Welcoming a remote intern in the team

BY Julian Te |

Remote internships are not a new phenomenon, in fact, tech organisations in Silicon Valley have been utilising remote interns for years (if there is internet there is a way). And with good reason. Inviting interns to operate remotely has an array of advantages. Not to mention an outstanding solution to making the most of young fresh talent during this current climate. 

So, if you want to join the likes of Google and Apple, we have some tips to set you up for an effective remote internship experience.   

Give them a virtual welcome  

On an intern’s first day at the office, you can greet them in the morning with a strong handshake, show them to their desk, introduce them to the team and sit down with them to discuss their daily tasks. For a remote intern, their first-day scenario is considerably different, rather than stepping into the office they will be logging in. It’s, therefore, your duty to make sure your remote intern feels as welcome as possible. Send round an introductory email to the entire team, set up zoom meeting for a round of virtual handshakes and provide some structure to their first day.   

Plan a project 

Remote or not, all internship programs require a certain degree of planning. The reality is, you need to ensure that this new talent in the team isn’t left twiddling their thumbs. With the added issue that they are unable to just pop over to your desk when they have run out of work, you really need to be proactive with your planning. We suggest giving your intern complete ownership of their own project. Great intern projects tend to be those that are seen as "nice to have" by full-time staff that haven’t got the time.

Clear Communication

Now that you have identified what project you want, you have to be clear about how you want it. Provide a complete background to the project, layout key phases and clarify the priorities. The key is not to leave the intern guessing. We suggest mapping out your project using Trello, a fantastic free planning tool. This will not only give the intern a complete overview of the task at hand, it will also allow you to track their progress.

Trust in them  

If you have ever been unlucky enough to have a micromanager you will know yourself that they do nothing for the old confidence levels. If you have clearly communicated the project in hand then you should be able to trust your intern. Allow them to experience what it’s like to do something right or even fail and have to re-do it. We have all been there. The key is to treat your intern like any other employee and give them ownership, this more likely result in a better output.   

Download our free brochure to learn more about bringing a remote intern into your team.

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