How To Excel In And Make The Most Out Of Your Online Internship
With the pandemic, many of us have struggled with trying to transition to an online setting, be it classes or work.
As for college students, the ability to gain knowledge and valuable experience through internships has now been limited to online internships alone. While this definitely isn’t the most ideal setting for internships, it’s crucial to face online internships. It is apart of the challenge that comes with working.
On top of that, you will need to be open and prepared to face challenges. These challenges could be communication barriers, conflicting ideas and relationship building. However, what are some ways in which you can learn how to excel in and make the most out of your online internships? Let’s break it down!
1. Be present
As your colleagues and seniors are not able to meet you physically, you need to make sure that they know you “exist”. With that, try to be present in group chats by initiating communications. This could be greeting them every morning with a simple ‘Hello’ or ‘Good morning’.
If you are in a company that loves communicating in the main group chat, try to also participate by sharing quality, fun reads for everyone. This would definitely help you in being acknowledge by everyone in the company and associate some positivity to your name.
2. Always volunteer to help
We know online internships can be hard…especially with the realisation that sometimes, there really isn’t anything to do. However, it’s always best to take the initiative to volunteer for a task while we await tasks to be provided. From here, your teams and department can help to match tasks which you can contribute to. You would be viewed positively, as it shows that you are open to helping others and are eager to learn.
3. Ask questions
The working world can be scary, more so when you feel that everyone seems to know everything, while you don’t. As such, you need to view internships as a learning curve and revel in the opportunity that comes with it. You’re expected to ask questions as an intern because it’s understandable that you may not know all.
However, it’s also important to pose your questions well enough that it reflects the research that you have done. If you are unsure of something, look up for some possible answers and solutions and only then, approach your seniors to understand the situation or question better.
For instance, if you are in a situation where you need to better understand a task, pose questions like “Could you help run me through important pointers that can be inputted to the document for better clarity?
If a task is being assign to you and you are keen to know how it would align with the end goal, you could consider phrasing your question to “How can I strategically contribute to the task/team to assist in achieving our end goal?”. A fact that you should know is that your seniors values it when you ask for advice. This is because they are able to share their viewpoint and impart their wisdom to you.
4. Give opinions
“There’s no such thing as a wrong answer”… surely you’ve heard this a lot. This also applies to your internship as mentioned in point #3 because no one expects you to know it all. But, truth to be told, it is expected that you need to have a point of view in different situations.
Be it breaking down a brief from a client or even a meeting to view new ideas, providing your point-of-view shows that you are actually aware of the bigger picture. Being able to give opinions actually hones your critical thinking skills. This is a skill that will absolutely be significant in your career.
Hard skills aside, it’s also important that your soft skills are also exemplified throughout your internship period. And in that sense, making a good impression is also important in online internships (especially when your colleagues aren’t able to interact physically with you).
You can achieve it through two very simple things – being punctual and always remembering three basic manners: hello, please and thanks. Being punctual is an important character as it grants respect to both parties. With online internships, the majority of communications are done virtually. Thus, it’s important to be punctual with providing updates, sharing reports and even when joining meetings.
Apart from that, always remember the three basic greetings – always say ‘hi’ when communicating, emphasizing ‘please’ when help is needed and sharing ‘thanks’ whenever possible. This shows your appreciation and respect towards the other person.
One very important thing about working is making sure that you also connect with your colleagues and team so that you’d be able to build good working relationships. It’s a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues better, while understanding their true self. This could help you learn about their working styles or even their personality. When getting to know them, don’t jump in straight to extremely personal questions. Instead, touch on more light, conversational topics like food, pets or activities. These little bits of information could come in helpful. Whether that be when times get tough or when you feel like cheering up your colleague.
Being new to the office (and especially on an internship basis) can be daunting. However, that’s also part and parcel of venturing into the working industry. With the right skills, you’re sure to excel and collect some good recommendations for yourself.
If you are curious to know more about how to make the best of your internship once offices are able to work physically, check out this article that provides different tips that would help you excel.