With the second summer in the COVID-19 pandemic quickly arriving, many students are considering remote internships.
Internships were quickly halted last year, but with time to adapt, several companies have constructed virtual internship programs. While other companies shifted their programs to be online temporarily.
Do not let the remote aspect of internships draw you away, there are many ways that being remote internships and work from home benefits you, the student.
Benefits of Remote Virtual Internships
Remote internships at first seem intimidating because there will be less assistance because of working from home. However, it allows for many perks.
There are many more options in companies and positions because you will no longer be restricted by location. You may work from anywhere, but do keep in mind timezones!
You can have more options and can get an internship that is more specific to your chosen career path.
While it might be helpful to look at companies near you, being remote allows for you to look at internships that are hosted in large cities, such as New York City. But, you can live in a place with a lower cost of living.
If you were eyeing up an internship in a large city or in a different city than the one you reside in now, you no longer have to relocate, saving money and time by not moving.
Steps to Take to Get a Remote Summer Internship
Getting an internship not only takes the preparation of your resume, cover letter, and application, but it takes years of developing yourself to be a good candidate for interning.
If you are a current college student, start by joining LinkedIn right now. For advice on getting started, check out The Internship Show episode on the basics.
While on LinkedIn and beyond, you want to constantly build your network within your industry. You never know the opportunities that can be available just because you know the right person.
Throughout college, join clubs that are relevant to both your industry and interests. Hopefully, your interests and your industry do intersect. A general tip of advice in navigating clubs in college; join at least one club that will develop skills for your future career and join one club for fun.
To develop transferrable skills for applying to internships, consider getting an on-campus part-time job. It also grows your general work experience and time management skills. Not only will you get skills and experience, but you may gain references from that job as well.
While on the topic of references, having professor references are very valuable for an internship application. If you are able to connect and network with your professors, it will help you with an internship. Though, it could also help with a reference as a recent graduate or for graduate school.
How to Find a Remote Online Internship
You will want to begin looking for summer internships early. Large companies typically begin having deadlines in October the year before the internships being. This is due to the fact that they receive thousands of applications and hold multiple interviews in the process. Although, it is not too late! Mid-sized companies and startups typically hire in February through April timeframe.
When beginning the process, you will need to identify your career interests. This is important because you want to be particular, but don’t be too specific. The internship experience is an excellent opportunity for university students to “try” something out before getting a full-time, real-world career in it.
Next, this is when your network can come in. You will want to reach out to people you know who work for companies that hold internship programs. Right now, this can be more difficult since career fairs are not happening in person. But on the other hand, there are opportunities to network with people virtually that you would not be able to see in-person.
With networking, a great tip to do is ask for informational interviews. Make the interview about them because everyone likes to talk about themselves. Go into the interview with questions about them prepared. Towards the end, you will want to inquire if there are internship positions at their company or in their department specifically.
To learn more about how to network as a college student, tune into The Internship Show: The Office Hours has great nuggets of advice!
Remote Internship Programs to Apply For
CDW is a large technology company that provides tech solutions to businesses, government, education, and healthcare. They hold a college student internship program that is currently remote work. The program focuses on professional development through individual and group work, while creating a community of a global network.
Nvidia is a technology company, specializing in software and hardware, that hosts a fantastic internship program. The program allows college students to make a real impact on the technology industry by working with executives and developing technology. Interns in this program are treated like they are employees there with a full-time job. They have a great social media presence for their recruiting program. Follow their LinkedIn Nvidia University Recruiting page!
HBO internships are highly desirable especially since their HBO Max platform hosts some of the best television shows. Their internships have a wide variety of positions such as public relations, technology, marketing, human resources, social responsibility, and journalism.
At Scholars, we have highlighted the great internships that are offered at SAP. They have a variety of different internship options because they are year-round hiring for part-time and full-time internships ranging from 10-weeks to a full year.
What the Interview Process is For Remote Interns
For remote internships, the interview process is a standard interview process with the exception of being a virtual experience rather than in-person. While this can calm nerves a bit, there are a few things to keep in mind before interviewing.
WIth being a virtual student, you should have transferrable skills in terms of managing your time that is applicable for a virtual internship. You will want to write notes on how you work best with this unique work environment of being at home.
Along with time management, you should have basic knowledge on virtual tools. A few of these tools are Slack, Skype, Zoom, Google Services, and Trello.
Before your interview, you want to practice. Practice your set up with adequate lighting, having a quiet environment that has a clean background. Preferably, you will want to have a plain colored wall.
While on camera, be mindful of the colors you wear. You should avoid patterns, solid black and solid white. This is because it will wash you out in the backgrounds on a webcam. If you wear glasses, make sure there is no glare while on camera.
For the rest, prepare like you would for an in-person interview. Be sure to go ahead of time, research, and prepare solid questions.