Authored by: Lauren Bradley
After finishing my junior year of college, finding an internship was the first thing on my mind. So when Davis & Company offered me a summer position in employee communication, I was thrilled.
But COVID-19 threw me a curveball: I would be working 100% remotely.
This was a challenging situation for me as an intern because I’ve never worked virtually before. But I learned to adapt and ended up being very successful—by the second week, I became an All Star at collaborating during web meetings.
Here are four things I did to stay engaged and work efficiently in a virtual workplace:
1. Get organized to avoid distractions
I faced countless distractions at home—from the constant “ping” of my Zoom instant messages to the big pile of laundry that needed to get done.
To stay focused, I created a daily to-do list, put my Zoom status on “Do not disturb” and created an office space away from my household chores. This helped me be fully present so I could get down to work.
2. Make time to get to know co-workers
It was tough for me to connect with my colleagues when I couldn’t interact with them in person.
So I recreated watercooler conversations by setting up a few one-on-one web chats with co-workers to learn about them and their careers. As a result, I was able to gain valuable advice while building connections with new people.
3. Go after new assignments
Being behind a computer screen, I found it difficult to make myself visible to take on new projects.
When my schedule wasn’t too busy, I would let my colleagues know so we could find a project I could help with. By reaching out, instead of quietly waiting for assignments, I had the opportunity to gain more skills and experience.
4. Get all the details
Before getting started on a new project, it’s key to have the right knowledge and background information.
To set myself up for success, I did my own research first by looking at past client work and relevant articles. Then I scheduled a kick-off meeting to go through the project objectives and ask questions. This allowed me to be confident and ready to take on the work.
Remote interning is not only possible, but it can be just as rewarding as an in-person gig. Although my experience was different than expected, I now feel like I’m ready to make it to the World Series!