doing an internship remotely | my experience as an intern during COVID-19





Hey y’all!


This summer looks a lot different than what we expected. I never imagined that I would be writing a post about doing an internship remotely, let alone having to navigate the extra difficulties that COVID-19 has brought on into the summer months this year. I think we all underestimated how long this pandemic will last, and sadly that has caused a lot of changes to our summer plans and experiences. Luckily I am still able to work remotely and a bit in person at my internship, so I wanted to provide some tips for doing an internship remotely as well as show y’all a bit into my experience as a wedding intern during COVID-19.



Professional Photos Courtesy of my internship (spring semester 2020) at DFS Creative Concepts 


// MY EXPERIENCE //

Before COVID hit, I interviewed for a wedding and events internship at a local wedding venue (it’s a historical lodge in my town with a restaurant and hotel, but a very popular wedding spot!). I got the position literally a week before everything started going downhill. I truly believe if I didn’t interview that week that I wouldn’t have had this special opportunity. Still in quarantine, I started working remotely back at the beginning of May. My hours were small and sporadic, but that was totally fine because I was honestly still adjusting to being home and finishing up the semester. 


At the beginning of my internship I helped with social media and PR (I continue to do these tasks today). I help upload content to the venue’s Pinterest boards and update those with hashtags frequently. I also upload wedding albums to our Facebook page about twice a week. In addition to Pinterest (which actually takes a bit of time because we make sure to credit all the vendors and organize the photos in an aesthetically pleasing way), I help answer emails to press releases. I get emails a couple times a day with a long list of the most random press requests. I sift through the requests and pull out items that are pertinent to the venue, and then email those to my supervisor. 


Now that I’m in the office about twice a week, I have more fun things to do! I have helped out with three small elopement weddings so far. I am basically an assistant to the wedding planner, so I help her out with any decorations, organization, communication, and wedding day tasks. I love the fast-paced nature of getting everything organized in a beautiful way. I’ve also been able to sit-in on several planning meetings where the planner meets with the bride (and whoever she chooses to bring!) and talks with the venue staff, outside vendors, and more. I’ve also shadowed a tour at the venue! 


But with all the fun in-person things I’m learning, there is also a fair amount of at-home activities. My internship would be classified as “hybrid”- I am doing about an equal amount of work in the office as I am doing at home. Because the first month of my internship was remote, I wanted to share my tips for interning from home.



Professional photos courtesy of my internship (spring semester 2020) at DFS Creative Concepts 

// MY TIPS FOR REMOTE INTERNSHIPS //


// time block //


If you can take anything from this post, I hope you take this tip. TIME BLOCK. If you don’t set out a certain time of day to do your work, you probably will procrastinate it to the last possible second. And that’s no fun at all! While I don’t do my at-home work the same time every day, mostly because the nature of my at-home work is responding to emails as I get them, I suggest still blocking at some time where you can sit at a desk, rather than on your bed, and get your work done. If your remote internship lasts from 9-5, you can get even more specific about your time blocking and schedule specific parts of your day to work on designated tasks.



// write it all down //


Just because you are doing everything online doesn’t mean you can’t use your planner or a to-do list! I highly suggest writing down your daily/weekly tasks on paper (whatever means you choose to follow). I try to write out my tasks for the day or week on a notepad and keep it with me.



// keep in touch //


Communication is always important, but it’s especially important when you’re working remotely. You want to make sure you are following the guidelines and tasks of your supervisor, as well as keeping up with your work. I am not hesitant to email questions or send a text asking for help on a quick task. Your co-workers and supervisors will value you effort to communicate with them!



// act like you’re at the office //


While I don’t exactly follow this tip (I tend to do my work in my bed lol), I think this is something I need to start doing and I encourage you to follow too. Get up at a reasonable time, get ready, put some work clothes on (if you feel like it), and set up a space to do your work that’s separate from your bed or even your room. Work during actual work hours (if timing/internship/etc permits) and give yourself time off. If you do a little bit of work every single day at random times, you might start to feel unmotivated and even get behind on your work. Give yourself time off after 5, take Saturday and Sunday off, and don’t be afraid to unplug from your email in the evening when the workday is over. 




// take it seriously //


Just because you are working from home does not give you the time to be unfocused or lazy. Do you work at the same standard you would in the office. Another facet of this tip is that you should still market this internship on your resume and to potential employers- you are very lucky to be working during a pandemic! This time is a great opportunity to show your adaptability, ability to work under pressure, focus, discipline, and more. And if your internship is in a field that has been majorly affected by the pandemic, such as event and wedding planning, you can use this experience as a way to show that you have learned how to deal with crises and challenges in your field. Make the most of the current opportunity!! 



I’m so thankful to be able to have this internship experience this summer, and I hope it leads me to greater opportunities down the road. I’ve really been able to narrow down what I am interested in doing as a career over the past year, and this experience is definitely shining a light on my love for planning and what I like to call, analytical creativity. I am still keeping my options open for jobs in marketing and public relations, but I could definitely see myself in the wedding and event planning industry. And that’s coming from the psychology major who swore she would be a researcher all her laugh!!


Cheers to a new week and to doing our best with the current world situation! 


Madison

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