Tips For Managing Remote Interns

Managing remote interns requires extra consideration to ensure the quality of the internship remains high

By implementing the changes below, you can maintain the interpersonal elements that are crucial to an internship program’s success. 

Leverage your entire team to give the intern a strong experience 

Recruiters – Check in on your interns individually. See if your intern managers and teammates have been dedicating time to the intern and their project, especially amidst the WFH adjustment period. This may be your intern’s first time WFH for a long stretch of time, and it’s crucial for you to keep an eye on them to make sure they are being set up for success.

Sample questions to ask during check-ins: 

  • How is everything going so far? 
  • Do you feel fully supported by your manager? Do you have check-ins on a regular cadence? (Remind interns that if they’re running into any blockers, they need to reach out to their manager / mentor.)
  • Do you have a dedicated Slack channel and/or workspace with your team? How often are you communicating / checking in? 
  • Is there anything that the Campus Recruiting team can do to better support you in your internship? 

Intern Managers – University recruiters must make sure intern managers and mentors are having recurring 1:1s on a weekly or bi-weekly cadence to guarantee consistent facetime. Regular 1:1s help interns remain focused and on track with deliverables. Use this handy template for 1:1s

Specific Note for SWE interns:

  • If your intern frequently pairs with a peer or teammate, make sure there’s a dedicated time for remote pair programming. Tuple is a good tool for remote pairings, although screen-sharing on Google Hangouts / Meet works fine
  • For whiteboarding, Jamboard and AWW App are good options

Communicate proactively and set clear norms 

Communication – Share company updates and new company policies. As your company actively works to establish clearer WFH policies and guidelines, it’s important for interns to stay informed as well.

Norms – During team meetings and standups, encourage everyone to have their cameras on and be “present.” Interns are often less inclined to speak up and contribute to discussions; seeing them on video will make it easier to pick up on these nuances in communication. 

Plan virtual professional programming 

Build in virtual programming for interns to connect at least once a week. Here are some ideas that can take place over video conference:

  • Lunch & learns / tech talks from employees 
  • Eng All-Hands
  • Facilitate collaboration amongst Interns 
  • Virtual Hackathon 
  • End of internship showcase/tech fair

Plan virtual social programming

  • Slack Quizzes via SimplePoll 
  • Jackbox Games
  • Pictionary via
  • Virtual Show & tell 
  • Creating fun slack channels dedicated to different topics
  • Host virtual mixers with interns from other companies

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