It’s the unofficial summer of virtual internships — we’re celebrating the successes and sharing the struggles that come with it. Be on the lookout for a blog post about virtual internships every Friday!
Brooke Hazel is a Digital Media Intern at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis this summer – rather, for The Children’s Museum, as Brooke is working at home like many interns in Indiana. Brooke is from Brownsburg and attends Butler University as a member of the class of 2022. With double majors in Strategic Communication and Human Communication & Organizational Leadership and double minors in Spanish and Education, Brooke already learned the value of time management before it became more important than ever this year.
She started her summer internship search early – and it paid off. Not only did she land an internship that aligns well with her career goals, but she also made it through the hiring process before interviews moved online. She says she’s grateful for that: “even though I don’t get to work in-person with them, I was able to have a face-to-face conversation with some of my mentors and people that I am working with.” This made it easier for her to start as a virtual intern this summer.
When asked what a day in the life of a virtual intern for The Children’s Museum is like, Brooke says, “I usually have a meeting or two with the digital media team, my mentor, or other interns.” Her responsibilities include keeping up with the museum’s social media activity, as well as curating and creating new content to post. She’s also working on a summer project that “has to do with a social media campaign for one of the museum’s exhibits” and devotes some of her day to that, too.
Brooke says her favorite part of being a virtual intern is having more flexibility than a traditional intern. She works during the times she’s most efficient, which tend to be mornings and evenings. Taking a midday break and working outside are a couple perks she thinks could be transferred to traditional internships, too: “realizing that working remotely is possible could come in handy in the future if someone doesn’t want to be tied down to a desk.”
However, working from home is not without its challenges. Brooke says the hardest part for her is the lack of casual interactions throughout the workday. “With everything being remote, most conversations are only project-focused and the conversations about personal life are lost.” To help make up for this, she and the other interns at The Children’s Museum have a tradition of “fun Fridays,” which are weekly Zoom meetings designated for team-building and socialization. Although it’s not the same as getting to know each other in person, Brooke says that “building in that time to connect has helped combat some of the isolation of working virtually!”
Since it can be easy to get distracted when working from home, Brooke has a critical piece of advice to other virtual interns: “try to stick to a routine!” For her, that means waking up at the same time every day and turning off notifications on her phone so she can focus on her work. She also finds it important to take breaks, “because it can be easy to just stare at a screen all day and never stop!”
As for Brooke’s goals for the summer, she hopes to gain valuable communication experience through her work on the digital media team. She has the opportunity to connect with the public and practice virtual correspondence with her co-workers as they collaborate on projects virtually. Although the format of this internship isn’t exactly what Brooke expected, the experiences promise to be just as rewarding.
To see some of Brooke’s work, check out The Children’s Museum’s social media – and stay tuned for the museum’s upcoming reopening date!