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Treehouse: What it's like to work a virtual internship

February 18, 2011

Today we hear from PR enthusiast and recent Central Michigan grad Jenna Frye (@jenna_frye), who interns for a Detroit food blog but not in Detroit.

Jenna Frye (@jenna_frye)

There’s no dress code at my internship, so I can wear whatever I want; I don’t have to wake up early every day, I can take breaks whenever I desire and I can even work from my bed if I want to!

No, this isn’t a joke. I do have an internship, but I work remotely and I don’t have set hours. I’m the public relations intern for a Detroit food blog called The Hungry Dudes. The group is dedicated to connecting restaurants with hungry consumers. Members of the group visit restaurants and shoot photographs and video to share via social media.

I tag along to restaurants and attend their events a couple of times a month. I’m also researching speaking opportunities for the group, launching, designing and coordinating monthly newsletter campaigns, writing press releases and designing fact sheets. I meet with members of the group via Skype or phone calls once a week to discuss my expectations and responsibilities.

I’m consistently required to have responsibility, accountability and decent time management skills. The group respects me and I have freedom with creativity, so I’m adding more writing and design samples to my portfolio while I’m still searching for a full-time permanent position.

Though I love working remotely, I wouldn’t recommend it to those searching for their first internships. I’ve already had two on-site internships,which were valuable in building my confidence in the professional world. Employers also look for experience in professional settings because they want to know that the prospective employee has been required to uphold duties in an office — arriving on time,interaction with other employees and higher-ups, teamwork, etc.

A remote internship is perfect for me, but before you decide which is best for you — consider the skills you still need to gain beyond your education!

Want to learn more about the work Jenna does? Check out her portfolio at

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