In today’s Insight, I’m sharing tips for college students on how to succeed in your virtual PR internship.
Landing an internship is the perfect opportunity for students to gain hands-on, real-world experience in their desired job field. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted what the traditional internship experience looks like for many college students, including myself.
As a senior studying public relations, I have had experience interning in traditional and virtual office settings (A.K.A, my bedroom desk). While I have had positive experiences working in both settings, there are several aspects of completing a virtual internship that college students may find difficult to navigate.
During my virtual internship at Maven, I have been able to reflect on the qualities and skills that allow me to succeed in my position. The following tips outline how students can set themselves up for success in their online PR internships.
Since you will not be in a physical office each day with your coworkers, it’s important to communicate frequently to ensure the team is aware of what you are working on and your availability to take on new projects.
Building good rapport and developing relationships is necessary for your internship experience. This is definitely challenging in a virtual setting, but make sure to utilize your email, company-specific instant messaging platform, and team Zoom meetings to get to know your counterparts. They want to get to know you, too!
You may find yourself completing tasks and projects quicker than expected. In such instances, take the initiative to ask your team if they need any assistance with other projects they may be working on. You can also use your downtime to organize your files and keep your digital space clean.
In a virtual setting, you are not surrounded by your coworkers. Make the extra effort to see if they need any help and prove that you are a team player who is excited to take on additional work.
Keep a Professional Mentality
While it might not always feel like you are “at work” every day, it is crucial to remember that your internship is still a job. Work extra hard to hold yourself accountable, and enter each workday like you would in a traditional office space. I get ready for the day every morning just like I would if I were going to work in-person. This gives me the drive and stamina to stay motivated and keep my strong work ethic.
Also, you will find it tempting to check your phone and complete other tasks at home while you are on the clock. Do not make a habit out of this! I always try to leave my phone at the other end of the room when I am working, and I recommend that you do the same.
Change Your Surroundings Frequently
If you are anything like me, you probably cannot stay in the same spot all day to do your assigned work. To maintain workday productivity, spend a few hours in different locations around your house. Go outside for a little while, sit at the kitchen table, move your laptop to the living room– whatever works for you!
It is easy to become overwhelmed working in a virtual format. Maybe you are upset that you are not getting the typical, in-person experience. When these emotions begin to set in, always remember that it is a privilege to have an internship, no matter what the format is. Lead with a smile and a good heart, I promise it will set you apart from the rest.
These experiences will shape who you are as an aspiring professional and provide you with a network of connections that want you to succeed. Always be sure to remember that!
Thank you for reading my Insight about how to succeed in a virtual PR internship. Check out our Insights “My Public Relations Internship with Maven” and “My Digital Design Internship with Maven” to read more about what an internship at our agency consists of.
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