01 Sep What I Learnt During My Remote Publishing Internship
Hello! My name is Millie-Mae and I’m a rising sophomore from the UK studying at Harvard University. I have completed my two month remote publishing internship in London with a specialist event planning company West End on the Thames — it was a thoroughly rewarding experience and I’ve learnt a lot. Here are five skills that I think are the most important that I’ve learnt to work on this summer:
After the last year in lockdown, I haven’t been a stranger to doing work virtually, however my remote publishing internship differed a lot to school. My days were structured by shifts instead of classes, and I had to think carefully about staying productive, doing my best work and taking care of myself. I made a habit of taking ten minutes every morning to tidy my desk and refill my water to prepare myself for my internship — I definitely noticed the difference between the days where I cleared my desk and the days I forgot.
While I signed on to do a set number of hours per week, they could be distributed in various ways depending on the workflow of my host company and the availability of my supervisors. It meant that I had to practice being adaptable as well as carefully organising my other commitments around my remote publishing internship. Instead of rigidly tying myself to a routine, I was able to get better at going with the flow and succeeding in a fast-paced environment.
Time can really get away from me when I’m online, so I’ve found it important to section my day up. Though obvious, I’ve liked thinking of my days in terms of before, during my internship and after so that no matter what time of day I’m online I can maximise my time both inside and outside my remote internship. I’ve relied on putting everything in my calendar, creating many To-Do lists and making copious notes about my internship in order to make the most of my time.
Since you aren’t there in person, you can’t rely on a serendipitous chat while you refill coffee mugs to get to know other people working at your host company. Everything — from networking to asking questions to suggesting new ideas — has to be deliberate. I found that pretty daunting from the beginning but it’s a really important skill and I’m glad Absolute gave me the chance to develop it.
A remote internship puts you far more in control than you would be trying to navigate a real office. My responsibilities at my host company are truly down to me, and when I can see the tangible impacts of my contributions every week, it’s gratifying to see that my work matters. By opening a dialogue with my supervisors, I’ve been able to get feedback so I can improve as well as working with them to tailor my responsibilities to my personal interests and goals.
As a student who’s only done one year at university and has only worked student part-time jobs, the idea of the ‘professional working world’ felt very nebulous to me. By completing an internship with Absolute, I’ve been able to demystify that a little, learn more about myself, and pick up some new skills I know I’ll be relying on in the future. Overall, my virtual internship has been a fantastic experience and one I wouldn’t trade for the world. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a flexible way to gain further experience in an industry!