If you’re stuck in the suburbs, it’s hard to get an internship with a major company that’s located in a far-away city — and that’s where interning remotely comes into play! Not every company is (at first) completely on board with hiring a remote intern, so we’re giving you the tools to convince those higher-ups that you’d be the perfect intern, even from hundreds of miles away. Never fear, collegiettes! You’re bound to snag a remote position once you use these killer tips.
Before you ask
Before you ask to be a remote intern, it is important to see if being remote is even a slight possibility. Some companies will flat-out refuse to use remote interns, so check to see if they have done so before.
“In my experience, employers will specifically mention if being remote is an option,” says Anna Borges, a Northwestern University grad who interned remotely for an author. Contacting the company and asking if they accept remote interns is the best way to go about this, but if you are applying online, the website most likely will have information on whether interning remotely is an option.
How to ask
Send the intern coordinator an email and explain your situation. If you have worked at the company previously, include that information, and attach your resume to the email. In the body of the email, include a few key facts about your experience that will show you’re the perfect candidate for that position.
“I receive lots of emails from potential interns who just unload their entire resume into the email,” says Diane Carter, a leader of the intern team at Sony. “If someone does that, I won’t read it. I need something I can skim over in less than 30 seconds, and it should be the stuff that makes us want you.”
The email you send is your first impression, so it needs to stand out from others and show how impressive you are.
In your email, you should include:
- Your contact information
- Where you go to school and what year you are
- Some relevant highlights from your work experience
- Your interest in the position
- Your resume (as an attachment)
This email is your selling point, so if you bring along a strong passion for the position and good reasons for working remotely, the company will be more likely to hire you.
“When hiring remotely, we want people who will go above and beyond what in-office interns will do,” says Suzanne Barnes, a hiring manager at Morgan Stanley. “So we want people who will show us how working at home will benefit us, while showing how good of a worker they are. That’s what we hire.”
When asking if you can intern remotely, it’s all about selling yourself as not only being a good worker, but how you, as a remote intern, can benefit the company.
If you have established a relationship with the company already, such as if you’ve interned for them in their office before, you can use your work with them to convince the intern coordinator.
Brittany Potter, a University of Oregon grad who is currently working remotely, says, “I had worked with Microsoft for a year before I asked to be remote. The fact that I had done so much with them already convinced my boss that I could do the same thing at home, too.”
The biggest benefit that a remote worker can bring to a company is that they can work odd hours. While most interns are in the office during working hours, you will be able to work before and after working hours, too, so emphasize that when you ask.
As a remote intern, you have many more possibilities when it comes to deadlines. “As a remote editorial intern, I've been able to help my employers upload pieces and proof copy at odd hours—like seven in the morning or eight at night—and those are things in-office interns can't always do,” says Lily Herman, a junior at Wesleyan University who has interned remotely.
Interning remotely is a great option for people who live in smaller areas but want to work for companies in big cities. With a smart plan of action, you can convince your employer to let you work from home. And if you do get to intern remotely, hello, pajamas at work!