Across corporate America, COVID-19 has re-shaped the workplace, company culture, and the hiring process. Enter the pandemic-era internship, structured to introduce budding talent to the professional world and educate them on how to interact with colleagues, clients and tackle professional challenges – entirely remotely.
Interns are now faced with the reality of an online work experience that plays out over laptop, smartphone and webcam. Two of our Summer/Fall 2020 interns are here on The Access Point to discuss their personal experiences as interns including the reality of working in a remote workplace, the expectations of being an intern, and the uncertainties of entering the workforce as a graduating college student.
Nicole del Cardayre and Megna Joshi started their journey mid-June at different stages in their educational paths and careers.
First up is Nicole, a junior at the University of Colorado and an intern on our consumer team.
Nicole, what did you expect from your first internship vs. the reality of the experience?
Hollywood paints interns as stressed-out, underpaid, disrespected college graduates running to grab coffee for their superiors. Not only are there no coffee runs for the team while WFH (smiley face?), Access has proven that this particular stereotype is far from realistic.
I look forward to every morning I log onto my computer. Despite the transition to a virtual workplace, Access has made the process effortless by providing me with everything I need to succeed.
Every day I am given the opportunity to learn from others and ask questions. I am respected as an individual and included in important team discussions, where my opinion is not only welcome but solicited. Access inspires its employees to be ambitious and to create mutually beneficial relationships between our clients and the public. I have been extremely lucky to work with this amazing group of people. I am impressed and inspired every day by everybody’s intelligence and overall demeanor. This internship has encouraged me to be a confident emerging PR student.
Next up is Megna Joshi, a senior at the University of San Francisco and an intern on our consumer team.
What is it like entering the workforce as a 2020 grad?
I first was introduced to Access in summer 2019 with a ‘job shadowing’ day in the office. Upon arrival, I was extremely nervous but everyone welcomed me with open arms and spent the whole day teaching me the world of PR. After visiting the office, I knew I had to apply for an internship at Access because I never had a job shadowing experience like that before.
Before the pandemic, I felt as though I needed to be in the office in order to create relationships with my colleagues. However, even virtually I feel so connected to everyone on the team and I am learning more and more each day. Access has done an amazing job at preparing me for the PR industry by immediately putting me onto accounts and treating me like an employee, not just an ‘intern.’ Not only were they kind enough to give me a position during a pandemic, they also made the transition to working online extremely easy. I now feel prepared to work in any type of environment and that flexibility was taught to me by the people at Access.
Nicole and Megna – What have you learned through your internship at Access and can recommend to future interns?
Nicole and Megna:
As interns, it is important to ask questions and learn from mistakes. At Access, everybody has empowered us to do so and equipped us with valuable wisdom for our futures in PR. We’ve learned that any opportunity presented – from taking notes to pitching a reporter – is a learning experience. The tools that Access has given us will prepare us for any circumstance to come our way in our educational and professional paths. We can confidently say that Access has given us more than we could have hoped for during this time, and we are extremely grateful for the community that they have made us a part of.