This summer, I am thankful to have the opportunity to intern remotely at Equal Innovation, a consulting company. Like many students, I was left scrambling to find meaningful work for the summer, with a limited number of options for an increased number of applicants. Sadly, students who did secure an internship before the pandemic may have had their program canceled. The College Reaction/Axios Poll, conducted in April found that “38% of surveyed college students who said they had secured an internship or post-graduate work now say those opportunities have been canceled; 37% say those plans have been delayed or made remote” (Forbes). Further, “Of the employers who canceled internships, 64% offered no compensation” (Yellow).
For the students who were able to rebound and restart the application process, the majority could not meet their potential employers in person for an interview. Luckily, I was able to land my first internship and first totally remote job, just before the semester ended.
I’m three weeks into my internship and some of the privileges of remote work have turned into obstacles I have to overcome. Here are my top 8 difficulties that you may be able to relate with:
- My work depends on my undependable wifi connection. With the average American working from home, we will be testing the “internet networks with one of the biggest mass behavior changes that the nation has experienced” (NY Times, So We’re Working From Home. Can the Internet Handle It?).
- My schedule is more flexible, which makes it easier to get sidetracked. My designated workspace is also next to the TV and front window; on sunny days it is difficult to hold back my urge to go outside and on rainy days it is even more difficult to hold back my urge to go on Netflix.
- Learning is essential to an internship, and I will be forced to learn online rather than from an in-person experience. Like me, “77% of college students say remote learning is worse than in-person learning”(Forbes).
- My environment greatly affects my productivity; I cannot get the experience of working in an office environment this summer.
- My boss is not down the hall from me to provide support. So, most of my questions are answered via email which allows for miscommunication and little guidance.
- It is challenging to network with co-workers and impossible to talk about the job over a lunch break.
- I’m not able to have someone quickly look over my work and provide me with feedback at the last minute.
- Since my work was moved online, I am staring at my computer screen for the majority of the workday. I will miss out on fieldwork this summer.
Although remote work has numerous difficulties, I will be prepared to move forward to work remotely. When you feel frustrated with your remote work, make sure to remember the skills and lessons you will be learning from adapting. Here are some interesting articles of the benefits from remote work: