The pros and cons of a remote internship
Written by Saakshi Khubani, PR and Events Intern
Having done over six internships during my summers in university, I carry the title of ‘The Internship Queen’ with pride! However, little did I stop calling myself that when I realized my experience is limited to on-site internship experience only.
When I first heard the word “internship” my mind automatically painted a movie inspired ‘on-site internship’ picture of a young girl sitting somewhere in a skyscraper, printing documents and preparing coffee for her seniors. It was rather hard for me to form an idea of a virtual internship though. I always wondered what that must be like.
Thankfully, with the title I carry and my current remote internship experience at SOCIATE, let me tell you that the reality is quite different as neither on-site nor remote internships require an individual to perform the tasks I mentioned above.
Infact, both internships are a great tool to boost your resume. They help you acquire a wide range of skills as well as prepare you for the field you aspire to work in, in the future. They give you an authentic gist of the corporate world.
Nonetheless, it is essential to realize that the nature of the internships do play an important role in determining your experience. While on-site internships might be common with barely any cons, remote internships do come with a fair few challenges. As an individual, who is currently interning remotely at SOCIATE, I would like to share my own list of pros and cons on this topic.
While remote internships can be quite difficult, it has improved my life in multiple ways.
Flexible working hours
Unlike on-site internships, where one has to work a fixed number of hours, remote internships have flexible timings. While you may have to attend meetings mostly during the day, there is always enough time to be creative as you get to work on tasks at your own suitability. This has personally helped me become more productive and has improved my concentration span.
Extra time to acquire new skills
Flexible hours provide additional time to expand your knowledge and build your skill set. You can attend webinars, take new courses, pursue your hobbies, and focus on your personal goals. I recently started working on my blog, which I was struggling to find time for before.
More time to bond with family and friends
With the hours saved from having to commute, you get plenty of time to spend with your family. While working from home, you get extra time to catch up with your friends and family. This has rejuvenated my mind and I have started to dedicate more time towards the things I love.
Having read the pros, there are quite a few benefits of a remote internship, but it also gets challenging at times.
Lack of on-site experience
Undoubtedly, remote internship experiences are great, however, you might miss out on the opportunity of working with an on-site team. Having physical interactions and celebrating key events or achievements enhances your experience of working in a team. At the same time, noticing your colleagues’ communication and work pattern provides a greater insight on the code of conduct and behavior required to work in the corporate world. Although at SOCIATE, we hold Zoom meetings every day, I still miss interacting and working in a team on-site as it makes the task more fun!
Disconnected from the real world
There is a sense of detachment from your colleagues when you don’t get to see them on a daily basis. Also, it might be difficult for many people to work without knowing the opposite person too well. I definitely miss having conversations and bonding over similar interests with my colleagues over tea breaks during which we used to come up with some out-of-the-box ideas.
Miscommunication while allotting tasks
While tasks like writing a release may be easier to complete, without requiring additional help, other tasks such as drafting a detail-oriented email to a client may be daunting. At times, miscommunication can lead to the doubling of work which might cause distress, but it is crucial to remember that it is all a part of the learning curve. In my view, even though Zoom meetings keep SOCIATE connected, I still prefer having an IRL team as physical interactions help me understand my tasks better.
No upscaling events
Many offices hold upscaling events, wherein they train their employees to acquire skills that will enhance their productivity. However, in a remote internship, one misses out on these valuable events. In SOCIATE, we personally hold training sessions every month, which has boosted my knowledge in social media. Luckily, we are still keeping up with the trend by learning Arabic during our morning huddles, so this is not an experience I am missing out on personally!
There are definitely more cons than pros of a remote internship, but it is still a worthwhile experience for many who are currently studying or have to cater to other priorities. If you liked reading about my experience, apply for SOCIATE’s internship programme at https://www.sociate.ae/internship-programme/