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My Remote Internship: Challenges and Successes

Apr 21, 2021 12:00:00 PM / by Savanna Nolau

Savanna shares the reality of being a remote intern from the challenges she's faced to the upside of the entire experience. She also emphasizes the skills she's picked up—such as being adaptable—and how she's discovered the type of professional and team member she is in her role. See how she juggles her duties and focuses on getting a well-rounded approach all before graduating from college.

Working with a London-based charity while in Los Angeles has presented a few difficulties. For starters, the 8-hour time difference means that I miss all the staff meetings because they take place at 11am GMT. But the staff at Young Citizens makes sure to affirm the work I do. For example, I drafted a blog post for their Go-Givers website and once the blog was posted, my supervisor noted the success in the company group chat. Seeing my work being published makes me feel more connected to my internship and my coworkers even though I am across the pond working from my apartment.

The author, Savanna's blog post on Young Citizens’ Go Givers website.My blog post on Young Citizens’ Go Givers website.

Beyond the challenges of a remote internship, I find that I am learning more about my work ethic and professional goals. CAPA’s Remote Global Internship is the third internship I have done during college. For me, it is just as important to learn about what does not interest me in addition to my interests. My professional career could lead me to public office, government relations, or journalism, so experiencing a diverse range of job opportunities will help me narrow my focus for future endeavors. Interning with Young Citizens has taught me the complexity of social media management and how important it is for small charities to utilize social platforms. As for work ethic, I have learned that what works best for me is being in an office with other people. Some people can manage to do their work at home, but I have found it hard to keep myself focused this semester. Toward the end of spring semester, I tend to get antsy for summer to come and for my academic responsibilities to be put on pause for a few months. With all my work being remote, I find myself getting even more distracted than I normally would.

Something that helps me refocus and complete my work is to reallocate time and allow myself to spend time outside while the sun is out. Most of my work was originally scheduled to be completed during the day, but lately, instead of doing work during the day and relaxing at night, I’ve been flipping my schedule. During the day I enjoy going to the beach, working out, and hanging with friends. Then, around dinner time, I pull out my laptop and work until midnight. This schedule allows me to be more productive and I find that I am more satisfied with the work I complete. During the day, I am often too distracted to do work, but at night there is less for me to do which means I can complete work in a more efficient manner.

Savanna enjoying a socially-distanced dinner on the beach with her pod in Malibu.Enjoying a socially-distanced dinner on the beach with my pod in Malibu.

Overall, in just two months of work at Young Citizens, I have learned a lot about the professional world and myself. I have learned what works best for me and where I want my career to take me. The skills I have learned this semester will help me achieve those career goals. Additionally, CAPA’s Global Internship Course has taught me my strengths as an employee and colleague. One of our recent class sessions focused on the importance of finding your role in a team. In preparation for the class, each of us took a quiz, and my results showed that I am a team-oriented worker—meaning I thrive when collaborating with others on work.

Results from a strengths finder quiz Savanna and her class took as part of the Global Internship Course.My results from a strengths finder quiz we took as part of the Global Internship Course.

Reading these results and discussing what makes an effective team in class made me feel more equipped to be an effective member of any team I am part of going forward.

Thanks, Savanna!

Savanna Nolau

Savanna Nolau is an official Remote CAPA blogger/vlogger for spring 2021, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. An International Relations  major from Suffolk University, she is remotely studying abroad and interning in London this semester.

Savanna's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

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Topics: London, England, Internships Abroad