By Caroline Harty, Account Executive
It is surreal to me that this is my junior year of college and I have already had two virtual internships. After my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to intern virtually for an advertising agency, Gallegos United. Currently, I am interning virtually at Live Oak Communications, Elon University’s student-run strategic communications agency. Navigating two internships over Zoom has taught me a new skill set that I believe are necessary for the increasingly virtual work environment. With that being said, you or someone you know, may be seeking or have already secured a virtual internship for this upcoming summer. Below are three of the most important things I learned throughout my experiences:
Keep in frequent communication with your supervisor.
Internal communication is necessary to facilitate your team’s vision and work. Every team member should have a clear understanding of what the vision of the company is and recognize their role in helping to make that vision a reality. Employees at all levels are responsible for clearly communicating what their expectations are and holding each other accountable. In a virtual setting, it is harder for people to get in contact with each other, check in or even to understand what they mean. Thus, it is extremely important for you to stay in frequent communication with your supervisor and team. Be proactive and take the initiative to reach out to your supervisor or team member first.
Manage your time effectively.
Time management and organization are two of the skills that helped me the most during my virtual internships. When you are working remotely, you have much more independence, but with that comes the responsibility to keep track of when your deliverables are due, when your meetings are, and sometimes, even when other people’s work is due. Let your supervisor know if your workload is too heavy or too light. Quality work needs time, so take your hours seriously and budget time into your schedule for drafts.
Take advantage of having no physical restraint.
Although there are downsides to working remotely, there are also many advantages that you will want to take advantage of while you can. For example, Gallegos United is located in California, but since my internship was virtual, I was able to intern with them from my home in New York and still had an amazing experience, without relocating to California. Similar to myself, you will be able to network with more people, both within your organization and with existing and potential clients/customers. The virtual environment allows you to expand your network and contact people all across the world.