5 Ways to Maximize Your Remote Internship Experience

Zions Bancorporation interns offer a few tips to get the most out of a virtual internship program.

Ramon Ruiz Jun 26, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Zions Bancorporation has adapted its internship program to a remote and online platform. It’s a move that sets the bank apart from companies that chose to cancel their internship programs altogether and presents a unique learning opportunity for both managers and interns.

It may be difficult for an intern to adjust to a new working environment — especially in a remote setting. We asked our interns what tips they had for those who might find themselves in a similar situation. Here is what they said.

Remote internship maximization tip #1: Stay connected

In a remote environment you may not feel as connected to others in your department as you would in an office setting. It is important to get to know others in your department and stay connected to get as much knowledge and experience as possible.

Setting up meetings on Microsoft Teams to get to know team members and feel connected is a technique that has provided great results for Gabriel Adams, an intern on the Quantitative Analytics team and a student at Utah State University.

“I’m pleasantly surprised at how we are staying connected via technology,” he says. “I feel appreciated by the team and I’m excited to spend this summer getting to know them and learn from them. They have been very helpful and friendly so far.”

Remote internship maximization tip #2: Have a designated workspace

Before the coronavirus, home was a place where you got to relax and decompress after a long day of work. Now that the virus has pushed us into a remote work setting, we must balance work life and relaxation time both in the space we call home, creating a lot of tantalizing distractions.

Those distractions can easily be avoided by designating an area in your home for work only. As an intern you probably do not have a whole lot of space to work with in the first place. Despite this, Tanner Mcclune, an intern on the Core Banking Transformation team and a student at Utah State University, says it is important to separate your workspace from your relaxation space.

“Work in a separate room from your bedroom,” he says. “This allows you to disconnect from a place that you would typically deem as a place of relaxation.”

Remote internship maximization tip #3: Schedule your day

Time management is a critical skill that now more than ever needs to be learned and then mastered. Working remotely trying to juggle your home and office life can seem like a daunting task, especially as an intern working in a new environment. 

Ellie Faulk of Zions Bank
Ellie Faulk

Having a schedule keeps you on task and helps eliminate a lot of the distractions that come from working at home.

“Set a schedule for yourself when working from home,” says Ellie Faulk, an Internal Audit intern and student at Lindenwood University. “There are so many easy distractions.”

She notifies family members of her schedule to minimize interruptions.  “I personally make a physical sign for the door of my workspace, so my family knows when I’m working,” Faulk says.  

Remote internship maximization tip #4: Take initiative

It is critical as an intern working from home to take the initiative and be a self-starter no matter the situation. If you are confused about something, speak up, says Kelvyn Bladen, a Credit Risk Analytics intern and student at Utah State University.

“Take initiative for the things you need to learn,” he says. “If you work closely with your mentor about concerns or gaps in your understanding, it will help tremendously.”

Remote internship maximization tip #5: Define your own goals for the internship

“Be self-motivated by creating a list of goals and tasks that need to be accomplished,” says Austin Stewart, an Enterprise Technology and Operations intern and student at Utah State University. “Once you have that, take the initiative, and complete those goals.”

If you are a student looking to gain professional experience, learn more about the Zions Bancorporation internship opportunities today. 

Ramon Ruiz is a summer intern in Zions Bank’s Marketing Department and will be graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Strategic Communications in December 2020.

Austin Stewart of Zions Bank
Austin Stewart

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