I am a planner. I love planning everything down to a T. That’s why this past spring, when everything I had carefully scheduled for the coming summer came apart, it unglued me. With just two weeks until my cancelled internship had been set to start, I contacted everyone I knew, trying desperately to secure a last-minute internship. Spoiler – I got a great one.
Impact of COVID-19 on a Rising Senior in College
Flash back to the end of January 2020 when I thought I had my whole summer planned out. I had secured a great summer internship in Lowell, MA and would be commuting into the office five days a week. At that time, my biggest concern was what I’d wear on my first day in the office and where I’d get my first legal drink on my 21st birthday. If someone had told me that a pandemic would wipe out any and all of those plans, I would’ve dismissed them. The COVID-19 outbreak not only impacted me and my rising senior peers, all soon entering the workforce, but ultimately forced the entire world to adopt and accept a new “normal.”
Luckily, I landed a digital marketing intern position at digital experience agency StitchDX, also located in Lowell. Rather than working onsite however, it would be virtual, meaning I would be working on a laptop in my childhood bedroom for the next few months. But having finished my junior year of college online, a virtual internship didn’t seem so daunting.
Life as a Virtual StitchDX Intern
StitchDX gave me an invaluable intern experience, from learning about digital marketing and the digital workplace to being able to use platforms such as WordPress, HubSpot, Vidyard, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint effectively. Some of the highlights included:
- Learning how to draft, edit, and publish blog posts through WordPress, as well as publish core content pages and media resources (all with an eye towards SEO results of course!);
- Becoming adept in using most of the tools associated with HubSpot including campaigns, emails, social media, CTAs, forms, workflows, lists, sales deals and sequences, and analytics reports;
- Becoming HubSpot certified in Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing;
- Using Vidyard & HubSpot integration to produce several how-to videos that were published in various blogs on the StitchDX WordPress website;
- Run website visitor and traffic reports in Google Analytics; and
- Gaining many new connections through the friendly culture that StitchDX has built.
Now, looking back on these months, I have an extreme appreciation for how events in my life have played out. I am so thankful to have been able to have had such an amazing experience with such a wonderful team at StitchDX. They welcomed me with open arms and made sure I was supported with whatever I needed. The morning stand-up calls were a main highlight, as they allowed me to connect with my team and to feel some sort of normalcy in a world full of well, un-normalcy.
Reflecting on New Experiences
Through the sadness, confusion, anger, anxiety, isolation, and stress, I think that StitchDX has given me something to look back on as a influential life experience. As a rising senior, I was seriously worried about the opportunities I would miss out on and the connections I wouldn’t be able to create due to social barriers. However, I feel as though I was able to connect with people on an even deeper level. We’re all going through something unprecedented and have all been impacted in some way, shape, or form.
So, yeah, maybe virtual meetings and events aren’t the same as face-to-face interactions, but they are still immensely important. These meetings are essential in making sure that no one feels alone and that connections can still be made. Life still must go on, and we’ve got to make the most of it even amidst a world crisis.
Though this isn’t the summer that anyone envisioned, nor did I ever imagine myself doing a virtual internship, it will still be a time to remember and look back on fondly. I fostered new relationships, tangible marketing skills and simply gained professional work experience that has expanded my knowledge in the marketing world, as well as grow as a human.