11 answers

Given the increased need to work from home, I was wondering what sort of factors should I keep in mind while finding/working in an online/virtual internship?

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I'm specifically interested in finance, consulting, and non profit work

#internship #finance #consulting #nonprofit #covid-19

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11 answers

mary’s Answer

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Hi there,

First off, I would consider time management and giving yourself a workspace that you'll be able to be engaged in. As for finding an online/virtual internship, you should be aware that not many people will get back to you as quickly. By all means, you should continue to apply and network during this time. Remind yourself to not be discouraged!

In between internship hunting, take the opportunity to brush over your resume, CV, portfolio, etc., - make sure it's updated and is a current reflection of the experience you have. Good luck!
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Sherri’s Answer

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As a professional working from home for over 20+ years, here's some tips to on managing your day effectively:

1) Keep a routine, it's easy to get distracted and off course without a set guideline.

2) Turn your ringer and alerts off on your mobile devices, otherwise it's too easy to be distracted.

3) Make a "to-do" list of things that must get done done by the end of the day to keep yourself focused.

4) Keep your desk organized!

5) Take 30 minutes to walk away and exercise or get some fresh air.
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Syed’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

In the consulting space, you'd want to consider the following things:

1. The pre-COVID 19 stance or attitude around WFH: The more the company has engaged with WFH in the past, the more likely they are to sustain it now (IBM has a great WFH culture and infrastructure, for example)

2. Digital tools used by the company to stay in touch - Think Slack, Zoom, Whatsapp, etc. - You don't want to be out of sight and out of mind

3. Level of online training available: You won't have an in-person training to rely on, so online training is critical. At IBM for example, we had a YourLearning portal with 1000s of hours of content in very broad and also very niche subjects

4. "Online" Hours: Depending on what type of work/life balance you're looking for, you have to know the expectations around when to be online. Typically, consultants are online all the time anyway. However, some firms are more conscious of family/personal time than others.

5. Level of client exposure: In consulting, the client is king. The more you can create value for a client and flex your skills, the more likely you are to get a return offer. Unfortunately, you won't be able to do this in person. Make sure the consulting company has a plan for how to get you in front of clients and working on client-facing activities while remote.
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Anne’s Answer

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Christie, this is a great question. Regardless of whether you are working remotely or in person, stay engaged and complete your assignments in a professional and timely manner. If you have the opportunity to meet your managers or co-workers in person, take the opportunity to connect with them remotely via chat or a phone call to continue the relationship. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. Your manager will appreciate your desire to learn more about the job and your interest in being a proactive employee. Also, understand the value of saying thank you or congratulating someone else for their work or accomplishments. People will remember that you are a gracious participant and collaborative co-worker. Finally, I suggest connecting with your colleagues on LinkedIn so you can maintain an on-going relationship with them once the internship is over.
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Rodney’s Answer

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Good question,

Working remotely is definitely a different pace than going into the office everyday. I have found it both challenging and rewarding. You will lose the face to face contact with your colleagues but video conference calls will make up for that. It is important to speak up and let your voice be heard during video calls so you maintain that connection with your team. A few general best practices I've found useful are:

1) Dedicated downtime: Make sure to unplug and disconnect from your work. Go outside or connect with a close friend.
2) Dedicated time: Set office hours. Determine daily priorities.
3) Communicate Needs: Manager knows what I need to do my best work. Family/Friends/Housemates know what I need to do my best work.
4) Working Technology: Make sure software is updated. Audio/Visual muted when appropriate.
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Dianna’s Answer

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Hello Christie,

Regarding working from home, I think a good gauge would be if you are able to successfully complete classes on line, then a virtual job may work for you. It requires self -discipline and working autonomously. In most large organizations, new employees often have to work at a physical location until they have proven their abilities and then have opportunities to work from home. Regarding non profit work, I agree with the above post, most non-profit organizations are not remote positions. I would first identify the nonprofits you may be interested in and see if you can set up time with someone in their HR department to find out what type of intern opportunities they have .

Hope that helps.

Dianna recommends the following next steps:

  • Identify nonprofits that interest you
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Emma’s Answer

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Hi Christie,

I would look for companies that have existing technological capabilities. Through the interview process ask questions around how the business has managed the transition to WFH with their staff. Also, after speaking with people at different companies reflect on how easy it was to develop a rapport with them and your level of interest in the company post the discussion.

Most importantly, focus on companies that you are passionate about and excited about.

Good luck!
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Shruti’s Answer

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I am going to give a short answer here - If you are going to work remote, the employer is going to want to able to trust you when selecting you. So be prepared with your content and be CONFIDENT during your interviews. And to win trust just be yourself, express yourself clearly and do not bluff about something you don't have knowledge of.
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West’s Answer

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Hi Christie!

Great question.

Working from home definitely has it challenges. As someone who is currently working from home, I can tell you first hand, that it is not always easy. A couple of things that I think will benefit you in the long run.

1) Find a quiet place that you can focus. Distractions are numerous and can add up when WFH. Finding a place with a good wifi that is quiet can go a long way to improving your productivity.

2) Remain positive. WFH and only seeing your coworkers through a screen can take its toll on a person. I would encourage you to set aside breaks to relax. One thing I have found beneficial is that I have been taking daily walks when it's nice outside. Doing so can help you hit the 'reset' button so to speak.

3) Remain flexible. For most people, WFH is not their normal routine. We are figuring it out on the fly. As such, it is important to keep an open mind. As someone seeking an internship I encourage you to remain flexible. Most interviews and connections points will be online. I encourage you to be deliberate with these interviews and ask the important questions. Most people whom you will connect with will be very excited to do so, take advantage of them.

I hope these tips help you in the future!
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Sara’s Answer

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As someone who has worked extensively with non-profits there is limited work from
home opportunities simply because the work most often involves working directly with providing services to people. If you want to go that route you’d probably be looking more at data analytics for larger non-profits that operate internationally.

Also, consultants usually are folks who have extensive experience in a specific industry so I am not sure what kind of internships are available. A better option than searching for internships would be to find someone who is a consultant in a field of interest to you and see if they would be willing to mentor you and help guide you so that you develop the skills necessary to becoming a consultant.
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Tammy’s Answer

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To add to the multiple comments above, I would like to add that you have to set a schedule because there are days when the day can run into the evening and you can tend to work more hours. It is important to always maintain a good work/life balance. I am more productive when I can take a pause.

And lastly, my moto, if you will, is your year end performance review is based on what you produced or completed through the year, not how many hours you sat at your computer. I recommend you remain flexible and find how you can be most productive.

Good luck.
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