Government student, Maria, tells us about their experience undertaking a remote internship through The Intern Group with an organization based in New York City.

I was able to find The Intern Group through the university. I got an email around April-May that the university sent with a lot of different options, mostly for virtual internships, encouraging students to apply and mentioning that there can be discounts for students. I was not planning on doing anything this summer to be honest, but during the pandemic I felt that I can make a better use of my time since I wasn’t allowed to go out or do other activities I planned to for the summer.

I would totally recommend The Intern Group to another student, and in fact I have already with some of my friends from back home and from the university! With the discount that students from the University of Essex get, it is totally worth it. At the beginning it does look a bit expensive but don’t let this put you off. I have learned so much not only from the internship I was placed into but from all the activities and the work that The Intern Group has done for me. I was ‘taught’ to write a better CV and even a cover letter, practice for an interview, and there is a training that takes around 12 weeks to complete about how to succeed in the workplace which can be either an internship or a full-time job. Also, because it was remote we are given the tools to learn how to succeed and get used to working virtually.

I actually just finished my internship two days ago and I’m so happy not only because I wanted to rest but because I have completed one more challenge in my student life that I know it’s going to significantly serve me in the future. I have learned so much about what a virtual real-life work looks like as well as new skills that I never realized about myself.

I worked in a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in New York City called Concordia. Their goal and their main job is to create partnerships between the private, public and non-profit sector to come up with solutions and unite to combat against issues that are present in the world. I worked in the Strategic Engagement team which focused on acquiring sponsors for many of the events they organized to elevate topics like racial inequality, climate change, financial investing in women, response and recovery from COVID19 and more. Additionally, Concordia has Leadership Council that helps Concordia achieve and expand its network and its platform to reach other people and create more partnerships. The SE team works closely with the Leadership Council, which is conformed of various former heads of states, CEOs, and other high-level leaders from all sectors. I contributed by preparing business proposals for sponsors, created social media material related to sponsors and members of the Leadership Council, organized data, did extensive research on valuable organizations and individuals that could potentially join the Concordia network and work along with them.

Working remotely was definitely a challenge but for me it has been worth it. It can sometimes be overwhelming and cause anxiety to seat in front of a computer for 8 hours a day Monday to Friday but it is something that we should get used to because we never know when our lives can be disrupted from what we were used to. I think it also help me improve my IT skills which I believe are extremely useful in any career you go into. I was essentially able to learn ways to not distract myself, organize my schedule while at the same time prioritizing my physical and mental health and maintain professionality.

It was an amazing experience to work in such a prestigious organization and to learn so much about the world and about myself. I know this experience will help me get to where I want to in the future and it is an amazing feeling to know that in such difficult times we are facing right now, I was able to do something useful that is making some kind of change in the world.