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Landed a Virtual Marketing Internship in Philadelphia? How to Make the Most of it
Let’s face it. 2020 has not been the year college students anticipated.
Going to classes, campus life and gearing up for a summer internship seem like a distant memory due COVID-19.
In a matter of days, college students’ lives were flipped upside down. Classes moved online, universities sent students packing and internship opportunities were in jeopardy. In fact, internship opportunities were cut in half this spring.
But just as companies have evolved to accommodate a remote workforce, many organizations have taken their internships virtual. When the country shut down, companies quickly came up with a plan to onboard interns virtually. From handbooks to conscious communication efforts, companies found ways to provide their interns with the best experience possible.
Case Study: Amazon Goes Virtual
Take Amazon, for example. As one of the world’s largest companies, Amazon takes on a lot of interns. Amazon was tasked with virtually onboarding 8,000 interns from around the country.
Typically, Amazon interns benefit from access to the company’s state-of-the-art campus, facetime with tech leaders and unique perks like a seat at the company’s Post-Prime Day concert.
With a virtual internship, Amazon has had to pivot. It emphasizes offering interns insider information about the company, dedicated intern groups, volunteer opportunities and even virtual happy hours. Amazon’s virtual internship program also includes networking events for students and is structured as a combination of completing work and project-based learning.
A Virtual Internship is What You Make It
Every company has a different approach to a new remote reality for employees and interns alike. Virtual internships at public relations firms are no exception.
As a student who landed a successful PR and marketing agency virtual internship in Philadelphia, I’ve learned the experience is what you make it.
There’s a lot of help and guidance. But taking initiative is a must for getting the most out of this unique opportunity.
Whether you’re looking for a PR internship in Philadelphia, a marketing agency internship or some other internship experience, here are some lessons I’ve learned about what students should look for in a good virtual internship and how they can make the most of their experience.
Finding the Right Marketing Agency Virtual Internship
As interns research internship opportunities and schedule interviews, here are a few things to look for:
- A comprehensive virtual plan. Get specifics from your internship coordinators. What will your responsibilities be? What does an average day look like? How will you communicate with staff? Do they use Zoom, Microsoft Teams or another video call platform?
- Conscious communication efforts. Is someone at your internship communicating with you every day? While in the office this may be easier to do, make sure your peers are still reaching out and giving you the guidance you need to do good work and develop your PR and marketing skills.
- A strong culture. The culture of a company and its employees are what makes an internship memorable for students. A company with an already strong remote culture provides more of an opportunity to work with as many team members as possible and stay in contact. Even fun events such as coffee talks and happy hours are vital experiences for an intern.
Be a Better Virtual Intern
Here’s a quick rundown of a what interns should be prioritizing in their own actions:
- Initiative. Working virtually means it will be up to you to reach out and ask for projects. Take it upon yourself to seek out opportunities such as listening in on calls or learning a new skill. Team members are already busy and adjusting to this new normal themselves. They need you to take initiative and help them understand what you need.
- Communication and check-ins. Communication is key when you are not able to work face-to-face with co-workers. Asking questions, providing follow up and checking in every once in a while will keep your day on track and create more meaningful relationships.
- Creating a productive workspace. Unfortunately, your parent’s dining room table just isn’t going to cut it. Find a quiet space in your house and convert it into a productive place to focus, chat with co-workers and produce your best work.
Interested in learning more about a virtual internship opportunity at one of Philadelphia’s top marketing and communications agency? Learn a little bit more about Braithwaite Communications and apply for our apprentice storyteller program.