Intern Reflections: Things Learned from Interning Remotely
Internships during the summer of 2020 were somewhat of a rarity. I knew countless others who told me their internship had been canceled, or they couldn’t find one. The need to be remote has been necessary this summer, and some companies weren’t able to adapt for a variety of reasons. Intrepid was flexible and adaptable and was able to offer a unique, fully remote internship. Since the experience was completely virtual, I learned how to communicate differently, discipline myself, and be more independent. Being virtual meant I had to learn on my own more because I couldn’t just pop into someone’s office and talk it out face-to-face. I am not always the best at learning through reading, so this summer offered me a chance to learn more through reading, which is a valuable skill. Independent learners are always valuable to any company because it saves others the time of training you.
I also think getting more marketing experience was greatly valuable because I have only had one true marketing class during my two years at Campbell. I knew back in March that I wanted to intern for Intrepid because of the sports clients they worked with. This summer was a unique experience that helped me learn a lot. I learned how to do a bunch of different tasks, but I also learned more about the type of career and company I want to work for in the future. I spent a lot of time creating social media content for the Victory Ride, which is a charity bike ride that raises money for cancer research. This task pushed me to be more creative and come up with content to help engage and expand their social media audience. This event was the most time-sensitive since it is during the month of August, and many sports clients were on hold because of being in the offseason or on break due to COVID.
Since this style of the internship was new to me, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into on a day-to-day basis. The beginning of my internship was focused on SWOT analyses of Intrepid's clients. This was meant to help me better understand who Intrepid serves and also provide a new perspective to Intrepid about the company. I also learned about the value and power of Google Ads. I helped create reports that synthesized data to show if particular ads were effective for some of their clients. I also was able to be creative by using Canva Pro to build potentially new social media profile photos for the Victory Ride. I was also exposed to some of Intrepid’s non-sport related clients such as Park West Village and Toll Brothers. I was able to conduct research to help find new publications for a press release to advertise a new housing community using a media monitoring and social listening tool called Meltwater. I helped evaluate the website and social media accounts for Park West Village. Overall, I was pleased with the breadth of work I was exposed to for a wide variety of clients.
There a few pieces of advice I would give to future interns. The first is to focus on quality. You may feel pressured to get the work done ASAP, but as an intern, your boss knows that you will take longer to get a task done because you are learning. Take your time and ask questions if you get stuck. I would also say that patience is very important both with yourself and your boss. Especially virtually, you don’t want to spam your boss with messages. Take the extra time to dig deep and try to problem-solve on your own. This is a skill that employers always love to see because it shows perseverance and the ability to stick with a task. You should be patient with yourself. It might take you a long time to learn a new task, which is perfectly fine. You are most likely going to be assigned work that is valuable, but not urgent or time-sensitive.
Overall, this internship taught me a lot about myself and what my future career plans are. I confirmed that I want to work in the sports industry. The large variety of tasks were also great because they allowed me to gain skills in many different areas. Experience is always useful because it shows you have practical knowledge that you can apply to future jobs. Internships also offer you a chance to learn about the work environment that you prefer. Working remotely taught me that I greatly value in-person conversations and meetings. This is an undervalued element that I think is great to communicate to future employers. Being honest about who you are and what your preferences are will help you find the right fit in a company. I would like to thank Intrepid for taking me aboard the company this summer and providing me with a high-quality experience that will serve me well in the future.