Read about the benefits of a virtual internship experience, as told by the IC PRSSA Blog Team.
By: Amanda Emmer
Since the spring of 2016, I have been interning for an organization called Math and Movement. Math and Movement is a program that teaches children math through exercises. This is referred to as a kinesthetic approach. Instead of sitting down and taking notes, children get up from their seats. They do movements, count out loud and jump on numbered mats.
I was offered this internship through my public relations class. Since then I’ve worked with the founder, Suzy Koontz, on many different public relations and social media tasks. I get emails and phone calls from Suzy about tasks and deadlines I need to meet. My two favorite tasks so far were creating social media posts and contacting celebrity agents. I had to create 50 social media posts for the company’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. This was my favorite because I enjoy being creative and being on social media. Another task was calling celebrity agents. Some of the agents I called represented Jimmy Kimmel, Tina Fey, Nina Dobrev, Sandra Bullock Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. I called them to try and persuade the celebrity to try out a math and movement program.
This is clearly a lot different than a typical internship. What’s unique about this internship is that I do it remotely here in Ithaca, so most of what I do is done on all online. Many people might be skeptical about doing an online internship, but from experience, I can name many benefits. First, there isn’t a dress code. I can wear whatever I want to work. Second, I can do this internship anywhere. I don’t have to go into an office every morning, and instead, I can sit on my bed and do the tasks that need to be done. Third, the flexibility is great! As long as I meet the deadline of a task, I can set my own schedule. Lastly, I still gain knowledge and the experience of new tasks and new experiences.
One of the most important things I’ve learned from my internship is to always follow up with people and stay on top of tasks. Most people would think that because this is online it only consists of procrastination, laziness and not enough experience. However, from all the tasks I’ve completed, I can say I’ve learned a lot. Especially with public relations, following up with coworkers and clients is very important. You want to stand out and show how passionate you are about a project, because let’s face it; you are not the only intern for this company. And even if you are, you’re pretty much at the bottom of the company. So whether it’s in an office or on the computer, the most important thing to do is take whatever task you are doing seriously and make a great impression.