My University Internship During a Pandemic
Western University student Erica shares how COVID-19 impacted her internship experience.
Written by fourth-year Western University Faculty of Information & Media Studies student Erica Young.
With the pandemic, I was hesitant to go through with my plans for a fourth-year internship. I thought finding an internship would be difficult considering the increase in underemployment and unemployment. I also knew my internship would be different from what other students have experienced, since it would be completely online. But, I'm so glad I did it! My internship was exciting and introduced me to an interesting career path.
Getting my internship
I was surprised to see so many internships available, especially after my experience trying to find summer employment during the pandemic. The process of finding the right internship was different because most interviews were done online using video calls, like Zoom. It seemed daunting at first, but the process ended up being quite easy. I accepted an internship as a Social Media and Communication intern.
My experience online
I was apprehensive leading into my online internship. Will I be productive? Will it be hard to communicate with my supervisor or other coworkers? Can I still learn from others and get the experience I want? Luckily, none of these ended up being concerns.
After starting my internship, I found it easy to work from home because most of my tasks were already online. Right from the start, I felt welcomed into the position. My supervisor wanted to help me achieve my goals and get the experience I was hoping for. It does feel a little weird that I never met my supervisor or other coworkers face-to-face, but I was always comfortable communicating with them online through Zoom, Microsoft Teams and email.
I am so glad I took a leap of faith and went ahead with my Faculty of Information & Media Studies (FIMS) Internship. I can add an amazing position to my resume, and the internship counts towards a 0.5 credit for my degree. Without being in an office with supervision at all times, I have become a more independent worker. I've developed characteristics and skills that will be appealing to future employers like multitasking, managing my own time and schedule, and making use of online tools for meetings and communication.
This internship has helped me recognize what I want out of a future career and what it could look like. If you are hesitant like I was about an internship during these tough times, I say go for it! You don't want to be stuck asking yourself, "what if?"
Get more info on Western's FIMS internships
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