Tips for a Successful Virtual Internship

Madeline Hinderstein
May 19, 2020

With school coming to an end, summer, whatever that is going to look like, is right around the corner. Companies that are planning on continuing their summer internships are put into a unique position.

Not only do they have to get an intern up to speed with every aspect of their company but now that can no longer happen in person. Before I get into any tips for you, the intern, remember that your company probably didn’t plan for this up until recent weeks. They are still trying to figure out how to adjust to new work standards so be as patient as possible.

1. Create a workspace

This is probably one of the most talked-about work from home tips across the internet. The environment of an office brings upon this sense of professionalism and an expectation to get work done. But now you have to transfer those same expectations into a home where there could be pets, loud younger siblings, working parents, etc. Find a place where you can work best whether it’s your kitchen, living room, or bedroom and set up the environment like a workspace. Everybody works differently so cater your home workspace to generate the most success. If you need complete silence then try your bedroom; if you work well with action around you try out your kitchen or maybe your basement.

2. Keep open communication with your team

Your supervisor should be like a mentor to you. It’s important to check in with them regularly and to establish how you both communicate with each other from the beginning. According to HerCampus, “Constant communication with your supervisor is a great motivator since you’ll not only need to let him or her know how much work you’ve completed, but it’s also a way to get you more tasks that will keep you focused.” Because you won’t have an in-person relationship with them, it’s imperative that you go over daily tasks, upcoming projects, and just generally check in on each other. It’s also imperative that you are transparent with your supervisor. You should let them know if you have a loud house or internet problems. Chances are they or someone else on your team is dealing with the same thing but it’s crucial to remember that you don’t need to hide anything from them. They want to support you and make your internship as good as it can be!

3. Get to know your co-workers!

Just because you aren’t physically around them doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t learn about them. Ask your co-workers questions about their careers, how they got to their current position, etc. You can schedule a morning coffee break, involving your families, virtual happy hours, and exchanging tips for relaxation and health. One of the greatest things that can come out of summer internships is the networking opportunities. Creating a good rapport with your co-workers increases the likeliness of them wanting to help further your career down the road. Here are some great tips on how to best network during an internship.

Even though this summer might not be what you expected it to be that doesn’t mean it won’t be great! You have an opportunity to learn so much and make career-lasting connections with people so take each chance you get to do that. Go into each new day excited and eager!

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Madeline Hinderstein is a NAF Volunteer with the Marketing and Communications and Alumni Networks teams.