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The Pros and Cons of Remote Internships

Looking for internship opportunities during a pandemic is one thing, but actually being an intern during a pandemic is another. Now is not the time to stretch yourself too thin, because mental and physical health during these unprecedented circumstances need the space to be checked in on. That being said, now is also not the time to push goals to the backburner. If you’re passionate about something, something like socially distant employment shouldn’t halt your actions. 

Finding a remote internship might seem daunting, because while there might be an influx of them thanks to COVID-19 keeping in-person programs at bay, there are also an influx of applicants. Instead of just competing with students and young adults in the relative physical area of the position for the job, you’re now up against people all over the country – or even the globe. This is stressful for everyone, but taking the time to recognize your skill and apply to all that resonates with your career path will pay off.

Remote internships let you fill up your resume, learn valuable skills outside of the classroom (to some extent), teach you time management, and allow you to still network and grow yourself and your brand without leaving the comfort of your home office, dorm room, or wherever you're comfortable remote setup may be.

That’s part of the joy of a remote internship: flexibility. If your campus is open at the moment, you can use a quiet corner of your library to work. If you’re in your family’s home, you can sit on your bed and do your work. If you have a coffee shop with outdoor seating and wifi near you, that can be a great place to get your work done, as well. The possibilities are just about endless when it comes to finding a place to do your tasks in the most comfortable, efficient, and safe way possible.

Unfortunately, that comes with some drawbacks, such as distractions. Office spaces, organized desks, nearby co-workers, and things of the like can help curb your wandering mind, whereas random, at-home distractions are all around you, inevitable, and sometimes unavoidable. You want your productivity levels to be at their highest and not everyone works well without structure, which can be a downfall of a remote internship.

Remote internships can be a better financial option, though, even if there wasn’t a global health crisis going on. Going remote for employment not only saves you from paying for gas, public transportation, or any other commute-based costs, but it also might curb your morning Dunkin Donuts run or the urge to take your lunch break at a local restaurant. Sure, making your own coffee might not taste as good and you could still order in for lunch, but the accessibility within your own chosen workspace can keep your pockets from hurting at least a few more times a week.

Internships may even be mandatory for some students based on their school or department of study. If this is you, going remote gives you a chance to get credit for your institution and still graduate on time, regardless of the pandemic’s effects on your education. Holding back from applying and accepting an internship due to the fact that it is being conducted virtually for the time being might not be worth the risk, as it can most likely be beneficial to you and your life rather than harmful in any way. As long as you look for the right one, are honest with the employer about any concerns you may have, and work your hardest in the best setting for you, a remote internship might be a positive alternative for the upcoming semester or two.

 

Debra Kate Schafer is a Journalism and Professional Writing major at TCNJ with a background in music journalism, newspaper writing, and radio. When she's not writing, she can be found playing with her dog, laughing at her own jokes, talking about Harry Styles, and eating too much sushi for her own good.
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