Author: Dina Barabash, Content Development & Web Specialist
As a student, you may be preparing to start your impending internship. As the world waits to fully reopen, you may be preparing for a virtual internship. Although this may seem like a new concept, virtual internships are just as fundamental to your future success as in-person internship opportunities have been in the past.
First and foremost, you must remember that although you may not physically work in an office environment, this is still a rewarding opportunity to learn from your employer. According to Princeton’s career development site, interns should ask their supervisor how they prefer to receive questions (e.g., by email, phone or chat) and keep the lines of communication open. Do not be afraid to ask for feedback. It is understandable that you are in the beginning stages of your career and will have questions and need some guidance. Upon completing a task, ask your supervisor, “How did I do? Is there something I could have done differently?” By seeking feedback, you are strengthening your work ethic and demonstrating a level of interest in your work that is admirable.
Although your internship will operate inside of your home or another personal workspace, you will want to do your homework on the company’s culture. Before starting your internship, make sure you’ve done some research to make sure it is a good fit. To do this, visit the company’s “About Us” page to review who it is you may be working with and take note of personality traits during virtual interviews and phone calls. These touchpoints will give you some insight into the personalities you will be working with on a regular basis. You can use this information to create an informed decision on whether you will feel comfortable within that team environment.
Before your internship comes to a close, be sure to tie up any loose ends. It’s also beneficial to keep track of accomplishments and completed projects over the span of your internship and request feedback regarding your overall performance. When it is over, you may want to ask your employer for a letter of recommendation or if they would be comfortable serving as a future reference. Building these relationships will serve you well, as they may open the door to a number of possibilities and opportunities.
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