“Why remote internships could be a real opportunity” - with Xavier Wartelle, Co-founder and CEO of Avatar Medical, Founding partner at big bang factory and AFAM CEO
Hello, Xavier, and thank you for your time! We would like to ask you a few questions about a remote internship.
AFAM: As far as I understand, you hired several interns who work remotely. How many remote interns do you have? What kind of tasks are they carrying out?
Xavier: At big bang factory, we currently work with Vipra and Suhail, two interns located in India (technically, we compensate them as consultants). They help us with marketing and business development, and we are very happy to have them on board. Actually, Vipra is also working for AVATAR MEDICAL and she did an outstanding job on the web site!
AFAM: Did you decide to hire remote interns because of Covid19 or will you be hiring remote interns in the future?
Xavier: We don’t have a company office at big bang factory. From day one, we have developed a remote corporate culture and an organization that enables us to work from anywhere as a team. and that proves to be could be very efficient! For instance, we are pretty good at using collaborative software tools. We have always been very efficient. In fact, Covid-19 didn’t make any difference for us and the remote interns fit perfectly in our organization.
AFAM: What do you find positive and what do you find challenging about having a remote intern?
Xavier: Remote internship can be a very positive experience for both the company and the interns. Although Vipra and Suhail are based in India, they can still participate in the vibrant life of dynamic French startups expanding in the US. For big bang factory, this is an opportunity to work with talented individuals with different backgrounds, and cultures.
The main challenge is to keep them included and motivated despite the distance and time difference. This requires to hire autonomous interns that don’t need constant supervision and encouragement. In terms of management, we need to precisely define tasks and responsibility and organize daily calls with them, even short.
AFAM: Do you think you will hire another remote intern in 2021 or 2022? Or will you better opt for an in-person internship program?
Xavier: We cannot have in-person interns and yes, we will hire other remote interns.
Thank you for sharing!
Illustration from https://teanabroad.org