Landing a Remote Internship
| Vanesha McGee
Are you ready to find a school that's aligned with your interests?
Internships provide career experiences that complement your educational learning. Through internships, learners gain exposure to computer science career opportunities while proving they can make it in the business.
Remote internships increased in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Indeed's hiring lab, there are seven times more remote internship opportunities this year than there were in 2019.
Interns increase their salary potential and gain valuable experience in the field. Completing an internship also highlights career potential to future employers.
Landing a remote internship can prove challenging as students seek the flexibility of a virtual work experience. Bolster your confidence and your resume with an internship that launches your career in the right direction.
Benefits of a Remote Internship
Discover your passions, explore new computer science industry positions, and develop your career goals. The benefits of an internship, such as a resume boost, make exploring the possibility worthwhile.
A remote internship allows you to connect with various career professionals, network with possible mentors, and increase your opportunities for career development. Mentors and other career connections can help introduce you to other professionals and companies in your chosen field.
A remote internship allows you to connect with various career professionals, network with possible mentors, and increase your opportunities for career development.
A remote intern creates a relationship with their selected company. This establishes connections within the intern's chosen field and could potentially lead to a full-time job offer.
A successful internship increases your recommendation opportunities and improves your chances at a career that aligns with your goals. A remote internship can also lead to a job in a tech hub or a high-powered computer science company.
Types of Remote Internships
Remote internships exist across the computer science industry. A variety of career positions offer remote internships, providing opportunities to expand your experiences at the start of your career.
Top internship programs help land you long-term positions in your desired professional field. Consider a few factors when determining which internship to pursue.
- Do you require flexibility to continue college or bootcamp courses? A part-time internship may support your needs, providing job experience and time to complete required coursework.
- Can you work for multiple months at a time? Summer months typically offer a variety of full-time internships from companies hiring students and recent graduates.
- Do you want to receive an income? Paid internships exist across the computer science industry. Check each internship posting for payments, stipends, and benefits. While unpaid internships provide no monetary compensation, they do offer experience and networking opportunities.
- Do you need college credit? Some computer science degree programs require an internship to graduate. If your program requires an internship to graduate, start by connecting with a program career counselor and attending program networking events.
Some internships may combine in-person experience with remote opportunities. This option pairs the flexibility of a remote job with the experience of an in-person role.
Best Ways to Find an Internship
Consider a few search methods to find the perfect remote internship. Think and search broadly to better your odds of landing the right remote internship for you.
- Keep an open mind. Diversify your search for jobs in computer science. Not many degree-holders work in careers directly linked to their major. Whether you attended a bootcamp, completed a degree program, or plan to transfer into a new field, consider expanding your internship search outside of industry norms.
- Start with the perfect company. Find companies that match your career interests and goals. Ask employees about company leadership about internship opportunities, even if internship postings don't yet exist. Direct communication may create internship possibilities.
- Check company websites for internship listings. Not all companies announce job openings on large databases. By browsing employers' websites, you might come across the perfect opportunity to work with a company you love.
- Check job boards. Databases such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Idealist provide extensive lists of internship opportunities nationwide. Use these sites as a starting point for further internship research.
- Find a career counselor. Career counseling offices often provide specialized databases of internship openings. They might also offer personalized advice to aid your internship search.
- Attend virtual career fairs and networking events. Speak with employers about their internship offerings.
- Ask around within your existing network. Talk with friends and family about your career interests and see who they know. You might be surprised by the connections you make right around you.
Applying for a Remote Internship
Landing the right remote internship can take time. Try not to get discouraged. Give yourself at least three months to search, apply, interview, and accept an offer.
- Follow application instructions. Check that you include every required element. You don't want to get knocked out of the applicant pool for missing a step, no matter how small.
- Submit a resume that accurately represents you. Your resume should include relevant leadership roles, projects, and hobbies that showcase your diverse skills and knowledge.
- Tailor your cover letter to each job. Generic cover letters don't stand out in a crowd of applicants. Use specific language to reflect your knowledge of the company, aspects you wish to learn in the role, and what you can add to the team.
Check your social media and online presence before applying for internships. Companies may look at your public posts before an interview in hopes of getting to know you. Make sure your online presence aligns with how you wish to present yourself to an employer.
How to Land an Internship With a Great Interview
Your interview is likely to take place online, just like the internship. Prepare a quiet space where you can be on camera without interruption. Test your internet connection and any required computer updates the day before your interview.
- Study the company and details about the internship role. Prepare questions for the interviewer about the company and internship position.
- Practice answering common interview questions. Prepare stories that represent your work experiences and relevant learnings.
- Check your technology the day before and about an hour ahead of the interview. Log on at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time in case any problems arise. Remember to charge your computer battery.
- Present yourself as if in person. Even during virtual interviews, potential employers watch body language and presentation. They want to get a feel for you as a person. Show up ready to listen and prepared to share.
- Discuss your remote experiences. Include classes and other online learning experiences in addition to any remote work you completed. State your remote learning skills, such as online communication tools like Slack or Zoom.
After the interview, follow up within 24 hours with an email to your interviewer. Thank them for their time. Include any specifically valuable moments in your email. Name something you learned or an important takeaway from the interview. A follow-up email reminds the interview team of your unique qualities and aspirations for the internship.
What to Expect From a Remote Internship
Once you land a remote internship, you can expect to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time. Companies hope to maximize the knowledge interns bring, and interns want to gain valuable experience.
Once you land a remote internship, you can expect to learn a lot of information in a short amount of time.
In a remote position, plan to spend more time than usual in front of a screen. Even if your role takes you away from your computer for long periods, meetings and other communications likely happen on screen.
Tips for Working Remotely
- Set clear goals. Determine what you want to gain from your internship, and set goals to help you achieve success.
- Ask for feedback regularly. Feedback from managers and team members can help develop your skills and improve the quality of your work.
- Choose the right working environment. Your workspace should make you feel comfortable and successful. Select a location with a stable internet connection and little background noise. Try productivity apps to help you through your days.
- Take breaks from the screen. Step away from your computer regularly to help reduce fatigue in your eyes and to stretch your body.
- Show up to meetings on time. Even in a virtual setting, employers notice your workplace habits. Impress them with your consistent timeliness.
- Meet other employees. Set up virtual meetings with employees across the company. Take part in networking opportunities. Build relationships that support your career development in the field.
Act like your internship is a career position. It just might turn into one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. You can intern remotely in a variety of fields. The number of remote internship opportunities increased during the pandemic, providing learning opportunities for students and career changers around the country.
Companies advertise remote internships on their websites and through job search databases. Browsing job databases and websites can help you find a remote internship.
Internships offer short-term learning opportunities through companies and organizations in a specific field. Internships provide students and recent grads with hands-on learning in a career workplace environment. Both paid and unpaid internships exist.
When applying for an internship, discuss life experiences and skills that make you a great candidate. Not all internships require prior working experience. Students and recent graduates typically apply for internships after receiving some education in the field.
Featured Image: Halfpoint Images / Moment / Getty Images
Take the next step toward your future.
Discover programs you’re interested in and take charge of your education.