My internship experience at Ozmo – plus six tips on how to succeed in a remote internship
In March of 2020, every business, school and ongoing event had to quickly adjust to new remote environments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a college student during this time, in-person courses quickly shifted to remote, virtual learning. Jobs and internships were delayed, many cancelled, leaving millions of students like myself mentally, emotionally and financially vulnerable.
As many businesses have transitioned into a hybrid model, where employees have the opportunity to work in the office or remotely, learning how to secure and maintain an internship from home is still a major challenge for many, including myself. I struggled with the initial remote school transition and I was anxious to see what it was like to not only complete school from home, but also what it would be like to work from home.
When I first interviewed at Ozmo, I was at the time interning in a completely different industry. I was hesitant at first to transition into a role where, unlike any other, I would be working completely remotely in an unfamiliar industry where I knew no one.
Upon my start date, I was guided through a thorough onboarding process where I learned about our company’s history and the types of projects that I would be working on throughout the year. For two weeks, I worked closely with my team along with individuals in each department to understand my responsibilities and projects that I would be working on as the year progressed.
If you want to make the most out of your upcoming virtual internship, keep reading to learn about the six tips for succeeding in a remote work environment.
What my work looks like
When I initially started at Ozmo, I was hesitant to tackle certain projects without knowing the full scope of the tech industry. Now, 10 months into my year-long internship, I’ve been responsible for conducting industry research, drafting internal company messaging content across various audiences and assisting Ozmo’s lead generation and recruitment processes while upholding the unique traits and aspects of Ozmo’s brand. The following are just a few examples of what my work looks like on a daily basis:
Market research: One of my first ever – and now regular – projects at Ozmo involves conducting industry research and sending out our findings internally to our team of stakeholders. This process involves putting together research pages on various companies, industries and trending topics to understand more about Ozmo’s position in the technology and telecom landscape.
Content creation: Since working at Ozmo, I’ve been able to produce multiple pieces of written external content such as blogs and customer case studies. This external content is typically geared toward supporting one of two primary goals: lead generation or talent recruitment.
Social media management: Throughout my time at Ozmo, I’ve had the opportunity to build out our company’s social media strategy from the ground up. I’m responsible for creating, scheduling and publishing our social media content while managing and analyzing our engagement and performance data. From content creation to post scheduling, I’ve been responsible for highlighting Ozmo’s company culture and achievements while increasing follower count and engagement on all accounts.
Internal communication: Another area that I’m responsible for as the marketing intern is internal communication through our biweekly newsletter, The Ozmonaut. This responsibility involves overseeing an internal newsletter used to communicate and connect with Ozmonauts across the country. I work closely with our human resources and administration teams to identify which company announcements, anniversaries, birthdays and at-home activities to highlight that are used to keep us all connected and boost employee morale and engagement.
Do these challenges excite you? Think you’re a perfect fit for our team of Ozmonauts? Click the button below to view the full details and apply to Ozmo’s open Marketing Intern position.
How to succeed in a remote internship
If you’re looking for tips on how to manage your upcoming remote or hybrid internship, here is some advice for you:
1. Consistent communication is key
When working from home, it’s crucial to maintain consistent communication among your teammates and with your supervisor. You may not be able to meet with your coworkers everyday but it’s important to keep in touch with your teammates and adapt to their communication needs. Every employee and department has their preferences, so don’t be afraid to ask your manager and your peers how they prefer to be communicated with to figure out what works best. When you’re finding that there’s a need for better direction on a certain project, jump on a brief call, message your manager or send a quick email to follow up, depending on their work style. Don’t be afraid to over communicate as well, especially in the beginning of your new role. Establishing a positive relationship with your supervisor requires trust and transparency, so take it upon yourself to ask for feedback or further clarification when needed.
2. Always ask questions
No question is stupid — I swear, I’ve asked them all. Even if you think you’ve understood a topic to the full extent, make sure you’re still asking the right questions: “How does this system typically work?”, “Would you mind explaining that a bit further?”, “What would you expect success to look like for this project?”. After processing the information you’ve learned about a project, try recapping the information you’ve heard back to your colleague or supervisor to make sure you have a solid understanding. Asking for more information about an upcoming task provides you with a deeper understanding of the project and it allows you to stay on top of all of the details. When you have the full context and a complete understanding of an assignment’s projected outcome, you’ll be able to make well-informed decisions along the way.
3. Take the time to learn more about your work
When I first started at Ozmo, I had never worked in the technology industry before. One of the most important things about starting an internship in an unfamiliar field is taking the time to educate yourself on your work. As you begin to adjust and learn more about the projects that you’re completing, you should start examining your company as a whole. Take the time to seek out industry-related articles to help you familiarize yourself more with relevant work. Meet with individuals cross-departmentally and sit in on other teams’ meetings when you can to learn more about what each sector at your company does. You may not have any experience in engineering or communications, but by taking the time to learn everything you can about each role at your work, you will gain a broader understanding of how your company operates.
4. Reserve your time for work
When you first start working remotely, you soon realize all aspects of your life begin to blend into one environment: your relaxation space is your school space and your school space is your work space. It’s difficult to keep these separated at times when you’ve been studying, managing work calls and sleeping all in the same room. I’ve found that working in different spaces around your house helps break up the monotony that sitting at your desk all day can cause. Move to the kitchen table, sit in your backyard or take a seat on the couch when you’re in between meetings. Avoid sitting on your bed when you’re working, as studies have shown that trying to work while in bed greatly affects your productivity as well as your sleep quality*.
To increase your productivity levels, try implementing some time management practices to break down your tasks each day. Practices such as the ‘Pomodoro Technique’ or time blocking are great ways to stay on top of your schedule.
You may also be living with family or roommates which can also be a challenge as far as distractions go. Set boundaries with your roommates when you need extra focus time or let them know your schedule when you have an important work call.
5. Make friends along the way
Meeting with people from different teams is not only a great way to understand more about your field, but it’s an even better way to get to know new people. Working from home can be isolating at times, but being able to virtually meet with your colleagues and make friends with the people at your internship is extremely important to foster a sense of community. Make it a weekly priority to connect with others and challenge yourself to get outside of your comfort zone by attending online work events. Virtual company get-togethers, game sessions and educational seminars like the ones at Ozmo have really allowed remote employees, like myself, to feel welcomed and included, without ever stepping foot in the office.
6. Strive for overall growth
As important it is to get to know others during your internship, you should also take the time to get to know yourself in the process. While you work towards achieving your career goals in your virtual internship, oftentimes you come to understand your own self development. Internships are about learning and growing. By taking the time to understand your personal strengths and allow yourself to soak in each of the projects you manage, you’re able to identify what you enjoy doing the most and in which ways you wish to improve in them. I’ve also learned how to pause and take a break and be less hard on myself. Sometimes, the grind has to stop in order to recover and gain new personal growth. Through trial and error, cross-collaboration and while balancing my schoolwork, I’ve been able to understand and hone in on my own work capacities each day.
There are very few internships that offer a well-rounded, career-minded experience and that’s exactly what I found at Ozmo. Not many people my age, or older, have had the opportunity or the option to work from home. I’m very privileged to be working remotely at a company that I love while having the opportunity to create content, lead company-wide projects and conduct industry research that I’m passionate about. With spring graduation right around the corner, I feel more confident than ever about entering the workforce from the experience I’ve learned through my remote internship at Ozmo, and I hope that up-and-coming young professionals are able to achieve such success in similar remote opportunities as well.
For more information on Ozmo’s available Marketing Intern position, click the button below.