By Liska Wilson, Braathe Enterprises Virtual Intern
I have been lucky enough to land several internships throughout my budding career, both of which were in physical offices. My current internship, however, is completely online. With the virtual internship becoming more popular, I thought I’d share a few ways on how to be a good virtual intern and get the most out of your internship. The three things outlined below are based on my experiences and common sense. Enjoy.
Being accountable is key in any situation or work environment, but it is even more integral as a virtual intern. With no time card to punch, cameras watching, or bosses to physically report to, being accountable becomes even more valuable. Being accountable builds trust and it’s the people who are trusted that get the better assignments and referrals.
If you think that as a virtual intern you automatically miss out on the community or camaraderie aspect found in the physical office, you would be wrong. Through social media and other tools such as Basecamp, you can connect and collaborate with your co-workers online just as much as you could in a physical office. In fact, if you don’t make the effort to communicate with your co-workers, you’d be doing yourself a huge injustice by. Being interactive (as long as you interact with integrity) is how you network, discover opportunities, and it’s also another way to build trust.
“Entrepreneurial” is really a catchall word for a list of other qualities, but I particularly want to emphasize the self-motivation quality of entrepreneurs. Why are you doing the internship? Let your why be your motivation. The more motivated you are to be in the internship in the first place, the more likely you are to be accountable, interactive, and overall engaged in your experience. The more engaged in your experience you are, the more you’ll get out of it professionally and personally.