Internship WFH - No Work Given

Hi all,

Just began my remote internship at a boutique 2-3 days ago. Had a very short "orientation" day on the first day of the internship setting up IT infra and speaking with the team I will be working with. Was told that will have check-ins every other day at a certain time, but have not been given a single task and has been two days. No emails, no tasks, no meetings, no check-ins. Am I supposed to follow up and ask for work or whether the meeting is happening or just wait because the analyst is busy doing other work?

Appreciate your inputs

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Comments (13)

Most Helpful
Jun 30, 2020 - 11:18pm

That isn't fair, but hopefully things turn around for you. It is also a holiday week so it will probably be light all around with work flow due to personal travel/vaca.

There is no way around the fact that you are seriously inconveniencing your team as a remote newbie. Trying to punch through and position yourself will be tough. With that said, there is a right way and a wrong way to approach the situation to make the most of it.

Take a deep breath and think back to day one. Who did you talk to? Who did you connect with? Notice anyone a bit more approachable? Start there.

Do NOT go frantically writing mass emails and whining to someone about it. No one cares enough.

Find that person you can lean on and give them a call. Again, don't be chomping at the bit. Ease in to it. Be a normal human. Let him know you have capacity. White lie a little and say something along the lines of "I am working through onboarding and have been busy getting up to speed. Wanted to catch up to see if you had anything I could help out on, happy to jump in where I can".

Work down the list SLOWLY throughout the day and let 2-3 people digest it (and hopefully talk about it). At some point, the word will spread a bit via phone tag. Again, take it slow, don't complain, and don't throw anyone under a bus. Once you can break through and get that one handoff it will turn in to an avalanche quickly. So prove it.

From a career POV, it will be a good learning experience to realize drumming up a reputation and work flow comes down to your own initiative and performance.

A good example would be that every-other-day-call they promised. Who is going to set that up for you? No one. Once you get talking to a few people during you follow up call, offer to send around a recurring calendar invite at a time that works for the group. Coordinate availability and get the ball rolling on your own. Like I said, once it gets rolling, it moves quick. Just takes a nudge sometimes.

remember, for the love of god, don't be annoying.

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  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jul 7, 2020 - 3:12am

Bump - has been a week and haven't done anything but have 5 minute meetings with the analyst other interns and I work with and am seriously worried this internship will not be productive and won't have shit to talk about in my 2021 SA interviews.

  • Associate 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 8, 2020 - 8:41pm

ChuckieSullivan gave good advice. What have the responses been from talking to analysts/associates/your staffer (or boss)? How much work do the other interns have?

If you're having 5 minute meetings that's at least somewhat on your end. They should be 20-30 min minimum. At least have a list of questions for the analyst - even if it's just looking through previous decks on the drive and asking them about things you don't understand from there. It's fine if they're busy or don't want to explain that sort of thing - move on to someone else who seems approachable. Waiting for someone to email you work is not the right play, you need to network here and see who's willing to take someone on.

Once you've gone through 3-4 people to talk to, circle back with your staffer or whoever was overseeing the internship to have a quick call (not 5 minutes - book 30 on their calendar) about the first few weeks. Express appreciation and say you'd love to take a stab at a project or shadow someone if they have any suggestions. Don't beg for work.

I feel for you in that internships often seriously suck. College kids also go all over WSO saying how slammed with work they are, but having no work is far more common.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Jul 10, 2020 - 9:25pm

Isnt 2021 SA recruiting already wrapping up? Weird thing to be concerned about

  • Intern in IB - Restr
Jul 8, 2020 - 9:37pm

Give it some time, mine started that way. Most of the analysts are busy as is and don't have time to explain stuff to an intern (let alone do it virtually) so don't take it personally.

Just occasionally email or reach out and ask if they have anything you can work on, even if its small.

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