As remote work expands and becomes a normality in today’s society, so does it reach. Along with remote jobs, you can also find a slew of remote internships popping up in a multitude of industries in recent years.
At first the idea might be a little bizarre to some — how are you supposed to have a hands-on learning experience from another timezone? However, no one should be too quick to jump the gun with their opinion on remote internships. After all, the most amount of learning you do during an internship is often tied to actual tasks you complete for the company (as opposed to bringing your bosses coffee and taking a tour of the onsite office). And who says these types of informative tasks can’t be completed from afar? Not us, that’s for sure.
We’ve got a few reasons why we think remote internships can be hugely value, and if you’re thinking about applying to one in just about any industry, we hope we push you over the fence.
Networking doesn’t just happen face-to-face. In fact, it often happens inbox-to-inbox. Growing a digital network is just as important as growing an in-person network, and in the case of a career, it can often be more beneficial.
Long after you’ve completed your internship, you’ll have built professional relationships with a slew of people in your industry via email, social media, and other digital channels. And guess what? You’ll still have their contact information long after you’ve finished, which means that you can reach out to them with new proposals, projects, or requests for recommendations.
An in-person relationship can only last so long once you’re no longer regularly working with a person — but a digital relationship can last a lifetime.
Admittedly, it can be nice to work underneath somebody’s wing, having your hand held from step to step. However, that may not be the best way to actually learn something.
When you partake in a remote internship, you really are working a lot more independently than you might be with an in-office internship. This is not a bad thing. In fact, when it comes to learning and maintaining lifelong skills that you can use moving forward, remote learning is more likely to break those ties of dependence and boost your confidence as an independent and skilled worker.
Internships aren’t forever, but the things you learn from them can be.
The end of an internship doesn’t have to mean the end of work. In fact, many companies will often hire their interns after the internship comes to an end if they excelled in the position. When you complete a remote internship, that means that the chances of you being called back for paid work can extend far into the future no matter what city you’re living in.
Want to see your remote internship turn into a remote job? Do the best work you’re capable of during the internship period and build a strong rapport with your boss and the entire team.
Also, as a pro tip, don’t be afraid to ask your boss at the end of the internship whether or not there are any remote openings that you might apply for. Even if your employer doesn’t have a full-time position for you, he or she might have some paid contract work that can be thrown your way.
The good news about internships? You often don’t need a lot of experience to get one. This is helpful in quite a couple of ways. Firstly, remote internships allow you a way to get your foot in the door of whatever industry you’re hoping to pursue. This can often be the hardest part of beginning a career, so getting a hand up via a remote internship isn’t something to sneeze at.
Secondly, because remote internships don’t require a never-ending resume or C.V., you can attain one if you want to simply “try out” a professional field. Not everybody knows what direction they want to go in their career, and even for those who think they do, the actual job can be quite different than the imagined job. Remote internships will allow you an opportunity to test the water and get your feet wet.
What has your experience been with remote internships? Tell us on Twitter!
This article was originally published on Remote.com