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?
I'm specifically interested in finance, consulting, and non profit work
#internship #finance #consulting #nonprofit #COVID-19
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.
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!
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.
Even with these changing times, i think the key considerations on whether or not to take a particular internship are still the same whether you do your internship on-site or from home/virtually.
Some questions to ask yourself first before you think about the virtual arrangement:
1. What is it you're looking to gain from this internship?/what is the knowledge, exposure or skills you'd like to achieve at the end of your internship
2. Is the internship opportunity in line with what you're interested in, what you want to explore in a future career, or gives your avenues to develop technical, functional or soft skills that you currently are lacking
3. How is your hiring manager and team that you're going to be joining? What is your impression of them, would your manager micro-manage you or empower you to take ownership of your work and allow you to contribute meaningfully? - This is especially important to determine the quality of your internship experience.
Once you are able to answer these questions, you can start thinking of whether doing your internship virtually will affect your answers to the above questions. I believe if you can find an internship opportunity that can allow you achieve the above, that would be a great internship opportunity
Cheers and all the best!
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.
1. Have a morning routine! Don't just roll out of bed and start working. I've found that working out and even going for a short walk before work help me be more productive and focused.
2. Get ready in the morning. I know its easy to stay in your pajamas, but I highly suggested getting dressed and doing your hair or makeup. This really helps me feel more professional and productive during the day!
3. Keep your work life and home life separate. Have set hours that you will work and hours that you don't. If you need to deal with something outside of your work hours than that's okay, but I think it's important to have "me" time as well!
I hope this helps and good luck! :)
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.
Keep networking in the form of talking to to your fellow colleagues, attending meeting and talking to your seniors.
Always keep a to-do list for the day and prioritize your work.
Keep a schedule ready for the day. Always keep sometime as break for lunch hours and coffee.
Take regular feedback to keep your productivity high
and above all stay motivated.
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.
Here are a few things to consider when working in a remote environment:
- Continue developing your work relationships/network. Communicate in ways other than email. Develop personal touch points.
- When comfortable/available, use video chat. This adds a personal touch in a remote environment.
- Reach out and talk through issues or questions when possible. This saves plenty of time for everyone involved. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
- Find ways to remain focused and balance work and home life. Communicate any flexibility you may need in your schedule to hold yourself accountable.
- Make time to take care of yourself. This environment can be draining, so take time to exercise, eat, meditate, etc. Protect your "you time" in any way you can.
- Set an end time to the day. Try not to lose control of your schedule.
- Create a comfortable workspace. Items like an office chair, desk, and desktop monitor are worth the investment if it makes you more comfortable and focused on the job.
Hope this helps!