Remote Internship Tips: 8 Ways to Make a Good Impression

While nothing says "living the dream" quite like a remote internship (twenty-hour work week, skipping the morning traffic, and a totally flexible schedule), virtual work is still work. Fortunately, with remote work culture on the rise, interning online will give you an upper hand over the competition. Still, there's one potential challenge you’ll want to overcome to succeed: how to make a good impression on your boss when working remotely. 

The lack of the in-office aspect can be a hurdle when building good relationships with your superiors, but it's much easier than expected. 

Here are eight easy and practical ways to make a stellar debut at your new remote internship and leave a lasting impression on your colleagues, superiors, and boss:

8 Ways to Impress Your Supervisor on Your Remote Internship

One surefire way to impress your boss at a remote internship is by doing your work and doing it well. Everyone loves an intern who is dedicated to adding the maximum value and is an eager learner. 

Apart from that, a few other factors can boost your reputation and impress your boss. Here are ten of those:

1. Be Professional

Professionalism matters. Be mindful of how you present yourself to your supervisors and co-workers during your on-screen interactions. Display your best self forward:

  • If you aren't used to waking up early, make it a habit before you start your internship. (However, most remote internships are flexible and allow you to work independently).
  • Show up on time for virtual meetings, give your full attention and energy
  • Learn to present yourself well – dress appropriately (be it business casual or formal). 
  • Ask questions, offer your ideas freely when asked
  • Have a can-do attitude.

Every company has a different culture and ways of interacting with each other. For example, while some companies utilize the chat feature in video meetings to the fullest, others may never use it. It will take some time for you to understand and pick up on what's appropriate, and that's part of understanding how the professional world works.

2. Know Your Company

Before your first day, put your research skill to work and learn everything about the company. Read your internship joining letter provided by the recruiter thoroughly and understand the expectations. 

As an intern, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What does the company do? What are its unique selling points?
  • Who are its target customers?
  • How does the company make money?
  • Who is the CEO?
  • How does your team's work fit the company's goal?
  • What are your boss/manager's background and interests?

Answering the above will give you insights into your interning company's top priorities and help you better understand your work.

Reverse engineer the process. Know why the company needs an intern and how you can be great at it. Along with making a good impression, this knowledge will also help make the most valuable contributions and promise a full-time employment offer.

3. Understand Expectations and Avoid Assumptions

Be clear on what is expected of you during the internship regarding tasks, responsibilities, and goals. This will help you better focus your efforts and achieve desired results.

Start by talking to your manager/supervisor. Ask them what they expect from you during the internship and what they hope you'll achieve. Get a clear idea of your tasks and end goals.

Once clear on the expectations, you can set your own goals. Hitting these goals will motivate you through the internship and make it easier to communicate your progress alongside.

4. Practice Effective Listening

Companies value effective listening because good teams thrive in a trusting space where all ideas are heard and appreciated. Moreover, actively listening to team members demonstrates your engagement and interest while also improving your understanding of internship tasks and goals.

Active listening can also help you build stronger relationships with your supervisor and colleagues, which will be especially important in a remote work setting where face-to-face interactions are limited. This means: 

  • Going to meetings with prepared questions
  • Reading the agenda beforehand (if there's any)
  • Summarizing the main points
  • Reflecting on what you've learned
  • Using non-verbal cues such as making eye contact, nodding, and using facial expressions to indicate that you are engaged.

5. Be a Team Player

Being an intern will require you to work on projects with other team members that'll test your collaboration and communication skills. Just because you are an intern doesn't mean you wouldn't be making valuable contributions to the company. 

So make sure to utilize your talents and skills by helping your team – even though you aren't explicitly asked to. If you notice some members of your team are being stretched with upcoming deadlines, offering to take a couple of tasks off their shoulders shows you know how a well-functioning team with good communication works. 

6. Get Involved and Speak Up

As an intern, you have the upper hand with your fresh perspective and view of something others might overlook. Your outside insights can help the team come up with better solutions. 

So never shy away from voicing your opinions, thoughts, and questions. Reach out to your manager when in doubt and get involved in events you can benefit from. Working remotely can be a learning curve; make it easier by taking it in your stride and being open to anything that comes your way. 

Aim to strengthen the discussions with your unique opinion and perspective. If you believe your idea or opinion could help the success of the project or the company, speak up. 

That said, before speaking, make sure that people are offering their suggestions in any meeting. Read the room, and if no one else is speaking, consider sharing your ideas with the appropriate person afterwards.

Read Next: 5 Effective Work Habits to Adopt: Tips for a Successful Career

7. Seek Out Feedback

There'll be a lot of new work coming your way, and you will only be trained for some of it. But that's what internships are for, to learn new things and grow your skill set. So when in doubt, reach out for help and feedback. 

Always be clear with your superiors when you need to upskill, what you want to learn more about and seek out feedback. This can mean connecting on a quick call to review changes they might have made to your work or using comments and suggestions left for you in a working document. 

Chat with your superiors, and understand the best way to get updates about your work. Know the channel they prefer, it can be a weekly email recapping your progress, skills you've learned, and the questions you might have. 

Accept every point of feedback graciously. The lessons you can learn during your internship will follow you to your first full-time position, so use every piece of feedback as a learning opportunity.

8. Build Connections

Networking isn't only great for your career, it's also vital for your personal and professional development. Therefore, go above just impressing your supervisors and make the most of your internship by expanding your professional network. 

  • Request a ten-minute networking call with your superiors
  • invite your colleagues for a casual coffee or lunch-style online meeting
  • connect with the employees on LinkedIn for future reference
  • ask them to add a recommendation to your profile to solidify your wins further

Apart from expanding your professional network, building connections can be immensely helpful in your job search after graduation or later in your career.

Get Your Unbeatable Advantage 

Virtual Internships have helped 7,000+ ambitious interns like you get an internship in a leading company situated in one of 80+ countries (a truly international work experience). With 18+ career fields, we’re sure you’ll find your perfect fit. 

A remote internship with VI gives you more than other online work experience opportunities because the program is designed to offer wraparound support to ensure you are successful in your internship. For example, you’ll get; 

  • Intern and Supervisor Assessments offer a constant feedback loop from host company supervisors and experienced professionals.
  • Online Curriculum, CareerBridge, where interns gain access to a series of 12 professional development courses designed to prepare them for jumping into the global workforce.
  • Placement Project Plan, which is the job description and support document we match host companies and students with guiding the projects they will complete and skills they will be utilizing.
  • Internship Coaching calls where our trained coaches ask questions directly aligned to unpacking these crucial transferable skills
  • Global Employability Expert Series, which delivers a live 30-minute webinar exploring international careers, necessary skills, and best practices.

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