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Interning Abroad… At Home

At the beginning of 2020, I imagined that over summer I would be in London with a group of fellow college students, taking classes and gaining valuable work experience. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is not what happened. But, thankfully, I was still able to participate in an internship abroad… just while staying home. When I found out that I would be working for a non-profit I was ecstatic. I’ve always thought that one of the most important components of business is their social responsibility- and that is what a non-profit is all about!

Remote work is not easy on its own, but add in a 5 hour time difference and it becomes increasingly more difficult. But Romina and Maija were so accommodating and made the internship seem as normal as possible amidst the circumstances. I knew going into this opportunity that the majority of my work would be independent, but I never felt like I was alone. I had people to contact if I had a question and the team was so quick to respond and help out.

As a Communications Intern, I focused on writing a segment of a marketing strategy module that will be a part of a larger entrepreneurship curriculum. To be honest, this is not what I would have imagined I would be doing, but, I ended up really enjoying the work. I was able to build on my written communication skills and learn more about my chosen degree. Working on the digital marketing curriculum also piqued my interest in digital marketing- a specialization I had not looked into prior to this internship. This alone would have made the internship worthwhile, but I learned so much more. I was able to see Google Analytics and Hootsuite firsthand and get acquainted with the software which will be beneficial in future career opportunities.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from this experience was the importance of being flexible. This world is continuously changing and therefore the workplace is continuously changing. Being able to adapt to new or uncomfortable situations is such a vital skill to have. Working for IARS forced me- in the best way- to be flexible with the work I was given. It made me realize that every experience is a learning experience. Use what you are given to adapt and grow.

While working remotely for IARS was not what I had initially imagined my summer to look like, I am still so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of the team. I learned so much in my short time with this organization and I know I will remember this experience for a very, very long time.

By Ginny Dezern