What is a remote internship really like?

You won’t get paid to just Netflix and chill

Summer has come at last and there are many ways we can spend our time. Living in New York City, there are endless options available at our finger tips: working, volunteering, internships, simply relaxing, etc. Although this may be great, it can be overwhelming, especially when traveling is put into the equation.

Juniors and seniors have probably been on the hunt for a while now for internships – paid or unpaid. The summer is ideal to gain valuable experience and perhaps, earn money as well. But it’s difficult to choose between working and traveling. Luckily, we live in an age where we can do both at the same time.

Working from home

There are certain fields that allow remote internships like journalism. As a journalism and English major, I enjoy writing and reporting news. By constantly looking online during the spring semester, I was able to land interviews and get remote internships that allow me to work from anywhere in the world.

I can travel during the summer and also gain experience by working with great editors. This is a dream come true for many, but it can still be tricky. Having a remote internship does give more freedom but it also has its temptations. While you can be working poolside, you’ll have a harder time concentrating. Here are a few tips to stay focused on your remote work whether you’re going away or simply staying at home in your pjs.

Set a schedule

It’s important to set a schedule for yourself in order to get work done. It’s true, you’ve spent the last few months having to wake up on time, get to class and accomplish all of your other responsibilities in your professional and personal life. This may not seem appealing during the summer, but it’s useful.

For one of my internships, I have to complete a minimum of 10 hours per week. I can spread these hours throughout the week or get them done within two or three days. Work can be done from 10 am to 6 pm so I make it a point to set my schedule around this internship. Although I’m a night owl, I make the effort to wake up at 9 am and get busy.

When you get into the groove of things, getting work done won’t be as difficult. You’ll have a schedule that will become second nature. If you love your internships as much as I do, you’ll wake up every day looking forward to grow and learn.

Communication is key

When landing a remote internship, you aren’t thrown straight into the fire. You will be given guidelines on what kind of work is expected from you. There will also be an editor or mentor assigned to you that will work with you in order to get the best content. It’s essential to keep an open communication line with editors and mentors because they are there to help you.

I’ve had moments during my internships where I didn’t know how to do a certain article, whether it was the format or what needed to be written. But I knew my editors were there for any questions I had and I wasn’t afraid to ask for help. Granted, they may not always answer immediately but they will definitely get back to you.

Stay true to your work while traveling

This is probably the best part about having remote work – you have the option to travel if you want! Right after finals ended, the next day I was on a plane to Texas to support my boyfriend at a national volleyball tournament. I couldn’t be happier to get away from the grueling semester I just had and going away was the perfect way to clear my head.

Although I was only away for five days, I had the opportunity to explore Dallas and the slower life that exists outside of the Big Apple. I met new people, ate a lot of delicious junk food, went on long car rides and of course, I did work.

At Dallas Volleyball Tournament

I had the misfortune having to wait six hours for my flight to Texas, but I didn’t waste all that time looking at airplanes, people watching and reading. I began doing some of my work at the airport. When I arrived at my destination I wasn’t able to keep up with my set schedule, but I made sure to keep deadlines in mind.

I also told my host and friends I would have to stay in for a few hours to get work done. It wasn’t fun to be busy when everyone else went to do something exciting, but work is work and it needs to get done, regardless of where I am or what I’m doing. It’s a priority and it’s important to respect this.

Daniel also doing work at the airport

It may sound like a great idea to ditch work for friends or to relax ,but it’s not worth it. Internships, whether remote or not, are valuable and amazing experiences. Not everyone has the opportunity to get one and you should feel lucky. A moment of relaxation is nothing compared to a lifetime worth of connections, published work and knowledge.