This summer, I interned remotely at The Borgen Project, a non-profit based in Seattle, Washington. Working remotely has its benefits, including no geographical limitations and increased accountability. It has also helped me determine how I work best and how to work smart and efficiently.
Benefits to a remote internship:
- No Geographical Limitations
You can choose to intern anywhere in or outside your state without the travel. If opportunities in your field (or your dream job) are not near where you live or are limited, you can intern elsewhere without leaving home or having the expense of travel.
Most remote internships allow you to set your own schedule. You also have more flexibility if you have a part-time job or need to balance course work.
- Save Money
You can also have a part-time job (if you can juggle both) and save transportation expenses.
- Save Time
You don’t have a commute or set office hours, so a remote internship allows you more time in the day and flexibility.
- Increased accountability
With a flexible schedule and no boss checking on you, you need a strong work ethic. You will have work and responsibilities, and although you work from home, it doesn’t mean it will be easy. You need to stay on top of it or else it will be overwhelming.
- Improve Your Communication Skills
You need to check emails and respond promptly. Be proactive. If you need to communicate something, speak up, whether by emailing, calling or video chatting.
- College Credit or Paid?
Remote internships may be unpaid but will give you college credit. Don’t skip the opportunity. While paychecks won’t be flowing into your bank account, earning college credit will save you money in the long run. Also, treat your internship like a job and a class. The work and effort you put in will determine how much you get out of it. It is also preparing you for future opportunities and careers.
- Work Anywhere
Work in your home, a coffee shop, bookstore or anywhere you can get the work done. You have a flexible work space and can work where you are most comfortable.
- Getting to Know Your Work Style
Working remotely lets you discover how you work best. When and where are you most productive? Do you need more structure? How do you develop structure and stay accountable?
- Develop Boundaries
As you create your schedule, get to know your work style and stay accountable, you will need to set boundaries for yourself. Know what you can handle as you juggle your internship, a job, course work and a social life. This is a good thing! You develop more respect for yourself by taking control of what you want to get out of your internship and how you get it done by setting priorities.