Student Tips

Tips for Remote Work Placements - Students

Although skill-building and work experience may look and feel different during a remote placement, these opportunities are still valuable ways to gain proficiency and apply classroom knowledge in a professional context.

For a rewarding experience, you might try to focus on:

  • Communication
  • Productivity
  • Wellness

COMMUNICATION

Prioritize clear communication. Establish your main points of contact before beginning the project. This will most likely be your supervising faculty (professor/instructor of the course tied to your placement project) or a contact at the partnering organization, or both.

Strive to be very clear about expectations for project deliverables, especially when first establishing relationships with the partnering organization – time-permitting, clarity is better than brevity.

Ask questions!  This will help you understand both the project and the unique work culture of your placement organization.

Onboarding - Before your placement begins, ask about your plan or schedule for your first day of remote work.  Your supervising faculty likely already has a plan in place that will identify:

  • A preferred method of communication (an e-mail or instant messaging platform/option is valuable for a quick answer if needed.)
  • The frequency of meetings or check-ins between yourself and either your supervising faculty (professor/instructor) or contact person at the partnering organization for whom you are performing remote work. 

PRODUCTIVITY

You will likely be working on projects for your remote placement from home.

Identify, and when possible, minimize any distractions.

Organize your day/time that you have set aside to work on this project.

Time management - Implement whatever techniques have worked for you in the past. Some suggestions are:

  • Block out some time to work on your placement project, either weekly or every few days depending on your deadline. Treat it as you would a course you need to attend during that time.
  • Find a productivity partner to keep each other on task. Maybe this is another student working on a remote placement project for the same course.  This is also a great way to build connections with colleagues when on-campus courses aren’t regularly taking place.

Check ins – either your supervising faculty or partnering organization (or both) would have likely established points at which you can provide updates on progress and receive feedback on deliverables. If not, do ask your supervising faculty about this.


WELLNESS

Remote work can be isolating, or even overwhelming. Some ways to maintain wellness are:

  • Take breaks when possible.  If you’re in a time crunch, even shifting focus to work on something else can be helpful
  • Get outside for a bit if you can. Even a short walk can be refreshing.
  • Connect for lunches or chats. Socially distanced meetups with your productivity partner or other team members, for example, are a nice way to beat isolation while staying focused. 
  • Reach out for support if you feel you don’t have the resources you need to work productively.

Work-life Balance – Balancing courses with your placement term and other commitments (for example, jobs and family life) can be tricky. Discuss your placement schedule (and its potential for flexibility) with both your supervising faculty and partnering organization, to come up with solutions and plans for potential setbacks.