By: Alexandra Strouse
Even with the current remote circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internship experiences are still highly beneficial. My remote internships this past summer with Elon’s Center for Design Thinking and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater were both great opportunities to explore and network.
In terms of networking, I found it beneficial within both of these organizations to schedule and have one-on-one conversational interviews with many employees. These conversations allowed me to gain insight into their careers, career paths, the organizations, and the industry, as well as provided me with inspirational professional advice.
I recommend making having conversational interviews part of your remote internship experience. Here are some great conversation starters and questions I typically like to ask:
- Can you tell me more about your position? What are your responsibilities?
- What skills do you have that make you successful in your job?
- What does a typical workday or workweek look like? What kinds of interactions do you have on a daily basis?
- What excites and inspires you about your job that makes it so compelling to you personally?
- What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on? Your favorite? Most surprising?
- What are some challenges you face in your work?
- How has the pandemic effected your work?
- How do you foresee the next year with your work considering the pandemic?
- How do the different sectors and roles within the company/organization work together?
- Describe your career path. What experiences helped route you?
- What advice do you have for me as someone who is looking to go into your field in the future?
- When hiring out of college, what are you looking for from candidates?
You can also ask questions that pertain more to their specific role. This could include questions like: how do you establish contacts and create relationships with the press or what’s your process in producing your work?
I recommend aiming to do this with as many employees as possible, whether or not you think you may be interested in a role similar to theirs in the future. It is important to gain an understanding of how the entire company or organization you are working for operates and you may even find yourself interested in more areas.
Having conversational interviews with many overall allows you to create connections and helps to guide you as you continue to make steps for your future. Make sure to follow up following these conversations and stay in touch following your internship experience.
Have questions or want to hear more about how to network within your internship experience or at any stage in your internship search? Please reach out to me by email at email@example.com!