Currently, I am completing a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double concentration in Marketing and Management at Mount Royal University. I had the great opportunity to obtain job experience as a Digital Marketing Intern with Wingman Direct Marketing while finishing my undergraduate degree.
Like many other students who were told that their Summer 2021 internship would be online, I was concerned about how I would gain real-world work experience from the comfort of my own home. My apprehension, however, quickly dissipated during the internship.
While each internship will be unique, these are some of the lessons I learnt during my virtual internship.
Good communication skills are required to enable others and yourself to comprehend information more accurately and quickly. This can be difficult while removing a channel of communication that many of us take for granted on a daily basis, face-to-face communication. Without the proper communication channels in place, it becomes incredibly difficult to connect employees with business goals, break down obstacles, and create workplace innovation as we navigate through a world with so much information.
During my virtual internship, I was fortunate to work with a supportive team that established strategic communication channels through Microsoft Teams, Email, and OneDrive. I learned that regardless of the channel used, each point of contact had to have some sort of transactional value, which meant that whether I was reaching out to someone, or they were reaching out to me, there had to be a purpose that would add value to a project, the team, or a client.
Our team was a virtual team, similar to how my internship was a virtual internship. A virtual team is a group of people who interact and collaborate using technology across time, place, and organisational boundaries. Communication and virtual teamwork are inextricably linked. Businesses will not be able to achieve their goals and objectives if there is a lack of teamwork and/or communication.
My virtual internship experience taught me the value of collaboration. For example, before posting on social media to gain followers and increase client engagement, I had to coordinate with the graphics team, content team, and managers. As a result, the experience taught me the value of teamwork and its impact on department and company success.
An internship is a fantastic opportunity, but it can be quite structured and tightly guided at times. However, it was encouraged to be independent and proactive while completing my virtual internship at WMDM; I was given the authority to make decisions so long as they were logical and aligned with the client’s vision and the project. During my virtual internship, I had complete control to my clients’ social media channels. In terms of content, I had to start from scratch. This is where I honed my ability to make independent decisions and gain workplace independence.
After my initial apprehension about a virtual internship dissipated, I began to complete tasks, projects, and even wrote my first blog. Completing these tasks and assignments gave me a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore, Wingman Direct Marketing provided me with the opportunity to learn how to communicate, work as part of a team, and gain confidence in my ability to work independently. Overall, my virtual internship has taught me a lot more than 3 lessons, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn.