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Key Takeaways from my Summer Experience

Written by Gabby Kmiec- Marketing Subcommittee Member

School starts in two days, and I had a moment yesterday when I realized my life is about to get hectic. Working in a remote internship this summer had its positives and negatives, but I found that I had a lot of flexibility in my routine and I could work when I wanted to.

I currently work at ABC Insights, which provides consulting services for higher education by measuring human capital investment in administration to make universities more efficient and effective. I started working for them as a growth analyst/intern in the spring, right before COVID became more wide-spread. I love this company and working in higher education right now has been really interesting amidst this unprecedented time. Higher education has an unpredictable future right now, and this summer I was really happy to be working toward supporting the growth team at ABC.

In the beginning, it was a breeze

In the beginning, it was kind of a breeze for me. COVID 19 did change a lot within my life, but I told myself it was not that bad. I was extremely busy during the school year, and when everything moved to being remote, I had more time to dedicate to my studies and my part time job. But when school ended, I found that I had a lot more time in my daily routine because I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything in public. I was stuck at home. So, I decided to take on two more RA positions in addition to my internship. Working remotely allowed me to be very flexible with my work and take on more than I normally could than if I had to go into the office. That was one positive, but I am not a home-bound person. Mentally, working remotely can be challenging for a lot of people. Working from home is hard for those who want to work in a social environment and value in-person communication and collaboration.

I was worried about being able to focus at home, especially on zoom calls for my internship. I also didn’t want my background to be distracting for my coworkers, for example if my siblings appeared in the video or my dogs were barking. I definitely focus better when I separate my home and my work environments. I can’t work in the same place that I sleep, and I think that applies for a lot of people. You get distracted very easily. That was tough for me this summer.

Takeaways from my internship

Focus on making meaningful connections with coworkers

Despite being remote, I did learn that it was important for me to try and make connections with my coworkers. It was hard given the situation, not being able to go into the office and socialize with the other interns on the growth team. The small moments I had where I talked to them on the phone or over zoom, with just the interns or even just my superiors, I really valued those and I think it’s important to try and make meaningful connections within any position.

Ask for criticism and advice

One other thing I took away from my internship is never to be afraid to ask for criticism, because it makes whatever product you are working on so much better and involves everyone in the process.

Put 100% effort into every task

I also felt like there were some days that I was not doing well mentally with being quarantined, and I would dread some tasks I was assigned, like data-entry. Data-entry was not my cup of tea, but it’s important to be efficient and power through any task you are assigned because there is a greater goal in mind. You earned this internship. With every task you complete, you are investing in your future.

I think it’s important to realize that this is not normal. Working through remote internships is going to be hard at times in many different ways. I am very fortunate that my internship did not get canceled and I had something to work on professionally this summer. This summer was a time for professional and personal development, and I definitely learned a lot about myself and my interests.

It was a transition, that’s for sure.

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