What I learned as an intern during COVID-19

Morgan Markgraf is a third-year Business Marketing student at Wisconsin Lutheran College with plans for early graduation in May. We recently asked her to share her thoughts about interning with us during COVID-19.

 

“We can’t afford to hire an intern at this time.”

“You just don’t have the experience we’re looking for.”

 “We’re only offering virtual internships at this time.”

These three comments are among the many I heard while applying to be an intern during COVID-19. Early last spring, I secured two part-time internship positions for the summer. Before I knew it, both were cancelled because of the pandemic.

In late September, I was made aware of an opportunity with TRG Marketing. I was offered the job and started a few weeks later. While working at TRG, I learned how to assist with digital ads on LinkedIn and Google AdWords, draft content and schedule social media posts, write blogs and news releases, develop social media and blog calendars, and work on SEO (search engine optimization) for the firm.

A few more thoughts about being an intern during a pandemic:

  • Not everyone was able to secure an internship during this time. Those of us who did are lucky.
  • In person meetings are rarely taking place in the office, but we’ve been able to pivot to virtual communications, improving our Zoom skills and phone etiquette.
  • Few of us may have the comfort of knowing there is a job waiting for us after graduation, but we have fine-tuned some very important skills. Flexibility and adaptability will set us apart from other graduates and be of extreme value for the rest of our careers.
  • Perhaps our motivation is at an all-time low because we are spending countless hours behind a screen each day between online school and work, but there are so many ways to restore our energy when we’re feeling down. (For me, it was a weekend getaway to a friend’s cabin.)
  • This is a difficult time for many, which is why it is incredibly important for us to check in on our friends and coworkers and rally together.

Though internships during COVID-19 have been challenging, we can be assured that our ability to adapt and navigate through such a difficult time will set us apart from generations to come.  My encouragement for interns in 2021 is to press on. Be grateful and learn from our experiences rather than reflect on what should or could have been.

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