tools include Slack, Skype, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.
Schedules save time
When working from home, it’s easy to blur the lines between work and personal time. Establishing a routine and setting a schedule can help you stay organised and focused. Create a dedicated workspace that is free from distractions, and stick to a set work schedule. Be mindful of the time zone differences if you are working with colleagues from different parts of the world. Tools like Trello, Asana, and Todoist can help you manage your tasks and schedule.
Remote internships can be isolating, so it’s essential to take initiative and show enthusiasm for your work. Be proactive and ask for additional tasks or projects that align with your interests and career goals. Show a willingness to learn and take on new challenges. You can use tools like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and Udemy to learn new skills and enhance your knowledge.
Don’t burn your bridges
Networking is an essential part of any career, and a remote internship is no exception — bother before and after. You need to do your part to continue building relationships during and after your internships.
Attend virtual events, participate in team meetings, and connect with colleagues on LinkedIn. Building relationships can lead to new opportunities, connections, and career growth.
Be active in online communities related to your field, and share your experiences and knowledge. Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can be powerful tools to connect with industry professionals and showcase your work.
Feedback is your friend
Feedback is crucial for professional growth, so don’t be afraid to ask for it. Use the feedback constructively to improve your work and skills. Reflect on your progress regularly, and keep track of your achievements and accomplishments. You can use tools like Google Docs, Notion, and Evernote to document your progress and goals.
A remote internship offers many opportunities to learn new skills and gain experience in your field. Take advantage of any training opportunities provided by your employer or seek out training courses and webinars related to your field. This can help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and develop new skills that can benefit your career. Tools like Skillshare, Codecademy, and Pluralsight offer online courses and tutorials for various skills.
Remote work requires flexibility and adaptability. Be open to change and new ways of working. Embrace new technologies and tools that can help you work more efficiently and effectively.
Be prepared to work with colleagues from different time zones and adapt to their working styles. A flexible attitude can help you thrive in a remote work environment.
Remote internships provide tons of valuable experience and networking opportunities. However, it requires effort and proactive behaviour to make the most of it. We hope the above-mentioned steps and tips help you succeed in a remote work environment.
Remember to communicate effectively, manage your time efficiently, take initiative, network, seek feedback, learn new skills, and stay flexible and adaptable. With the right attitude and tools, you can make the most out of your remote internship and advance your career.