Is a remote internship going to benefit my professional career?

BY Julian Te |
30/10/20

With all the sweeping changes to the entire world’s economy in 2020, graduates hoping to gain valuable experience with a company are starting to realise their best chance is through a remote internship. However, some students still wonder whether a remote internship looks as good on their resume as an in-person one, and ultimately, if it’s worth undertaking one.

What are some of the main objections students have?

Several of our recent graduates want to do a remote internship but are unsure whether they’ll get as much out of one as if they were to undertake it in-person.

A large part of their thinking is simply being familiar with the idea of a remote internship. We find graduates have three main objections:

  1. Would their experience look as good to employers as it would if they actually operated at a company?  
  2. Would they be able to develop their skills in the same way as an in-company internship? Particularly as they wouldn’t be alongside people in the traditional sense. 
  3. Similarly, as they wouldn’t be directly engaging with their colleagues, would they be able to develop meaningful, professional relationships in the same way?

Objections evaluation

Now first off, there’s the question of whether a remote internship looks as good on a resume as a traditional one. This is what most graduates are concerned about. And that’s understandable, why put in the effort if you’re not going to be recognised for it?

Quite simply, if you secure a remote internship and put as much effort into it as you would if you were showing up at the company every day, it will look just as good on your CV. You’ll still be able to use your line manager as a reference, and the fact that you were able to adapt and become a valuable member of their team could lead them to appreciate you more than if you were actually operating alongside them.

On a related note, if you successfully complete tasks you’re assigned and do everything that’s asked of you, then you’re guaranteed to develop a variety of skills. Plus, you’ll have a trusted mentor that you’ll check in with frequently who will make sure you’re being challenged and that your capabilities are being stretched, as well as support you at every step of the way.

Plus, in undertaking a remote internship, you’ll have to learn how your host company has adapted to operating online – which in itself is going to force you to pick up a vast array of transferable skills. Ultimately, even though you’ll be operating from the comfort of your own home, you’ll still have to leave your comfort zone continually, so your professional growth is assured.

Which brings us to the third most common concern held by graduates: Unable to develop relationships with other team members in person, will they be able to add to their all-important professional network? Well, going back to the idea of leaving your comfort zone: it’s crucial to remember that as well as your being outside yours, your colleagues are also outside theirs. The more you can support them, the more they’ll be willing to vouch for you. In some ways, you actually have more scope for proving yourself with a remote internship than you do with an in-person one.

Solutions and Recommendations

To consider whether it’s worth undertaking a remote internship, consider this scenario.

A year from now, you apply for a job and it comes down to you and one other recent graduate. The only difference between you is that they did a remote internship while you did not.

- Which of you is going to have more to talk about in your interview?

- Which of you showed more initiative and adaptability?

- Which applicant would you hire?

When you look at it from that perspective, it’s clear to see that while a remote internship is different from a traditional in-company one, they’re just as valuable in kicking off your career. 

To find out more about remote internships, contact us today!

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