Locked down & Locked In: Learnings from a Virtual Internship
When I got the call that I’d be interning at Arcane, I’d already been operating remotely for a few months. I was midway through my first semester of online schooling and was a seasoned pro at unmuting on Zoom calls.
Even though the idea of doing a virtual internship wasn’t necessarily daunting, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d be missing from the in-person experience. From the office dogs to the coffee bar (both of which would have been so, so well loved), I wasn’t sure how the culture that drew me to Arcane in the first place would translate online.
But as I was Arcane-knighted (Arcaknighted?) and onboarded, it quickly became clear how seamlessly the company had shifted to that #WFH life. All the hurdles I thought I was facing didn’t seem so high, and the culture and experience I craved so badly was still there at my fingertips.
It definitely wasn’t a walk in the park, but my experience as a remote intern was a success because of a few things I learned and implemented along the way. And as I wrap up my time here at Arcane, I’d like to share a few of these learnings from my imaginary soapbox.
Being Nosy Never Hurt Nobody
When I first started, my supervisor said: “I always tell my interns to look at my schedule and ask if they can be invited to any meetings they’re interested in, but they never do. :(” (A sad face was absolutely used.) So, I made it my personal mission to be The One™ to change it all. At the beginning of every week, I stalked not only my supervisor’s calendar, but the calendars of anyone I was interested in learning from. Not only did this help me plan out my schedule, it also gave me a sense of the bigger picture of how agency life works. I got exposure to client meetings, strategy sessions, business updates, and brainstorms. I was in the trenches, observing the pros in action, which was crucial to the success of my internship experience.
You Gotta Take Charge
By nature, I can be a little hesitant when it comes to new experiences and situations. But I knew I had only a limited amount of time here at Arcane, and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to milk it for all it’s worth. I wanted to get the most out of the experience, sure. But I also wanted to ensure I remembered everything I learned. That’s why I made my own internship tracking spreadsheet that mapped out every Arcanite I got to work with and the tasks they pulled me in on.
I made sure to note down what I learned from each conversation, whether it was someone’s personal take on a new aspect of digital marketing or a personal interest that made them unique. I also noted the projects they were working on so I could follow-up with them later to get involved. Not only did this open the door to so many more connections, I also got exposure to new opportunities to expand my skills and see the bigger picture. All of this was key for me in building my foundation in digital marketing.
The People Make the Place
As a student preparing to enter the workforce, one of the things that’s constantly emphasized to me is the importance of a strong workplace culture and the impact it can have on your experience and development. I can tell you that Arcane’s culture is truly one that is grounded in positivity and mutual respect, with a focus on growth for each individual.
As I met with each person on the Arcane team, what really stood out to me was their own willingness to teach and learn. Everyone was eager to share their wealth of knowledge while also acknowledging what they didn’t know. This atmosphere, grounded on the team’s innate curiosity and passion for learning, really encouraged me in my own development as a professional and as a person. I caught on to reading up on industry trends and new marketing technologies and found myself questioning and challenging the status quo within the industry. This all helped in the development of my critical thinking skills, which will only continue to be useful as I progress in my career.
Overall, learning from this group has really been a treat and a lesson in how to create an environment in which everyone can flourish together.
It’s Virtually the Same Thing
Okay, so seeing dogs on Zoom calls is definitely not the same as giving them pets from my desk. And virtual happy hours will never be as good as an after-hours beer on the roof. But in a world where the in-person experience isn’t possible, I got the next best thing. I’ve taken so much away from each and every client meeting, one-on-one, and project that I can’t thank Arcane enough for these past few months.
If any of what you just read resonated with you at all, and you think that you’d like to include Arcane in your development path, keep an eye out for upcoming internship opportunities!