For my final post, I’d like to take some time on what my experience has been working with Time at the Table as a virtual intern. Interning for them has been one of the best internship experiences I have ever had, even though I do most of my work independently. With a virtual internship, you are given freedom to be creative on a project and your superiors will expect you to do good work. This type of internship is not one where you will be bringing your bosses coffee. They have real expectations of what you can accomplish, and they want quality work.
I have written many things that have been distributed on a national level. In all of my other internships, they are only distributed locally since their focus is only the surrounding area. As a public relations student, this gives me a better chance of getting my work out in another major city rather than just the ones close to home. I can share my ideas and get feedback quickly, so the editing process is usually a lot faster as well.
One thing that has been hard sometimes is to find time to do my projects. I have found that if I do not schedule them as if I had to be at an actual building for work, I put things off. I try to plan out a few hours each week now to work on my projects for the week. Because of this, some other interns have left this organization because they could not keep up with the demands.
In other internships, I have sat in the offices for hours, waiting for them to give me something to do (even though I asked for additional work constantly). At times, I felt that I was not valued in my office because I was not given that extra creative space to write as I saw fit for the project at hand. With this position, you have to have the dedication to sit down and really produce quality work.
Time at the Table has given me the opportunity to fly out to Baltimore, MD to work on their workshops. This type of travel and exposure is something I likely could not have done with a local nonprofit.
I will say that not all local internships are a bad thing. I also created a virtual volunteer social media position with Valley of the Kings animal sanctuary in Sharon, WI. These small (and possibly self-created) internships are a great way to get a foot in the door and have something to add to your resume. I use each internship as a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up to larger scale projects. As long as you keep your focus and stay on top of your work, the bigger internships you are looking for will come! All it takes is some practice and patience, and maybe a virtual internship or two.
Read Alysondra’s Internship Journey
Other Summer Intern Confessions