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5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Virtual Internship

Virtual internships are new for everyone, which can make them feel intimidating. However, they’re a great way to get hands-on experience while being able to keep a flexible schedule! Last fall, I started my first virtual internship and have learned so much in such a short amount of time. Here are five tips I use to make most of my virtual internship that I hope will help you too!

Set clear work hours for yourself

Since virtual internships are often project-based, it can be easy to overwork or underwork on assignments. It can often seem like there is no end to the workday when you are working remotely, and it is your responsibility to strike the right balance and communicate with your boss if you’re feeling overwhelmed. What helps many people like myself is setting specific hours of the day that you declare your office hours instead of scattering out your work throughout the day. Make sure you keep track of your assignments and how long tasks take you, so in the future, you can more efficiently plan out your next projects! Your mental health is important, and having a healthy work-life balance is key to keeping a happy workplace and a happy mind. 

Reach Out to Other Interns

When you start your internship, be proactive and set up short meetings with members of your team. In virtual settings, it is up to you to create the work environment you love and you will have to take initiative to get to know your coworkers. Take this opportunity to learn about your teammates’ backgrounds and career paths, and ask them what their goals are. You never know how you could help each other in the future; connections are ALWAYS important. Plus, work is always a bit easier when you have someone you feel close to.

 Network, Network, Network

Remember that useful connections exist in the company beyond the people you’re working with directly. A huge tip I have is to use LinkedIn or ask coworkers you already spoke with to find other people that have experiences you’re interested in. This will allow you to schedule informal interviews to get to know them and learn what they do and how they got there. Connections are everything and will help you immensely in the future. 

Ask for Feedback 

One of the biggest benefits of an internship is that you get real-world experience in the workplace that will help to shape your future career and skillset. No one starts their career being perfect, and asking for feedback can never hurt you. 

An internship is an opportunity to learn, and your supervisor does not expect you to already know all the answers, so do not be afraid to ask questions. Feedback does not always have to come from your boss to be useful. Be sure to ask your colleagues to provide feedback, too. 

It is very important to remember that when you’re receiving feedback to take it graciously and that it is not a judgment of you as a person but for improving your work! 

Take Initiative 

My last tip for making the most of your virtual internship is to take initiative and try new things! If you have completed all your work for the week and still have some free time on your hands, let somebody on your team know that you’re available to take on something new. You could even try out some of your ideas to pitch to the team! You should use an internship as a place to take advantage of all the opportunities you can. 

I have worked on so many great projects that I would never have been apart of if I did not use this tip. It can be scary to ask for more or offer your ideas in a professional setting, but you never know what could come from it. 

Whether you are completing your internship virtually or in person, all of these tips will help you to stay on task and connected. Stay driven and follow these tips and you will be an amazing virtual intern! 

Samantha Casolaro

Chapel Hill '22

Samantha Casolaro is a junior at UNC, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations aspiring to work in the fashion and beauty industry. She loves to spend quality time with friends, binge watch TikToks dedicated to fashion and Harry Styles, and listen to Miley Cyrus’s cover of “Heart of Glass” on repeat.
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