4 Golden Rules to Rocking Your Virtual Internship

By Janel Abrahami

Janel Abrahami is a May 2014 graduate of NYU Steinhardt’s Applied Psychology program. She currently serves the NBCUniversal intern population as a Campus 2 Career Assistant and a catalyst for early career development.You can find her talking about all things work on Twitter and LinkedIn

Looking for a flexible way to explore a new industry or pursue a passion while at school? Consider a virtual internship! Check out the NYU CareerNet job board for current openings.

From campus ambassador gigs, to web development co-ops, to editorial spots, virtual internships are as limitless as ever before. These unique positions allow young professionals to gain valuable experience in chosen fields while still maintaining some flexibility in their crazy schedules. They can even be great ways to extend summer internships into the fall semester by doing work remotely from campus!

However, with this flexibility may also come a lack of structure that could derail your progress working away from the office. Heed these golden rules to get the most out of your virtual internship- just add WiFi:

  1. Set clear goals from the beginning: The best way to determine how much progress you’ve made is to measure against a fixed goal. Have a conversation with your supervisor at the start of your internship about what she would like you to accomplish, as well as the company’s goals in general. Keep these handy to reference when working and be ready to…

  2. Schedule regular check-ins with your supervisor: Plan 30-minute calls or skype sessions every month or after each project to get feedback on what what’s working and what can be improved upon going forward. This is a great time to get valuable feedback from your boss, but it’s also a chance for you to be honest about your experience so far and make sure that you are getting the guidance and mentorship you need as well.

  3. Keep track of your deadlines: When school and extracurriculars are also competing for your commitment, it can be easy to lose track of an internship assignment- especially when your boss is not personally there to make sure you get it done. Keep a shared work calendar on Google Drive with your team; break assignments into smaller tasks; set reminders on your phone- however you stay organized and keep your deadlines in mind.

  4. Stay inspired!: A virtual internship should be an organic way to pursue your passion wherever you are. Keep up-to-date on news in your field, subscribe to trade journals, and network with other virtual interns to share ideas and find inspiration when you feel disengaged.

Have you held a virtual internship before? What advice would you add to this list?

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