Interning under normal circumstances has its own set of challenges. Interning during a pandemic is a crash course for adaptation. This summer at GreenRoom, we thought it was paramount to provide opportunities for young marketing professionals and the hope of a bright future during uncertain times. Below, our summer 2020 interns give us a personal look into what it’s like interning during a pandemic.
College: University of Miami ‘21
Major: Marketing and Management
Dream Career: In-house Marketing for a Plant-based Food & Beverage Company
In the beginning of March of 2020 I was happily living in Seville, Spain with a host family while studying abroad at Universidad Pablo de Olavide. My days were filled with exploring the city on public transportation, making friends from across the world in my international business classes, and taking off to travel to European destinations I had dreamt of forever on the weekends. During this time, I was also in communication with a connection of my father’s who was helping me seek out Marketing / PR summer internship opportunities abroad. I was very excited about the opportunity to expand my knowledge of international business, the Spanish language, and the marketing industry in general. However, as Covid-19 became more and more of a threat, my fellow study abroad friends and I were instructed to return home to the United States from Spain. Though I was heartbroken to leave the city that was beginning to feel like a second home to me, I knew that the safety of myself and everyone around me was at risk and I needed to return to the US.
Once back in my hometown in Rhode Island, I completed my courses from my Spanish school online while also scouring the web for any and all Marketing-related internships in the United States that were still hiring for the summer of 2020. I was very hopeful when I found the job posting for the role of social media intern at GreenRoom. When I interviewed with Jackie, GreenRoom’s Integrated Account Manager, on the phone, my excitement about the internship only grew. Her optimism about the opportunities in the marketing industry despite the international threat of Covid-19 on jobs everywhere made me feel comforted. Towards the end of my academic year, I was notified that GreenRoom had gotten the green light to re-enter their office space. I was thrilled to hear this news because, although I have had several internship and job opportunities prior to this summer, most of them have been for smaller companies or startups where I would work remotely or from UM’s campus. I knew that I wanted the experience of being physically in an office and was very happy to learn that the Covid-19 pandemic had not ruined the potential of that experience.
Soon after finishing my online exams, I moved from Rhode Island to Miami to be close to the office for the summer. At first, walking into an office with a mask on, keeping a six feet distance from others and not being able to shake the other employees’ hands felt very strange but in the past week since being here, it has begun to feel much more normal. Despite the physical distance and safety precautions we have been following, the GreenRoom team has made me feel very welcome in the office and I am eager for a summer full of learning from them.
College: University of Miami ‘22
Major: Creative Advertising and Computer Sciences
Dream Career: UX and Graphic Designer
How can I describe interning at GreenRoom this summer? Amazing. In February, I had already secured an internship for the summer and then COVID-19 started to spread and it had been canceled. I was trying to apply anywhere I could for a position, but most places were canceling internships as well. Many of my colleagues had faced the reality that they would not be able to work this summer, and I was just about ready to join them in an unproductive summer at home. Then in April, I had gotten an email from GreenRoom asking for an interview with me. From there the process was simple and I am doing exactly what I want to this summer, an internship at a fabulous agency.
I had already begun working from home for my job during the academic year, so transitioning to working online for GreenRoom was a breeze. I was set up with all of the programs and went to work. However, it was a bit odd to chat with people that I had never met in person before. I had been getting feedback on my work from people who had just seemed like icons on Slack at the time. When I started the position, I had been assured that when the CDC said we were able to do so, I would be coming into the office to work. Yet, it had seemed like the pandemic was not getting better, and I feared that I would never get the complete internship experience of working in the office.
When Miami started to open up and I was presented with the opportunity to work in person, I was extremely relieved. Going in for the first time was almost surreal. I was finally going to be able to accomplish my goals for the summer and improve my skills, even if I did need to wear a mask most of the time. Because of this internship, I am ahead of so many of my peers who were planning on working on personal projects all summer, but in reality, they are just sitting on the couch watching Netflix most of the time. I cannot express how thankful I am for this experience and I hope to turn all of this positive energy into meaningful work.
College: University of Miami ‘22
Major: Interactive Media and Marketing
Dream Career: Work at a Digital Marketing Agency
When I started applying to internships during the pandemic, I felt that it was hopeless with everything going on in the world. I thought, “Who would hire me in the middle of this world crisis?”. However, for me it is always better to do something, rather than just wait around for things to happen. Therefore, I decided to go ahead and apply to different internships, one of them being GreenRoom. I remember I was very anxious, since I didn’t know if anything would come out of it, but I always hoped it would. I even emailed my advisor, who helped me apply, saying if people were still hiring because I was very skeptical about the situation. About a week after I applied, I got an email from GreenRoom saying that they wanted to interview me, and I was very nervous and excited at the same time. When they told me that I got the internship, I could not believe that I actually had one. Everyone I knew had said that all of their internships were cancelled or were not hearing back from companies, which only made things more exciting.
The weeks leading to the internship were filled with anxiety and excitement at the same time, since I didn’t know how the internship was going to work. How was I supposed to do something without having someone there to guide me? How would the internship work if everything was done 100% online? How will I be able to build a working relationship with the team? Yet, these questions were quickly put to rest when the first day started. While anxiety was getting the best of me in the beginning, the team was very patient and explained how everything was going to play out. It was all very new, but they made the transition very easy. Our first week at the office could not have been better. When we came into the office, everyone was very nice to us and explained how they were following the safety guidelines and how we should be taking care of ourselves. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out. While interning during a pandemic might have been something that I was very worried about, the team was very patient and made it super easy to transition during the whole process.