Happy National Intern Day!
Summer 2020 is a year like no other. According to a GitHub search more than 200 companies are hosting college interns remotely this summer. Board meetings are now replaced with virtual meetings likely using Zoom.
Check out our tips to maintain a professional image and maximize your Zoom presence in your virtual internships.
1) Use Your Name. Sometimes students will be joining Zoom using their laptops, phones or tablets. Make sure that your Zoom presence says your actual name and the not name of your device. Ideally use your first name and your last name. This makes it helpful specifically if there are others on your team with your same first name.
2) Turn on your camera. Always be sure that your video is on. Out of sight can mean out of mind and you WANT to be noticed during your internship.
3) Have a Zoom Profile Pic. There may be times that you need to turn your camera off so if you do be sure to have a profile picture. A headshot would be a good option.
How to set your profile pic: “Profile Settings. To access your Zoom profile, sign in to the Zoom web portal and click Profile. You can view and edit the following settings: Profile Picture: To add or change your profile picture, click Change, then adjust the crop area on your current picture or upload a new one.”
4) Include your Preferred Gender Pronoun after your name. You may notice that some colleagues will include their preferred gender pronoun in parenthesis after their name. Typically, you might see (he/her), (she/her) or (them/they). This makes it easy for others to know how you would like to be addressed it also promotes an inclusive workspace.
5) Use Zoom Backgrounds. If your workspace is a messy room or you’re surrounded by others in the background you might want to consider using a Zoom Background to maintain a professional image. Choose a background that looks professional and isn’t too pixelated. A quick Google search will show you a variety of options. Your Zoom Background should reflect your individual style but not overshadow you! Remember it’s a backdrop, you are the star so be sure you’re not distracting others by having animated backgrounds or even worse backgrounds that could be considered offensive in a professional setting.
6) Don’t forget the importance of good lighting. If you’re in a room that is dark be sure to either use a lamp or try and consider switching to a room with better lighting. Having a dark room is almost the same as not having your camera on since no one can see you.
7) Be sure you have a reliable computer during your internship. If you are interning remotely and are having trouble with sound or your connection let your supervisor know immediately. If you were in person your company would be providing a computer and internet so if you need these things remotely it’s not an unreasonable ask.
8) Dress for success. Even though you might roll out of bed and turn on your computer you don’t want to look that way. Unkept is unbecoming in the workplace even if it is a virtual workplace. Get up an extra half an hour and shower before you hop on Zoom. You’ll look better and feel better.
9) Good Ergonomics are important. Don’t hunch and ideally raise your computer so that the top of your laptop screen is in line with your eyebrows. Using a bunch of textbooks under your laptop is a perfect hack if you don’t have a moveable desk. Long hours in an uncomforable chair will take its toll after a while. If you can invest in an office chair but if that’s not an option put pillows on your chair to support your lower back.