In celebration of National Intern Day, this blog describes an intern’s expectations and fears in the face of the uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. It further goes on to explain his experience working at Nuance over the summer, including being a part of the Digital Marketing Team, the highs and lows of a remote internship, as well as takeaways. It finishes with advice and tips for future interns on how to make the most of an internship and ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
Kole Lentini is interning with the Digital Marketing Team for Summer 2020, helping them out with whatever they need, from spreadsheets to backend website development, and using this opportunity to learn more about himself and his potential career path. He previously held a position as a Private Contractor in the Marketing department at Sportcoups, LLC the previous summer where he built his experience, created social media ads, and worked on generating leads. Kole is going into his Senior year as a Communications Major at the University of New England, aiming to also get a minor in Business with a focus in Marketing, Advertising, and Management. He’s a former athlete who had to retire due to injury, but fills his free time by playing music, videogames, and spending time with friends and family.
Going into this summer, I really had no idea what to expect. I finished up my onboarding process, and then I crossed my fingers and hoped I still had a job. I’d heard about many of my friend’s internships falling through due to COVID-19, so when I got the email saying my internship was a go and we’d be working remotely, it was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. On the one hand, I was ecstatic and appreciative to have this opportunity that many of my peers had lost out on. Still, on the other hand, I was nervous about working remotely, especially running into technical issues. At first, it was pretty challenging for me to come to grips with the idea that I might not even be in-office at all, because I was genuinely excited for that experience. I feel like I’m someone who thrives in a truly face-to-face environment as opposed to a digital one. Not to mention, I’d just finished up a semester that was forced to go online, so I was definitely disheartened to know I’d have to continue video chatting and working on a computer in a room by myself more than I already had. When I started the job and began to (e)meet my supervisor and fellow team members, all the tension and nervous energy faded away with each day I worked.
Interning on the Digital Marketing Team has been an all-around truly amazing experience so far. I have interacted with every team member and every element of the marketing process, to varying degrees. Seeing how much my team cares about their work while remaining patient teachers to me has been very inspiring. Everyone is deeply dedicated to what they do, and they all bring that same energy to helping me develop and learn during my internship, as well. Each member of my team made it clear that they wanted me to have a great experience while still getting in-depth practical experience, whether it was helping me with simple things I was unfamiliar with, or putting more on my plate when they noticed strength. Starting with my supervisor, and echoing in full force throughout the rest of the team I’m lucky enough to be on, it’s obvious that they have deep care and understanding for what they do and for each other. This made it an incredibly smooth transition from being some outsider joining the team on day one to feeling like now I’m truly a part of the well-oiled machine Digital Marketing Team. That is exactly how they treat me – not like an intern there to do grunt work, but as a meaningful contributor to the whole unit. It’s been amazing for me to watch and learn from the smart, hardworking, and caring professionals who treat me with nothing but respect from the start. Part of me is always going to wish that I actually got to be in office with these amazing people and see them in their true element, but all in all, I’m just lucky to even be here having this experience and getting to interact with them digitally. I cannot thank them enough for their time, patience, and the meaningful lessons they’ve taught me about being a member of the Nuance community and the beauty of Digital Marketing.
With all that being said, I have some advice for any new interns.
First things first: know yourself. You have to be honest with yourself on all levels: the way you communicate, your strengths and weaknesses, and even the way you get your work done. Knowing yourself is deceptively challenging but when done right, it has an immense payoff. When you know who you are and the type of worker you tend to be, it opens doors and can help clarify things for you in this new environment. In addition, it’s helpful for your teammates, who are familiar with the environment but not you. In knowing yourself, you can understand when you need to look to these experienced peers for help, but also when you can help them.
This leads me to my second tip: be a good communicator. Good communication is the key to having your internship go the way you want it to (especially when working remotely). Clear communication and reaching out when you have questions are essential to your success. Don’t be afraid to contact someone when you need help, clarification, or even just want to get to know them and network.
In the context of your role as intern, knowing yourself and communication can come together to aid in your success. If you know yourself well and communicate them to your supervisor and teammates, it’s going to save a lot of trouble. Everyone here wants to see you succeed, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help or further clarification. Everybody on your team has experience at the company already and can offer incredibly helpful advice and insight, so take advantage of it and realize that needing help from people who already work here isn’t a bad thing and will only help you in the long run. You must level with yourself and know when there are things you don’t know. You’re here to learn these things and better yourself, and everyone surrounding you is there to help you with this. No one’s going to give you anything you can’t handle, but they only know you can’t if you’re real with yourself about your ability and communicate that with your teammates. If all of this works out, you won’t ever feel too overwhelmed and you’ll come out of the internship knowing a lot more than when you went in, in terms of your field and yourself.