Five ways students can ace virtual internships

July 7, 2020 2:15 PM

Despite the ongoing pandemic, students are pushing the barriers of physical immobility by adapting to virtual learning.

virtual internships, virtual internships tips, virtual internships vacancy, internships online, virtual internship opportunitiesThe key elements of a successful virtual internship are communication and networking. (Representational image: IE)

By Tanushree Sinha

Despite the ongoing pandemic, students are pushing the barriers of physical immobility by adapting to virtual learning. Likewise, it is time to take this virtual experience forward by enabling opportunities for letting them pursue internships online. As the uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation continues to loom, virtual internship opportunities will open avenues for the students to get a glimpse of the professional world. It will allow them to expand their horizons, prepare for the future and understand how organizations work, importance of team work and working towards common goals. However, given that the concept of internships at the school level is a relatively new one, expecting students to suddenly ace their virtual internships experience is a rather unrealistic expectation.

Here are five basic points that students should keep in mind to ensure that their virtual internship experience is a fulfilling one:

Research is crucial: It is essential to conduct research on an organization prior to working there. Students need to be aware of the business, method of work and the cultural ethos of the company. This will help to prepare them for the work they are expected to do. Since there will be no physical contact with the office teammates, it is a good way of acquainting oneself with the organization.

Communication and networking: The key elements of a successful virtual internship are communication and networking. If you are in a dilemma or lack clarity about your task, take every opportunity to ask questions to your teammates. Additionally, during team meetings, do not hesitate to share ideas and suggestions, demonstrate your confidence, but ensure that you have done your homework and your ideas are backed by research. Lastly, ensure that you are in constant touch with your supervisor regarding your work and update him/her regularly. Video chats are a great way of enhancing communication.

Importance of time management: Even if you are not in an office and under observation, do not take your work lightly. While working from home, it is important to not get distracted and focus on the task assigned. Meeting deadline is important and will allow the office teams to look at you as dependable and responsible member of the team. However, it’s always okay to take small breaks between tasks as long as you are not compromising on deadlines.

Revise your work – As in school, revise your work before submitting it to your supervisor. As this is your first professional experience, you are bound to make mistakes. Always remember to double or even triple check your work before submission. Do this even when you are on tight deadlines. The more accurate your work is, the better impression you will make at workplace.

Maintain professional decorum – If you think a proper ambience will give you the necessary professional attitude, go for it. Work in a peaceful location at your house where there will be no distractions. Stick to your office timing even at home and start work at the official time. Do not entertain family members or friends during office hours. Maintain formal communication while engaging in conversations with your teammates.

Apart from these tips, have an open mind while working. Get creative with your work and make the most of the experience!

(The author is Head, Career Guidance Centre at Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon. Views expressed are personal.)

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