Working remotely has strengths and weaknesses relative to in-person work. A large advantage of in-person work is that you can ask questions to your coworkers and receive the answer immediately or relatively soon by simply visiting their office or workspace. However, when working remotely, you may only be able to send them an email and then you might have to wait longer for their answer. On the other hand, our company uses Slack as a communication platform so I am able to get answers much faster since Slack notifies my coworkers instantly if their names are mentioned. Overall, I enjoy this internship because there are several weekly meetings where you have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about what other coworkers are working on.
World of Work has differed from academic life because it is less predictable. Academic courses have a structured syllabus with the list of exams, projects, meeting times, papers, etc. However, the tasks and nature of my internship can change significantly from day to day depending on the needs of the startup. People who work in startups frequently have many different roles since resources are often scarce. One day I am working on updating the website and increasing my knowledge of PHP and the next day I am researching social media influencers in the EdTech space for each market segment.
In addition, my internship is more reliant on other people compared with academic life. In courses, most of the time is spent doing assignments and studying alone (although working with others is sometimes permitted). However, my role for this internship relies on other coworkers. For example, it is necessary to have one-on-one meetings with a coworker to brainstorm ideas on how to move the project forward.
This summer, I have been improving my skills with the statistical programming language R. I learned how to integrate R with Google Analytics and get more in-depth information about website metrics and Google ad campaigns. This will be transferable to a future career in data analysis because R is a very important programming language in this field. Additionally, Google Analytics is a crucial skill for any business with a website. In terms of academics, R is a widely used language in many economics and statistics courses such as Econometrics and is often used for research purposes.
Another skill I have been working on this summer is academic literature review. In an effort to learn more about the EdTech industry and the company’s target customers, I have searched for related papers on Google Scholar, Library OneSearch, and ResearchGate. I read these studies and learned how they could be applicable to the company’s objectives. This will be transferable academically because literature review is important when writing a paper for a class as well as when conducting academic research for a professor. In terms of a future career, reading academic studies is a useful skill because it reinforces statistical concepts such as Chi-Squared Tests, Analysis of Variance, etc. since these tests are used in the literature.