While a virtual internship may seem intimidating, here are 5 tips that will ensure your success in a DME Internship!
When I accepted my spot in the DME Interns’ writing department, I worried about what a virtual internship would look like. Would it mean constant emails from a faceless manager? Would I never get to know my coworkers? Would I be asked to go on coffee runs virtually? Luckily, the DME internship program is none of these things; it’s engaging, team-building work, and I have never been asked to get anyone coffee.
This year, many of us have had more experience than ever communicating virtually, with online classes and Zoom meetings, but a virtual internship might still seem daunting. Here are five tips that will ensure a productive, fun experience with the DME team:
- Get organized!
In a virtual internship, your computer is your workstation. The DME team uses the app Slack for all communication and the app Trello for projects and collaboration. I keep both pinned on my browser so that they are easy to access. I also keep a list of the projects that I am working on and record as I complete each stage. This helps me to never lose track of what I need to complete each week. Having a system to stay organized will make your virtual internship experience run smoothly!
- Set a schedule!
There’s no set in-office hours in a DME virtual internships, rather work is completed week to week on our own time. But, all DME interns are expected to complete 10 hours of work per week. By setting a schedule and working 1-3 hours each day, I never feel overwhelmed or stressed when the end of the week rolls around. Setting a schedule also allows me to plan ahead for days when I know I have a lot of classes or deadlines. I update my schedule each week to reflect what I want to get done and when I plan to do it!
- Get engaged!
One of the best parts of my internship experience so far has been connecting with my fellow interns. I wake up every morning to messages in the #general channel on Slack wishing everyone a good day, and there’s always fun conversations happening in the #random channel! I’ve also used Zoom to have both social and work-related calls with my peers. A virtual internship is a great opportunity to meet and network with people from different states and universities! Staying engaged helps me feel connected to the team. It’s also a mandatory part of the internship.
- Ask for help!
It may be hard to remember while working virtually, but behind every screen is a person who would be more than happy to answer a question or help with a project! While physically we may be working by ourselves, we are a team. If you’re confused about something or need help completing a project, reach out! We’re all in this together.
- Log off!
It’s essential to take care of your mental and physical health, and your personal life is just as important as your professional one. While it’s a good idea to stay connected and engaged with the internship, there are some times when getting unplugged takes priority. Logging out at night or taking a day off is a great way to check in with yourself and destress.
I hope that you found these tips for succeeding in a virtual internship helpful! The DME Internship is a great way to expand your skillset and do meaningful work!
Writer: Rachel Hoak
Editor: Christine Myers