My story about getting my virtual internship is a unique one, to say the least. It started when this actress/comedian came to UNCG to perform her amazing stand-up show. From there I continued to follow her journey to success on social media. She is a wonderful person because she will actually interact with most of her followers and responds to tweets and posts, unlike many people who have finally received their big shot on television. Her publicist actually reached out to me via Twitter. From there I applied for an internship and I was offered a position. The company is located in a different time zone than mine so our entire relationship is virtual and through phone conversations. I just want to share with you a few tips on how to successfully gain and maintain a virtual internship.
- Truly be passionate about the job that you are seeking to apply for because it is harder to sometimes do a job when everything is virtual. You must truly be immersed in the industry and with the job duties, otherwise it will seem like a miserable waist of time.
- Be sure to have a steady internet connection at home. A virtual internship means that the majority, if not all, of your time will be spend doing work online through emails and follow ups. You will also be doing a ton of research not only for your job duties, but to figure out how to do certain things as well such as how to get your client on-to the red carpet of a movie screening. Also of course have a land-line/cellular phone as another means of communication.
- Be proactive and take initiative. Never wait on your boss to tell you EXACTLY what to do everyday of your internship. You wanted the internship in the first place so show your boss why they hired you. Start pitching the company’s clients to media and get to know the clients before you pitch them.
- Ask questions. The purpose of an internship is not only to perform work but to learn how to do the job duties. The boss cannot expect you to know everything. An internship is an opportunity for both sides (intern and boss) to learn about themselves and to teach each other (intentionally and unintentionally) how to be a better intern or how to be a better boss.
*Bonus tip*- Understand and segment who you should be pitching your client to! Don’t pitch a client that sells computers to a food trade magazine. It is pointless and a waist of time to pitch to an unrelated industry. Also find out the correct editors to pitch to. Not all editors accept pitches from PR professionals.
These are just some of the things I’ve learned about myself that I feel are necessary to have in order to work a virtual internship. What are some other things you feel are necessary for a virtual PR internship? A virtual internship?