By Allie Schilling
College is a time when one of the main goals is securing an internship in order to build your resume; well at least that was the case for me. The task seems daunting, but let me tell you, the payoff is mighty rewarding. It is an essential experience.
A little over three months ago, I had an interest in a high-level public relations internship but no idea how to make that happen. Then I came across a great opportunity with one catch – the work was, for the most part, a ‘telecommuting’ position. My first thought was apprehension. Would a remote PR internship take away from my class time? What about my studies? After careful consideration I decided to give it a shot. I’m glad I did.
Remote PR internships are not for everyone. In short, dependent types need not apply. Working on your own is likely to scare the heck out of people who always need a boss on top of them. Fortunately, I’m independent by nature so I accepted the offer and dove in. After two months navigating the waters of a remote internship, I have learned some keys to success that are worth sharing. First, I cannot stress time management enough! I’m blessed to have a firm handle on scheduling my time, so this requirement worked for me. As a rising senior with previous full-time work experience, I understood how to juggle. In this case, class, studying, working out and a social life would keep me busy. Throwing a remote internship into the mix would add some twists, but my schedule and daily planner are there to keep me sane and focused.
Yes, there are times when I just want to take a step back and breathe for a few minutes. That’s doable thanks to upkeep of an Excel sheet of day-to-day tasks, with notes about each task and when it needs to be completed. I also write daily tasks in my planner, which allows me to compare my workload against homework deadlines. Bottom line, a tight schedule allows me to complete assignments on time and never say no to the boss.
Effective communication is another key. Emails and phone calls to the boss are a must. Any question I have will be answered either way. We communicate on a daily basis, which creates an anxiety-free work environment. Above all, the open communication policy allows me to shout, ‘Hey boss! Feeling overwhelmed today with that mid-term around the corner …”
Let’s face it. A remote internship is sure to be an epic fail without self-motivation. Personally, I have no idea who or where I would I be today without a steadfast drive that inspires everything I do in life. Sticking with the schedule and banging out my assignments gives me a great feeling. So do the positive comments that follow – they are sure to boost my mood! In fact, the feedback motivates me to reach out for more assignments. As I head into the second-half of the internship, I realize that I’ll have more than a strong resume come this summer. I’ll be able to look my future employer, straight in the eye, and say “I am an independent worker who finishes my work on time and on point.”
Remote internship? For me, best internship ever.