Everything Is Going To Be Okay?
My chair rolls sluggishly across the living room carpet in the spring of 2020. It is not the picture that was in my head a few months ago. In those intern scenarios I was free-wheeling at a desk cozily cubicled next to a whirring copy machine. I would be absorbed into a beehive of activity. Though I’d be on the peripheral as an intern, eventually I’d be absorbed into the workflow and connect with co-workers.
That was before the pandemic vocabulary began to rap out rhymes to “remote work” “unprecedented” “uncertain” and “shelter-in-place”. The future seemed like a throwback to Groundhog Day, an endless cloning cycle of today looking like yesterday and tomorrow. A one sentence email relaying that “All internships are cancelled.”replaced the greeting I was expecting from the company I was set to intern with in the summer of 2020, after I graduated from Slippery Rock University. That is where I was to gain real-life experience in my cubicle. leaving with the toolkit I needed to branch out from the bubble of college life.
There were rumors and hints that onsite internships might not be permitted by the university prior to getting my disappointing email. When it became official university policy I started to panic. I am the kind of person who always has a plan down to the very last detail, so what does this all mean now? Did I have to settle for second-best with a remote internship as my only option? How would that even work?
I’m now in the middle of my remote internship and surprisingly, it has given me every opportunity to challenge myself, even more than I thought I could with my original plan. Lesson learned! You have to be disciplined and always think outside the box. Originally I was going to be a blog writing intern, but the remote work experience has turned into an overall communication internship where I write blogs but may also spend one hour researching SEO and then develop graphics for an email the next. I’m gaining skills daily that I’ll carry with me throughout the rest of my career, thanks to the challenges and mentoring provided by Norma Norris, Executive Director of the nonprofit CANDLE, Inc.
So why am I typing all of this out? I want people to know that there can be positives to the panic and shakeup of plans. I’m the kind of person who believes there is always a meaning to something that happens. Being able to support an organization like CANDLE, Inc. and help advance their drug prevention mission on a national level, while at my makeshift desk in the middle of my living room, has opened up more opportunities than I could have imagined back in January. There’s even a freelance opportunity in the making. Everything is going to be okay. I’ll just keep on rolling.
Collaborative Blog Author: Emma Burgman, Slippery Rock University