Interning Amidst COVID-19

The global pandemic is affecting everyone’s lives in deep and personal ways. One of the many ways in which COVID-19 has influenced my life is through my summer internship, which was originally set to be in person. However, along with so many other facets of life, virtual became the new normal and my new expectation. 

Overall, I am really enjoying my internship with Ecomingling. I have learned integral personal, communicative, and environmental skills, I have (virtually) met some very inspiring people, and I have furthered my understanding and relationship to the environmental sector as a whole. On top of all of that, I feel very grateful that I have a summer internship at all, given today’s current climate. 

That being said, there is something missing from a fully remote experience. There is something so distinct and human and gratifying about sitting side-by-side, making eye contact, and conversing with people who are in the same physical room as you. This is something that is missing from my internship. This is something that is missing from so much of our daily lives today. 

However, given that this aspect of our lives is currently non-negotiable, I am so happy to have the opportunity to intern with Ecomingling this summer! Being a part of the World of Work is quite different from typical university life. One particular difference I have noticed between the two is the expectations that exist surrounding work. In typical academic life, there is a predetermined number and type of assignments, often made clear and accessible to me and the other students at the start of the semester. Often, these assignments come with detailed instructions, expected deadlines are set, and grades are given by the professor once the work has been submitted. 

However, my internship work is much more flexible than this. It bends and shifts based on Ecomingling’s constantly and rapidly changing needs. I was not given a list at the start of my internship with all the assignments to complete by the end of the three months. Also, I am not given a letter grade based off of my work; rather, my supervisor provides me with tailored, constant feedback. The shifting work of my internship reflects the busy and complex nature of existing in the “real world” with “real people”. 

My internship with Ecomingling has helped me build many skills that will be transferable to other aspects of my life. For instance, my internship has given me a taste of what the “real world” looks like. By gaining experience with this start-up, I have learned about the necessity to have a drive and a passion for whatever you are involved with. I have learned that although teamwork and collaboration are sometimes challenging, the overall output is much higher when working with others. I have learned that running a start-up is messy and complicated, but that is precisely what makes it exciting and worthwhile.

Furthermore, I have enhanced my written and verbal communication skills, I have bolstered my social media and digital marketing literacy, I have increased my ability to do meaningful research, and most importantly, I have furthered my environmental awareness, knowledge, and passion. I am learning all of these skills and more with Ecomingling. I know these skills will be valuable to me throughout the rest of my life- in the academic world, in my future career(s), and beyond. 

Click here to view the Israeli Plastic Pollution Prevention Coalition Facebook page I created and have been managing (a coalition created and managed by Ecomingling)!

Click here to view the Ecomingling Facebook page I have been managing!

Here is an example of an image I used as the graphic for a Facebook post, in which I provided a link to download a brochure about plastic!