Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exposing Myths About Virtual Internships

Last Summer, after securing one internship at a local public relations agency, I was offered another position as a virtual intern. The internship required me to log a certain amount of hours working from home, completing various projects, and being available for conference calls with supervisors and clients. Having one in-office internship and a work from home internship was a great way to gain two very different types of experiences. Many of my friends assumed that my virtual internship was less work, and didn't require much time or dedication, but this was absolutely not the case! That is only one of the myths about virtual internships or working from home.

Here 4 disproved myths from Ragan's list of work from home myths.

Myth: Working from home means you can relax more and not take work seriously.
FALSE! While telecommuting does mean you can often be more flexible about your hours, you still have to dedicate a set amount of time to getting work done.

Myth: If you aren't surrounded by other employees, you will not be as motivated to get work and assignments done.
FALSE! During my virtual internship, I had to communicate with other interns via email, Skype, and phone calls to discuss or progress with certain projects. Knowing that I would have to bring something to the table always motivated me to get my work done!

Myth: It is harder to find time to communicate with the client when you work from home.
FALSE! When I first accepted my position as a virtual intern, I also had to submit my availability  and commit to remaining available at those times. Knowing that I had to be around to be reached at certain times meant that my virtual internship always knew when they could get in contact with me.

Myth: Virtual interns aren't involved with brainstorming and planning.
FALSE! Many of the phone and Skype meetings that we would have were strictly about brainstorming new ideas and planning new projects. One of the major benefits of have virtual interns is that you can find people from many different walks of life to provide fresh ideas!

Have you ever heard of or had a virtual internship? Share your experiences with us!

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