I was a Data Analyst intern for Parvati Swayamvikas; a microfinance organization that's focused on uplifting the poor people who live in slums in Pune, India. Their main goal is to raise standards of living.
My Data Analyst Internship with a microfinance organization called Parvati Swayamvikas lasted 3 months in the Spring of 2021. This placement was in India but because of the pandemic, I had to do it remotely.
This remote internship experience was enriching regardless of its challenges for example time difference (India is 10 hours 30 minutes ahead of the US). Some of the lessons I learned include:
• The Art of Effective Communication
Communication is pretty difficult without face-to-face contact so you must be intentional about communicating with your colleagues, supervisor and boss. My supervisor and I came up with a weekly check-in rule. These weekly check-ins were for me to tell her how my project is coming along, any difficulties I have experienced while doing my tasks, and to ask any questions. Keep in mind that your supervisor has other works to do, so make these communications as effective as possible. For example, my supervisor and I agreed to exchange emails every Monday for project updates, and as the week progressed, we used WhatsApp texting for regular communication and project questions.
• Create A Routine
Treat your remote internship as a regular in-office job, otherwise you’ll find yourself postponing projects and doing them last minute. My remote internship was project based and some days I found myself slacking a pushing it as if it was homework. For efficiency and effective learning/experience create a routine and set aside time and space for “pure work-related things” that way you meet deadlines and fulfill your internship responsibilities. I wrote down my internship hours and blocked those hours for pure internship related work, Cortana is a great feature for blocking hours. This way you minimize any distractions.
• Asking for feedback
You want an enriching experience that could shape your career, influence your career path or help you reach your career goals. Therefore, to maximize on your remote internship ask for feedback. This is beneficial when it comes to learning what it is you should improve on and what you should keep doing. These lessons will also help you grow professionally.
In conclusion, if you want to succeed, you will work hard and give it your best. Similarly, a remote internship can be very rewarding, but it depends on how you approach it. It is so easy to be distracted because you are not in an ‘office setup’, however, the above lessons have helped me stay focused throughout the course of my internship.