Tips for remote internships

The purpose of an internship is to apply what the student has learned during their studies in practice and to help structure theoretical knowledge. Internship differs from other employment relationships in that the key objective is learning with the support of a supervisor. The focus is not only on the content of the work in relation to the field of study, but also getting to know the work community, different working methods, the organisation and its stakeholders.

In times of corona, many university students complete their internships remotely. What should the supervisor take into account?


Practices

In remote work situations, you should make sure that the intern knows what to do in the work community in case of e.g. illness, how working hours are monitored or where they can get support on the use of the tools and software required for the work.

Contact during internship

Maintaining contact with the intern is also important during a remote internship. At the beginning of the internship, you can already schedule discussion times at suitable intervals. You can also set up a way with the intern for them to send their questions and observations also between agreed discussions.

Information should be shared as clearly as possible. You should also make sure that the intern receives enough good-quality feedback even in remote work conditions.

Take time for the student

You might need to reserve more time for orientation when you do it remotely. During remote orientation, interaction will be different and things may have to be repeated more frequently.

You should make sure you have enough time for guidance meetings during the internship and try to create an atmosphere that is as confidential as possible.

Setting and tracking goals

A good way of starting guidance discussions is to talk about the set goals. You should also give special attention to ensuring that work tasks are completed successfully and that the student is working periodically. It is easy to overlook things during remote internship guidance supervision.

Introduction to the work community

Since the student cannot get to know the members of the work community at the workplace, it is a good idea to pay particular attention to how introductions are managed remotely so that the new employee feels welcome and safe. For example, you can schedule meetings or discussions with other employees than the supervisor.

Introduction to the organisation

Getting to know the training organisation can require creativity in remote work. Maybe the intern could also participate in meetings that are not directly related to their duties but could broaden their vision of the organisation and its activities?

Checklist

· Materials available to the intern

· Access to necessary systems

· Introduction to the use of remote systems

· IT support

· Agreed orientation times

· Agreed times for discussions during the internship

· Introduction to the community

· Introduction to the organisation

· Getting to know community practices

· Information about working hours and sick leave

· Review of the situation at the beginning, in the middle and at the end: goals, workflow, working methods

· Feedback opportunity

· Opportunity to get/ask for help