internships, remote internships
CAREER / 17 April 2017
The Pros and Cons of Online and Remote Internships
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Kelly Nguyen

Internship season is among us and internships have become an important part of the job hunting process. You might be debating between a remote or onsite opportunity. Either way, we're seeing a reoccurring trend. Experience is no longer preferred but required. Prior work experience – the kind of work experience you can only get from an internship paid or unpaid, remote or onsite. 


With the rise of fields like
 digital and social media marketing and with recent breakthroughs in modern technology, it’s no surprise that there are many new remote internship opportunities available. A remote internship is one where you can work from wherever you are. That’s right; there’s no need to travel back and forth from the office. In fact, you won’t even have to leave your house!

A remote internship can be a unique experience, but it can also be a fairly daunting one. Many students who don’t know how to handle a remote internship can have trouble adjusting to it. However, a remote internship can pay off in the long run and provide an experience unlike any another. But like any other internship, a remote internship has its benefits and drawbacks. In this post, we’ll be taking a closer look at the various pros and cons of a remote internship.

Pros: 

What’s not to love about an internship that you can complete from the comfort of your PJ's at home? A few benefits of a remote internship include flexibility, independence, and the ability to gain new skills


1. Flexibility 

A remote internship allows you to set your own time frames and schedules. You can choose to start your day at 8am or 12pm and be as flexible as you wish. It’s not like a typical 9-5 office day. Meetings are usually done online through video chat or by phone, and all assignments are digitized. You get to plan meetings and finish assignments on your own time. With a remote internship, you can work at 3 AM after a fun night out or in-between commercials on TV. It’s up to you!  

2. Independence

Remote internships allow you to be independent. With a remote internship, you’ll never have to worry about being late to work or asking for sick days. There’s no micromanaging or hand-holding with a remote internship – all assignments are done at your own discretion. As long as you can meet deadlines, you’re free to do things as you wish.

3. Gain New Skills 

By being involved in a remote internship, you’ll be able to learn valuable skills and learn to be productive in a different environment. Some of the benefits include time management and communication. Time-management goes hand-in-hand with being able to create your own schedule. It’s important to plan your days and ensure that you can still make time for the things you need to get done. It’s important to plan your schedule accordingly.

Learning how to communicate with your coworkers and superiors is also a bonus since you’ll have to keep in contact through email and phone conversations. Because you can’t work together physically, It’s important to understand how to reach out when you need help and learn better ways to communicate effectively and efficiently. 


Cons:
Of course, a remote internship isn’t the easiest to adjust to. Sometimes, you might not feel as connected to a company and news/updates might reach you slower. There can also be potential for disorganization and miscommunication. 


1. Miscommunication

Disorganization can happen when there are issues with communication. It is more difficult to communicate from a remote internship since there are no face-to-face conversations. Instead, everything is reliant on video chats, phone calls, and emails. This can cause major headaches as different schedules can lead to a lack of conversation. Ensure transparency by defining processes, communication and clear deadlines. Speak up early to prevent instructions from becoming unclear, which can cause disarray and disorganization. Remember the only stupid question is the one not asked!

2. Disconnected

Sometimes remote internships can cause you to lose out on a lot of company culture. Company news and updates may reach you slower than if you were an employee working in-office, which can cause you to feel out of the loop. Avoid virtual walls and work with your manager to establish regular meetings, chats, and expectations to keep open lines of communications and help you feel a part of the office.


Both remote and on-site internships have their positives and negatives, so it’s up to you to decide what is best for you. To read more about remote internships, check out some true experiences from former ProSky interns. Determine whether or not a remote internship is best for you. 

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