As more and more businesses shift towards working online, so do many internships. Instead of walking the halls of an office, grabbing lunch with your colleagues or sitting in on coffee meetings, remote interns are working from home and communicating with team members over messaging apps and email. So, the big question is, how can an intern learn, network and grow when they’re doing a virtual internship?
As it turns out, there are numerous ways for an intern to benefit from a virtual intern position! Luckily, our two BOOQED interns are eager to share their experiences and insights on virtual internships, and how their work and learning experiences have been shaped by the pandemic.
Martin is a PhD student in mechanical engineering at the University of Auckland, New Zealand while interning as a product engineering in BOOQED’s product team. Despite the limitations of overseas travel and challenges of finding a physical internship thanks to COVID-19, he has had an unforgettable few months working with BOOQED. He was attracted to BOOQED not only for this rare remote internship opportunity, but also the company’s forward-thinking concept of urban space utilization and the many exciting projects he’d get to work on!
Graphic design intern, Nicole, supports the company’s visual design needs – which means working with BOOQED’s product and marketing departments to create web design collateral, social media graphics, product marketing materials and more. As a psychology student hailing from the Philippines, she also has her own blog covering student life, creativity and activism.
Martin’s day-to-day to-do list usually consists of three parts.First, he set aside a few hours in the morning for personal working time where he reviews tasks completed the day before, plan out his to-do list for the day ahead and set milestones for any current projects. The second part of his day is intended for group meetings. The product team has a stand-up meeting every weekday to share their individual's progress and thoughts about the project. In addition to this, Martin joins various other meetings such as a weekly product retro or monthly team building activities. It sounds like a lot, but in retrospect, Martin found that these meetings are actually really helpful for everyone to stay updated on each other’s progress, and is especially great for him as an engineering intern because he gets to learn about the company very quickly in a short space of time. Last but not least, the third part of his daily schedule is spent doing work for his PhD, such as doing research and writing reports.
As a design intern, Nicole spends her days building BOOQED's brand by crafting visuals for the website, marketing materials and social media! Most of her workday is spent on Figma, her trusty design tool, or researching other products related to the future of work. She also has a weekly catch up with the marketing team on Zoom which lets the team stay informed and discuss next steps for marketing. Otherwise, she makes the most of remote working, and the space it gives her to focus more deeply on designing—all while blasting her favorite music from her home here in the Philippines!
While working from home has its benefits, such as the lack of commute, access to more opportunities internationally and the safety of social distancing, a virtual internship is not without its own challenges.
Martin has found that it can take some time to adjust to working with teams all around the world in different time zones. Being based in New Zealand,Martin works with the product team in Ukraine and Singapore, as well as the management team in Hong Kong, on a regular basis so has had to learn how to use different online tools to communicate. It’s been an intense learning curve to master asynchronous communication, but once he got used to it, it became second nature.
Thanks to the exciting new projects the BOOQED team is working on in Hong Kong, Nicole’s work extends beyond digital mediums and into the physical sphere — which she admits really pushed her out of her comfort zone of designing just for social media. Nonetheless, pushing the boundaries and learning new skills are what internships are all about right?!
BOOQED gives their interns a lot of responsibilities as they believe that a hands-on approach is the perfect way for interns to learn. As such,Martin works closely with the product team on the development on a brand-new project from scratch, and is given the freedom to use his imagination and creativity to the fullest. It sure beats running around making photocopies of documents or having to go buy coffees for your office!
While in-person get-togethers weren’t an option, the development of video call software meant that you could still get to know other people in the company, even the teams working overseas! Nicole’s fondest memory from working at BOOQED was the team building activities played during the company town halls. Learning Webflow and building landing pages was pretty cool too!
Being Nicole’s first ever internship, she has never experienced anything outside remote work before. That being said, a crucial part of what made her experience so special was the BOOQED team. Being a long-term remote company, BOOQED has had experience to ensure sure remote employees feel included and makes it easy for team members to get onboarded and connect over Slack messages and Zoom calls! No matter how junior your position, it is important that the whole team works to provide a safe space for everyone to share their ideas and try out new things!
For Martin, he learned the value of being self-driven and communicating effectively with people despite geographical gaps. Thanks to the regular catch up calls, he had the opportunity to ask questions about flexi space and property tech, and knows that the team is there to support him when he needs it.
Want to know more about our remote internship opportunities? Reach out to the BOOQED team at email@example.com.