Rhiannon Osborne Tonner is a fourth year Natural Sciences student at UCL. She spent one month in Bali on Start Me Up’s Startup UX Internship Program in Bali.
Interning abroad can be an unbelievably rewarding experience. The opportunities to grow as an individual while working from another country are ample.
But it’s easy to get distracted with all those opportunities for surfing, lying on the beach and bouncing from cafe to cafe while tapping away on a fancy laptop.
Although they are benefits of remote working in a place like Bali, it’s important to not get lost in the Instagram fantasy and remember that getting the most out of your internship involves a lot of hard work.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid while undertaking an internship in Bali:
Getting too easily distracted
As soon as you step off the plane, the world around you is filled with endless distractions; from yoga classes, to surf lessons, waterfall trips and volcano treks.
Tourist destinations like Bali are packed with opportunities to explore and adventure. Although you should definitely throw yourself into these activities it’s important to not lose yourself in play while your work awaits.
The adventure should stimulate you in your free time to enhance your productivity while at work.
Plan, schedule, and organize your life using tools like Asana, Google Calendar and Workflowy to ensure your time is managed.
This will not only ensure you get the work you need to do done, but ensure you achieve everything you want to while exploring Bali.
Not getting enough sleep
Traveling abroad is fast paced, throw working into the mix on top of that and it can be overwhelming.
The desire to do and see everything, to explore every corner of a country while achieving work goals and aims can be hectic.
Many interns choose to lose sleep trying to cram things into their days, however, this can be detrimental to their health and enjoyment levels.
Ensuring you make time for rest and relaxation will not only increase your working efficiency but allow you to enjoy things more, don’t make the mistake of burning out.
Not bringing appropriate tech
A common thing for interns to forget, believe it or not, is adaptors and chargers. For remote work, your laptop is essential.
Without a working laptop, you can’t work. Make sure you bring all the chargers, adaptors and accessories you’ll need with you, it can be hard to get your hands on legitimate technology in some regions [there’s no Apple store in Bali, for example].
Not communicating with remote teams effectively
Communication is absolutely key for remote working. Lacking face-to-face communication can be daunting and a new experience for many interns.
Old school communication techniques are often redundant in a location independent workplace and you’ll suddenly be faced with different forms of communication than usual, such as Slack and Zoom.
You must proactively keep in contact with members of the team, ensuring utmost clarity. On top of this it is important to remember that time zones exist. Your team won’t always be available when you are so strategically planning is highly important.
Not being flexible
Working from different countries requires an adaptability often not required in other workplaces.
Dealing with people in different time zones might require late nights or early mornings, poor wifi connections might require rescheduling meetings or moving last minute in search of better connection.
Have an open mind, you’ll be faced with unusual problems you’re not used to and might require versatility in order to overcome them. That said, set boundaries, you should not be working all day every day. Plan time off to relax and rejuvenate.
Here’s what Rhiannon got up to on her UX internship in Bali…