Challenging but possible Education

Tips to choose the right remote internship

Real-time work experience is indeed possible to achieve online   | Photo Credit: Freepik

The pandemic led to the “work from home” and “learn from home” transitions. While remote learning quickly became the new normal, what was to be done about internships — a critical milestone for students and a litmus test for experience and employability? In order to ensure that students were able to garner some understanding of what work experience meant, institutions began to embrace remote internships. Though this has its limitations, it offers benefits such as flexible working hours and minimal expenses. And, while everything cannot be recreated virtually, real-time work experience is indeed possible to achieve online.

With remote internships currently being the only viable option for students, choosing the right one is crucial. So, what should one look for? Here’s a handy five-step list.

1. Ask yourself: what am I looking for?

Don’t choose an internship only because it is mandated. The primary objective is to acquire real-world experience in a domain of your interest. Therefore, be clear about your areas of interest and strengths, and the skills you want to develop. Once you identify these, search for relevant opportunities. Be open to options outside your comfort zone, but don’t apply to every open position. Seek guidance and advice from trusted people.

2. Do your homework

Search for companies that are the best in your domain of interest and that you would want to work for. Understand the roles they offer and the skill sets they look for. Search using terms such as “remote”, “virtual” or “online”. Don’t restrict yourself to local or national companies; apply to international ones too. Check out various platforms, websites, and apps.

3. Brand yourself

In today’s online world, building a digital brand for yourself is critical to stand out. Your digital personal brand includes the Google search results for your name and all your social media accounts, in addition to your CV. So, curate your social media thoughtfully to reflect a blend of your personal and professional personalities. Engage actively in discussion forums and try blogging platforms to give more visibility to your thoughts and ideas. Request recommendations from former teachers or professors. More importantly, when you are active on social media, you are more likely to come across opportunities that you wouldn’t have found with a one-hit search on Google.

4. Network like there’s no tomorrow

Social media is now an accepted platform to network, and offers a pool of employment opportunities. The trick is to network beyond your immediate circle of family and friends. Reach out to connections from school or college and seek advice, introductions, and recommendations. Your faculty may have industry connections, colleagues with intern needs, or alumni connections with projects on hand.

5. Check the (work) culture

Interning with a big company and a start-up have their pros and cons. To intern at a start-up is considered as one of the best learning experiences that a student can get. While big company names are a nice addition to your resume, working in start-ups allows you to shoulder larger responsibilities, multi-task, and dabble in multitude of tasks. If possible, try interning at both. This will allow you to compare the experiences and understand where you will fit better.

The writer is co-founder of Learning Matters and a psychologist.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 11:58:35 PM |

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