To be honest, working virtually is difficult. When working at an in-person internship I received more help as my advisors were only an office away. In addition, I had more pressure to stay motivated as everyone else was focused on their work around me. Finally, there was a clear separation between work and home, and as a result, there were fewer distractions like my bed or my family.
However, I feel that one of the values of this virtual internship is preparing me to work from home in the future. This internship highlights the fact that working from home requires more effort: one creates one’s own schedule, there isn’t the same social aspect to one’s job, and there are more distractions. This knowledge is extremely beneficial as more and more professions, especially after COVID, will be based at home and freelancing will become more common.
The World of Work has differed from my university life in many ways. First of all the idea of deadlines is completely different. In university, deadlines appear almost arbitrary. Assignment deadlines appear to be placed randomly, many times inconveniently, throughout the semester. At the BarnArts internship, deadlines are focused around events. Most of the promotion work I have been doing has three or four projects due around the time of an event.
Secondly, Brandeis is centered around acquiring knowledge while WOW is about utilizing your knowledge. At Brandeis, we spend hours in lectures absorbing new knowledge and learning skills on how to research and acquire new knowledge. At BarnArts, I spend most of the time utilizing my knowledge and skills I have gained in life in order to complete the tasks assigned to me.
Thirdly, the social dynamics are completely different. At university, there is a clear hierarchy between the professor and the student, and with that comes an immense amount of respect. Given the distance between students and professors naturally, closer bonds are formed between students on campus. At my internship, there is less of a strong hierarchy between me and my supervisor. Part of the reason for this is that there is less of an age difference between my supervisor and me, only nine years difference. In addition, there is a more laid back atmosphere at the organization compared to the university setting. This is contributed to its small size as there are only three employees and the fact that it is located in Vermont.
I have learned many important digital tools during this internship. I have become a pro at iMovie. While this is basic movie editing programming, I hope that it will provide a basis for other more advanced movie editing platforms in the future when I have more money and space on my computer. I also have become very adept at social media platforms and the basics of marketing. In addition, I have become more courageous and outspoken in the working sphere. I am more willing to email my boss first and ask for work instead of just having her assign me tasks. Finally, I am getting more comfortable with reaching out to our performer base. One of my jobs is to communicate with musicians who are performing at our events. I was intimidated at first to do this but over time it has become easier.
While virtual internship brings with it a new learning curve it has strengthened my digital skills immensely and prepared me to work from home in the future if need be.