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 intern take into account?
Job management and planning
In remote work, the management and planning of your own work are more important than ever. Remember to schedule your work, utilise your calendar, set up work stations, take breaks, prepare for the day, and build a work environment.
As a student, you might already be an expert in the management of your own work. Remote work is very similar to university studies which involve a lot of independent work in different locations. If you have good practices or tried out operating models, you can also share them with your work community!
Remote work in your own home affects everyone in a different way. Donīt forget to monitor and maintain your own well-being. You can create suitable working conditions for yourself by e.g. setting up a work station, separating work from leisure time with certain routines, taking enough breaks and working periodically between breaks.
Independent remote work might also require more planning. You can mark goals for each work day in your calendar. In addition to meetings, planning, preparation or research tasks can also be marked in the calendar, making it easier for you to manage your time.
As you quickly digitalise your work, you will certainly learn a lot about remote work tools and communication methods. You also get to practise ways of managing your own work (skills in self-management and time management).
Places of work typically have silent knowledge, such as operating methods that have not been expressed. It may be more difficult to access silent knowledge remotely. However, you will adopt this silent knowledge gradually along the way. Informal events and discussions provide insight into the dynamics of the work community. You can also actively ask about informal meetings and practices at the workplace.
Health care services
As an employed intern, you are within the scope of the employer's occupational health care. You can also turn to student health care if there are any problems. If you experience inappropriate treatment or if the employer does not act as agreed in the employment or internship agreement, you should contact your university.
Asking for help
Donīt hesitate to ask for help if something is unclear. Supervising the internship remotely might also be new for your supervisor so they may not even think to ask about your situation. You donīt have to solve all problems alone! On top of the supervisor, you can also contact the university staff if you have any difficulties.
You can talk to the supervisor about dividing the internship period into sections. At certain milestones, you and your supervisor can check the progress of your tasks, achieved goals and questions raised during the internship. It is often easier to discuss these matters if you have written them down along the way. You can also agree with your instructor on a suitable method for forwarding your questions between the milestone discussions.