Build Relationships, Communicate Often, and Strike Balance
In the most recent Networking from Home event, we turned our attention to virtual internships and explored some best practices with our employer partners.
Joining us for this round was a mix of employers from our Virtual Internship Program as well as those who have experience working remotely.
We were thrilled to welcome representatives from Caravan Studios, Fair & Just Prosecution, TechSoup, Walmart, and FanDuel.
Here are some of our top takeaways.
Be Intentional about Networking & Relationship Building
Creating a list of new professional contacts is at the core of most internship experiences. In the virtual space, you still have many opportunities for building connections.
- Develop a schedule when you’re going to connect with your supervisor. During these meetings, you can discuss your progress but also talk about some of our goals for connecting with other staff. They may be able to help you reach out to others and make those introductions. Always let your supervisor know when you’re connecting with other staff members.
- Networking is essential but find a balance. Our panelists emphasized trying to let your work speak for you because it can help open doors. Don’t put networking over your day to day duties and projects.
- Other interns are great resources. Schedule times to connect with peers working at the organization. These connections can serve as both a support system and you’ll also have a new list of contacts working in your field.
Communication skills become extra important
Your communication skills become even more important when working virtually.
- Communicate your needs and expectations. When in doubt, over-communicate to show your good work as it’s harder to see when working from home.
- Get clarity on workplace communication styles. Every workplace has its own culture around communication and technology. Ask your manager what the preferred method is, so you can take the right approach.
- Be visible. When in check-ins, large meetings, or other online gatherings, turn your camera on. It helps to build familiarity and put a face to an email or message.
be thoughtful about work-Life Balance
When working from home, you will want to be thoughtful about how you utilize your spaces and organize your day.
- Define your workspace. If possible, have a designated workspace that is not a couch or bed. This helps separate working from your off time. If you live with others, discuss how you’ll utilize spaces to ensure everyone’s needs and styles are accommodated.
- Listen to and check-in with yourself. What do you need? If you’re finding that you need a break from the screen, try to take a walk during a break.
- Establish a work schedule and stick to it. Create rituals around when the workday starts (like pouring a cup of tea or coffee) and ends (like turning off your computer).
Need some other resources around virtual work?
- Student Takeaways from their Transition to Virtual Internships
- Why Do a Virtual Internship?
- Remote Work is Tied to Increased Productivity, Try it Out with Virtual Internships
- Student Experience: Perks of a Virtual Internship
Missed our past Networking from Home events?
Check out our recaps here: