What is a remote internship and where can you find one? Wait – first let’s look at what Internship is.
An internship is a formal program offered by an employer to students to give them a flavor of professional life and prepare them a little as what to expect when they graduate and join the workforce. Being an intern doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be offered a job at the end of the internship period though in many cases it improves your odds. Conversely, if you are offered a position, you are in no way obliged to accept it. This is one way of industries giving back to the community. Every one benefits.
Internships can be either full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid and last anywhere from two weeks to three months. Many colleges have an office that coordinates with businesses and government offices to arrange internships for their students.
Internships bridge the gap between the academic and the professional world, ensuring a seamless transition from academic life into a professional career. They may even result in a full time job. Though most internships are on location, nowadays there is a remote internship option, especially in the I.T. sector.
Life is not perfect though and there are times a student is unable to attend a conventional internship. Either he lives in a remote area with not many offices around or he has a sickness in the family and cannot stay far from home or he has some other liability that prevents him from attending an internship. What to do? That is where remote internships come to the rescue.
Many remote internships have flexible working hours and let you work from any location convenient to you. If you have internet access and a computer, you can most likely do remote internships.
We have to point out that even though they sound more lax, remote internships still require a résumé and cover letter tailored to the company you are applying to. And yes, working from the comfort of your own home may seem like the nicest of jobs, but it still requires discipline and keeping up with deadlines. Your supervisor will expect you to work on time and deliver results on time. Make sure you communicate with them frequently to find out their expectations and how you are supposed to do certain tasks. If you don’t know something, don’t be shy in saying so. The company will most likely arrange for someone to train you if you don’t have a specific skill. And as comfy as working in your pajamas may sound, do not let laziness creep in. A remote internship is still an internship and you will not get a recommendation letter if you have a relaxed attitude about it.
You must also keep in mind that internship positions are either unpaid or paid less than a regular job. Law dictates that the work of unpaid interns cannot be used to displace the work done by paid employees. Some states have their own regulations. For example, interns in California must receive college credits for their work. What should have the most value for you, the intern, is the work experience and the potential recommendation letter. You will easily get one leg up the corporate ladder. So, get a head start and get that internship.
Many a times the company you are interning with may offer you a job if they are pleased with your performance. They have worked with you, they have observed your work ethic and they have trained you. Why not hire you. It is a really great opportunity to show them you can work well and leave a lasting impression. Even if not offered a job right away, they still have your résumé in their pool of potential employees, they know you and how you work and they may reach out whenever they have an opening. Your chances will be all the better if you show enthusiasm and initiative for the job.
How do you find remote internships? Search the web, ask friends who have a job or are doing internships if they know of a company willing to hire remote interns, check company websites. Many companies have a form for internship applications like How to find remote internships.
Fill out such applications and you may get a call back.