WFH: A Guide for Future Placement Students

Esme#MyPlacementStory, Esme Robinson, On Placement, Second Year

An open laptop next to a potted plant on a desk

*Alexa – queue Fifth Harmony Work From Home*

Working from home during a national lockdown doesn’t hit quite the same as Fifth Harmony made it sound in their chart-topping track. However, with most firms adopting a ‘Virtual Office’ stance, it will be no shock that this might be the way forward as A LOT of placements will be remote.

I currently work for Intel as a Sales Support Analyst within the Lenovo Sales and Marketing Team. I have been WFH since July and have never stepped into the Intel office as an employee… and I probably won’t as my entire placement will be remote! As sad as that sounds, it isn’t all that bad. Hopefully, this guide will give you a realistic insight into my WFH experience so far, helping you not to be too disheartened.

1. Focus on the positives and not on the negatives

It’s not as doom and gloom as it seems; living rent-free, a permanently full fridge, my fave Nespresso coffee on tap AND I can walk around the house barefoot and not be afraid to step in the remains of last nights pre’s (we all know that gross sticky floor from the night before…) As well as these perks, I’m constantly attending meetings whilst in the comfort of my dressing gown – something that I definitely couldn’t do if I was in the office! Besides work benefits, it’s great to be around my home friends. I find that when I’m at uni I can be a little disconnected from home, linking with my friends and making up for lost time always makes me feel happy!

2. Be grateful that you have a placement

During the pandemic uncertainty, A LOT of my friends work placements and study arrangements got cancelled last minute. They were devastated! Times are very hard for some businesses and industries, be grateful that the company want to invest their money and resources into employing YOU. On the flip side, because of businesses struggling at the moment, internships can be very few and far between. If you’re offered an internship that’s WFH, well done you! This is an amazing opportunity, so grab it with both hands! This links nicely into my next point…

3. Think of the bigger picture

If you’re a bit bummed out that most placement opportunities are WFH – think of the bigger picture. Securing an Industrial Placement during a World Wide pandemic is a huge achievement! As placements can be a little scarce, securing a job during the current climate is incredible! The skills you can learn WFH are endless and you might just surprise yourself what you can actually do. I’ve managed to build some great relationships and friendships amongst my team, other Intel employees and the intern community. My skillset has expanded massively for both technical and soft skills. I now consider myself a bit of an Excel pro… something which I thought I would never say! Skills like these are transferable and might not have been developed as much if I was in the office.

However…

Of course working from home isn’t all tinsel and glitter, of course there are some drawbacks. What works well for me, might not work as well for you. In reality, sometimes I struggle to put my laptop away, the extra email here and there can quickly escalate and I find myself working more hours than if I was in the office. I’m eating my bodyweight in KitKats during the Teams meetings and the huge drawback is that there is no Biz Travel 🙁 </3.

WFH is all I’ve ever known, I try not to think of the experience I could have had and are grateful for the opportunity that I have had. It’s as good as you make it and so far mine has been amazing! If you end up being offered a remote placement (which is highly likely), then GO FOR IT! It’s probable that all employees within that company will be in the same position and will be working remotely also. Take the opportunity and I can guarantee that you will surprise yourself!

I hope this post has given you some inspiration and a reality check regarding remote work placements. It’s likely that you will be in the Virtual Office for at least some of your placement; good luck, embrace it, be grateful and most importantly go and smash it!