10 Tips for Making the Most of Your Remote Internship
Making the most of an internship takes hard work and initiative, especially if it’s remote. From the moment you apply, to the last meeting in the office (or online), you are being evaluated. If your remote internship was anything like mine, you are always in meetings, taking notes, reading something or working on projects with hard deadlines. These internships, whether in-person or remote, are the most beneficial for helping set you up for a job out of college.
Here are 10 pieces of advice that I found most useful in having a successful internship:
Be proactive. Your supervisor might not always have work lined up for you. Especially now that many internships are remote, it is up to YOU to reach out to your supervisor or other team members to see if they need help. This will keep you busy and will help with networking (see tip #7).
Read anything you can get your hands on. This can be related to your job or just the industry as a whole. I was told by a former supervisor that in order to tell great stories, you need to read great journalism from more liberal (The New York Times) and conservative (The Wall Street Journal) leaning newspapers.
Contribute your own ideas. At first, I was hesitant to follow this advice. I was afraid of rejection and the idea that my employers would regret hiring me for the summer. Trust me when I say, this is the best thing you can do for yourself. I pitched an idea for how to increase customer convenience and my manager loved it. They ended up going with another pitch, but my team was ecstatic that I was contributing to planning for next year.
Ask questions. The importance of asking questions doesn’t go away throughout your internship. You should be asking questions every day, even if it is about how your project manager would like to receive emails from you. This will also help you to learn about your co-workers and how they work.
Find value in your job. This can be as simple as filing. If you find value in the small things, you will find value in the big things and your managers know that. Being able to have pride in every task you do will help you be successful at your internship and eventually your job.
Immerse yourself in the culture. Getting involved out-of-office is just as important as working hard inside. If your company has affinity groups or intramural sports teams, it will help you feel a part of the team and will make it easier to meet as well as connect with people.
Talk to people and build relationships (AKA network). This is important no matter what your job is, but it is especially important in the Public Relations and Advertising industry. The more time you take to learn about others, the most likely they are to help you when you need it. Networking sounds simple, but it is all about maintaining those relationships and as with any relationship, it takes work.
Go above and beyond. It’s not enough to do your best at an internship. Have pride when completing projects and assignments. Ask where your work will be going next. Does it need to be proofed? Will it be used internally by your team? Are you going to send it within the company or agency?
Proof your work several times before submitting it or sending it to a manager. This is crucial. My old supervisor told me to check through your work a few times each with different lenses. First, check it to see if it makes sense; have you done what you were asked?. Next, check it for spelling and grammar errors. Finally, check that you have put in your best work possible and you are on brand with content; is this something you would see from the brand/company if they were to create it themselves?
Ask for feedback and accept it. Understanding that you don’t know everything about your company will help you keep an open mind. Express to your managers, supervisor and coworkers that you want to be there and will take any feedback and apply it to future projects.
Above all, make sure to be respectful of others and their time. These people want to help you succeed in your internship. Make sure to send thank you notes and email after interviews and internships. I also found the book All Work, No Pay by Lauren Berger helpful for my entire internship process from application to last day.