Widgets Magazine

How to navigate a remote internship

Remote internships are a valuable opportunity: They give you industry experience while letting you work anytime, anywhere. But without a set schedule or office, it can be difficult to stay on top of your work. Don’t let that deter you! I did a remote marketing internship two summers ago, and it was a really meaningful experience. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your remote internship.

Discuss guidelines with your boss

Once you start your internship, ask your boss about his or her expectations: What projects will you be working on? Are there set deadlines?

Likewise, explain any commitments or circumstances that could affect your work. If you’re also juggling a busy courseload or a part-time job, make sure your boss knows that.

Create a regular schedule

In the same way that you’d report to an office, “report” to your position by setting consistent work times (say, Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-6 p.m.) This way, you’ll ensure that there’s always time to get things done. Choose times that work with both your schedule and your productivity levels. For my internship, I wrote blog posts during the day while working a part-time job on evenings and weekends. You can even work at 10:30 p.m. if you’re a night owl.

On a similar note, find a location where you can focus well, and stick to that location as often as possible. I like working at a library or at Starbucks, but do whatever floats your boat.

Check in with your boss

Don’t forget to keep in touch with your supervisor during your internship. Set up times to seek feedback, ask questions or just hear how the company is doing. I recommend chatting over Skype, so that you can put a face and voice to the person you’re working with. However, use whichever mode of communication works best for you and your boss.

Be open to extending your position

A remote internship can have more flexibility in terms of duration. My internship was a summer position, but I had the opportunity to extend it through the school year, and I’m really glad I did.

Keep the door open; if you can continue doing the same tasks or find a different project to join, that’s great! If you’d rather not continue or don’t have the opportunity to do so, that’s okay. Either way, it helps to stay in touch with your boss, whether you need a reference later on or just want to know more about their work.

The summer internship search can be hectic, but remote positions are a great learning opportunity! You’ll pick up skills in a specific field while developing time management — and trust me, that will pay off in both school and your future career.

 

Contact Kristen Lee at klee23 ‘at’ stanford.edu.