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Top 3 Things I Like (& Don’t Like) About Completing my Internship from Home

– Article by Ben Rowley, Intern at Big Red Oak

 

After all the time spent talking about internships, and all the time spent applying, I never imagined I’d be doing my internship from home. None of us saw this pandemic coming of course, but I’ve decided to make the most of it. Everything has pros and cons, so I’ve decided to make a quick list of my top 3 things I like/don’t like about completing my internship from home:

Number 1: Independence

Naturally, I’m an independent person. Whether it’s working, going out for a meal, going to a movie, shopping, driving, reading, you name it, I actually prefer to do it alone. Now, does this necessarily mean I’m lonely? No (although it may sound like it); I’ve just come to enjoy solitude.

It’s been nice to be able to work from home without dressing business casual every day. I can sit down at my desk and get straight to work. It’s not a bad gig at all. For some people, they work better when they actually drive to their place of work, where it’s an office atmosphere. For me, working from home isn’t difficult to do. However, one thing I did notice was that I end up checking my phone too much, so I’ve had to put it in a completely different room. Social media is so distracting and constantly pulls you out of a flow state. I’ve learned now especially that I’ll need to put my phone in another room to get my work done.

Number 2: Not Being Able to See my Colleagues

This could be something that somebody actually enjoys (and usually that person is me) … but with Big Red Oak it’s a different story. After doing some Google Hangouts with the team at BRO, I’d love to meet them all in person. Rarely do you find a place of work where every single staff member is an optimistic and kind person, willing to help out wherever necessary. Yes, getting help from someone is now sending a message instead of walking to their desk. But working remotely means everyone is constantly in front of their computers, so getting a reply doesn’t take long at all. I’m able to jump on phone calls with people quickly, which is really helpful while working remotely. They also really made me feel welcome, instead of just the ‘intern’ that gets given all the work nobody wants to do. I feel like what I’m doing is contributing a lot to the growth of the brand. Having that sense of purpose in your work is really what makes it worth doing.

Also, as a side note, Happy Hour over a Google Hangout isn’t the same as one in real life. It’s a shame I won’t be able to actually meet them all in person (unless I begin working there, but we’ll save that conversation for another day).

Number 3: Boss

This ultimately comes down to preference and how you personally like things to operate. I know some people who actually prefer having their boss check in on them often to see how they’re doing. Many people work well under the pressure that their boss is going to be constantly checking to make sure they’re on track (this can be overbearing to some, though). Personally, a leadership style like that is not something I work well under. Since I’m independent, I like to be able to do my own thing and deliver something on spec and on time without having someone check every hour to make sure things are on track. Working remotely has been pretty great for that. Not only has Lee put the trust in me to let me do my own thing (as the independent person I am), but he’s also one of the coolest bosses I’ve ever worked for. It’s like I don’t work for him, but work with him; and that dynamic is what I really think sets BRO apart from many of their competitors in the field.

Overall, doing a remote internship isn’t too bad at all. Despite not being able to meet the whole team in person, it’s great to still feel welcome as an intern and be able to get some agency experience with a great team of colleagues.