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What I Learned From Virtual Internships

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In the last year, I've had two virtual internships. One of them I'm thankfully still doing on a more permanent basis and the other I had to quit due to the lack of professionalism. I will admit virtual internships can be challenging and time-consuming. It can also be very hard and frustrating. It can also be the most rewarding experience ever.

Do I like doing virtual internships? Yes and No. With a virtual internship, there is the prospect of convenience and then there is the thing of not getting what you really want out of it. I've only had two virtual internships, so I am not an expert but today I wanted to share with you gals some tips I think you should use when doing a virtual internship:

1. During the interview process, make sure that you have good service.
Most virtual internship interviews are either done over the phone or Skype. I think it's so important to request that the interviewer is located in a quiet place with good service, and you should also do the same. This ensures you hear everything and the interviewer can understand your responses clearly. I've had a couple of interviews where I made it my mission to be in a quiet place - and I've even used my landline - but the interviewer wasn't and the interview didn't go so well because I couldn't hear her.

2. During the interview process, make sure to get a clear description of your job requirements.

It's so important to know what your job requirements will be so you can get an idea of what you'll be doing beforehand. I had an experience with my first internship when my boss told me that I would be doing so much more, and when I started the internship, I spent the first two months updating her email list and sending emails to prospective clients - instead of what she really hired me for. It was frustrating.

3. Be honest.
If you're a newbie like me, make sure you're honest and don't lie on your resume. There is nothing more unprofessional than lying about being able to do something and when the time comes for you to put that skill to use, you have no idea what to do.

4. Be prepared for the unexpected.

With any internship whether it is virtual or in person, no two days are the same. Always expect that your boss might switch things up on you.

5. Make sure you ask questions.
Always ask questions when you are unsure about how something is supposed to be done.

6. Being organized is very important.

Buying and using your planner to help you plan out your week/day helps a lot. It can also help you keep track of your deadlines and also help you stay organized throughout the duration of your internship.

7. Be professional at all times.

8. Be on time.
If you and your boss have worked out a schedule for when you have to check into your internship, make sure that you're on time. If you notice that your boss is late for the day and hasn't assigned anything for you to do, continue working on your previous task. Everyone loves a self-starter.

9. Make sure you schedule/request bi-weekly Skype chats.

It's so important to check in from time to time with your boss. Use this time to get to know your boss. Also during these chats, you can also ask for feedback on how you're doing and these can also be training sessions for you to pick your boss's brain and for him/her to teach you new skills.

10. Know what you want out of a virtual internship and make sure a virtual internship is right for you.

11. It's OK to quit if the virtual internship turned out to be not what you expected or if you feel like your time, skills and talents are being wasted.

12. If your boss is unprofessional and unorganized, then the internship will not work out.
(Cambio Col[lab] is a lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice. Like what you're seeing? Share it to support their effort!)


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