As this is now my second summer doing a virtual internship, I did have some expectations going in, especially having a full school year online in between. However, I have noticed drastic changes in the way this remote internship works, and to be honest, I am not sure my past experiences had set certain expectations, or if this internship is very demanding. Either way, I have confirmed that I prefer in-person work over remote work . There are many challenges of virtual work such as keeping a schedule and sticking to it, along with setting boundaries. My company is small, but we have people around the country. Here is our team. Many of my co-workers have other jobs and educational responsibilities, so it is hard to find time for all of us to meet and due to the different time zones, meetings are scheduled fairly late. While I’ve learned to adapt and draw lines, it was hard at first to set those boundaries and have my day end at a reasonable time. I’ve also discovered that cabin fever is exponentially more real in the summer and staying in the house all day and not getting out into the world takes its toll. Zoom fatigue is very real too.
The world of work also differs greatly from academic life, even online. During the semester, we are mostly free aside from class and extracurricular time constraints. I mostly do work on my schedule and I am really in control of how to use time most of the day. Work has proven to be far different. I’m mostly told where to be and my whole day is nearly scheduled out with projects and meetings. I also have to work around the schedules of others and take a lot more direction than I’m used to in academic life. School feels far more independent surprisingly – I know what I have to do, and I make the time to complete my homework, tasks, studying, etc. At work, things are very structured for me, and I’m told what to do more often than not.
This internship so far has taught me great professionalism in communicating with prospective business partners. This is absolutely transferable to almost any industry, as cold calling and sales skills are great to have. I also have learned new skills in being attentive and paying attention to details. In my perspective industry, contract law, you must read with great care and notice the little things, otherwise, you could make a big error. I have gotten better at noticing small issues and making my work perfect, the first time. I’ve also learned how to schedule demos and properly choose business administration tools such as CRMs, data rooms, and other necessary software which help the company run. I am better at asking necessary questions, garnering information, and making decisions that are right for us. I hope to soon get into more legal work which will improve my skills and give me more exposure in those areas.