My Internship Experience: Navigating Remote Work During a Pandemic

Work-from-home station. (Source: 123RF.com)

Work-from-home station. (Source: 123RF.com)

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world in so many aspects economies, health care systems, education the list goes on. I began my internship early March 2020, just two weeks before the movement control order (MCO) was declared. While everything completely caught me off guard, these unexpected turn of events did not make my internship any less enriching. Instead, I got to have a unique experience that I’ll remember for a long time.

The first few weeks were disorienting to say the least. Working from home had its ups and downs, and adjusting to this new way of work took a little while. Waking up in the morning knowing I had somewhere to be gave me a sense of purpose. But what do you do when the place you need to be is just a few steps away from your bedroom? How do you keep motivated? How do you deal with all the distractions that come with being in the comfort of your own home? Those were few things I had to figure out. One major thing that helped me while I transitioned was to structure my days and install a routine. The moment I had a routine in place, my days made more sense and the whole experience became a lot smoother. 

As the days passed, I started to embrace my new normal and even grew to like it. I enjoyed the benefits that came with working from home. I liked accomplishing my tasks at my own pace, I liked being in my comfy clothes, and I liked not having to commute to work everyday. Most importantly, I liked that it gave me the opportunity to experience firsthand how a company operates during a crisis. It taught me how important teamwork, leadership, planning, and flexibility are in such situations. As an intern, it was quite eye opening. You don’t get Pandemic Preparation 101 classes in school so that was definitely a plus for me. 

Interning at Designs.ai also allowed me to enhance my existing skills and explore tasks I never tried before. One example of a task new to me was creating a tutorial video in French educating people on how to use Color Matcher. At first, I didn’t know how to go about it. But, after some Googling and several failed trials, I was able to produce a decent tutorial video for the tool. 

Additionally, I was given the opportunity to be actively involved in many of the full-time team’s primary tasks. This gave me a good understanding of what Designs.ai is all about, as well as deeper insights on how product marketing works, and how Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startups operate. Each activity taught me something new from research tips and tricks to search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. 

In my advertising and brand management degree, a number of our courses are design-related. We are often asked to design marketing collateral or create brand identities using various tools and softwares. Designing can take hours or sometimes even days, which can be really time-consuming. This was why Designs.ai’s mission of making design easier for everyone resonated with me on a personal level. I can only imagine how much more relevant it could be for professionals. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely reshaped our lives and redefined the world of work. I was surprised to discover that, despite the work disruption caused by the pandemic, studies show that working from home increases overall well-being. On a personal level, experiencing remote work firsthand has proved to me that it’s not as bad as I thought. I used to wonder how all these freelancers and influencers managed to get anything done at home, but now I understand how they do it.  

Although I wish I had the opportunity to get to know my colleagues and spend more time with them, working from home was still a great, enriching experience.

 

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About the author

Sonia is an Advertising and Brand Management student at the Asia Pacific University (APU) of Technology and Innovation, set to graduate in 2020. She also holds an Advanced Diploma in Entrepreneurship and Business Management.