Interns of summer 2020: How to succeed during your remote internship

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So you secured an internship for this summer … congratulations! You have so much to be excited about, even if your internship was converted to being remote and virtual. Being an intern is awesome for so many reasons. You get to work alongside incredible mentors, learn the inner workings of the field you’re interested in and enjoy the perks that companies bestow on interns. Most importantly, you’ll get a flavor of what’s to come postgraduation, which is super exciting. And while internships are wonderful growth experiences that can help you ease into working life, they can also be incredibly challenging. If you have an internship locked down for this summer, follow these tips to help you find success!

“Crush your core,” then ask for more

Give your manager what they ask for! In school, you deliver what your professors ask for, then you might start working on extra credit. The same goes for internships. As a sales intern, I was asked to hit various core metrics (calls, prospects, etc.) each day/week. It was important to first exceed these core metrics before taking on any side projects. A major portion of our final evaluation depended on how successful we were at “crushing our core.”

Keep track and write it down

At the end of your internship, you’ll be looking to receive a return offer. Even if you don’t really want to return you want the offer. So, prepare a spreadsheet or list of all of your summer accomplishments that you can hand over to your manager or HR contact. You should be able to quantify your value to the company. This will absolutely help them rehire you because they will have tangible evidence that you are worth bringing into the company!

Everyone’s a mentor

Take the opportunity to learn from everyone! Don’t be shy when asking for time to talk to team members, managers and other departments. Even if your internship is remote, you can still ask for a convenient time to chat. Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts are all great ways to learn from your co-workers. Don’t forget to say thank you!

Side note: When you meet with mentors, come ready with a few questions such as what kind of challenges do you face in your position, what excites you about your team, what has been most helpful to you in this position and so on.

It’s a sprint

As much as you may not want to hear this, an internship is a sprint, not a marathon. You get roughly 8 to 12 weeks to add value to an incredible company. Get started on crushing your core assignment right away and spend time early on learning exactly what your managers expect of you. Your effort is an investment in yourself!

Do your homework

It’s easy to feel intimidated in an environment with people who have years of experience. Imposter syndrome is truly no joke. I have found that doing my homework on unfamiliar subject matters made me more confident joining conversations about work. Read about the company’s products, strategies and latest news. Watch YouTube videos to delve further into these ideas. And of course, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you can’t find the answer.

Someone does it better. Or differently. Or both.

Unlock the unique minds around you by discussing your respective practices for accomplishing a task. Working with team members and other interns to consolidate the best practices can be extremely valuable to the entire team. By the end of the summer, you will hopefully feel well-versed in your area of expertise. And, remember to share the love by sharing the knowledge! Presenting your manager with a playbook or guide on what you’ve been working on can be extremely valuable and a great way to go beyond your core.

Of course, it’s less than ideal to have your internship moved online. Regardless, this can still be a great way to spend your summer. This summer is a true testament to the adaptability of many companies for being able to make the switch to a virtualized internship program. Use these tips to optimize your summer internship experience and make the most of your opportunity.

Contact Brookey Villanueva at [email protected].