Have you ever been on an internship during a global pandemic? This was my first time too!

Intern - October 2020

Blogs

[Editor’s note: Tanya joined us for a two week internship after reaching out following our annual guest lecturer series at the University of Surrey. It was great having her onboard and we hope she found the two weeks valuable! We asked her to write a blog to summarise her time with us.]

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, Covid-19 is the viral pandemic that has taken over the world across this year, 2020. The virus has affected many aspects of day-to-day life, particularly businesses, where remote working is now considered the ‘new normal’. 

With an interest in gaining work experience, I got in touch with Make it Clear after they came to present at my university. As a result, early on this year, my two-week internship was organised and arranged to take place in the Farringdon office, in late September. Obviously, coronavirus had other plans! 

Because of the introduced working regulations and the ‘new normal’ idea, my two-week internship ended up being all online and remote. This meant that work completely revolved around video calls, messaging and my internet connection!

My two-week experience was split between two teams. For the first week, I was a part of strategy and the second, a part of design. I wanted to divide my internship to gain exposure to as much of the business as possible and honestly, I am glad I did so. 

Strategy team, design team, what did I do? 

Let me tell you.

During week one, I was put on the strategy team. This meant that honestly, I had no idea what to expect. On the first day, I was introduced to the process of reviewing competitors which was actually really interesting. This consisted of analysing the competitors’ websites, uses of content marketing such as blogs and social media platforms. Prior to this experience, I had no idea as to how closely and in-depth competitor reviews should be. Although there were only three categories to analyse (as mentioned above) which doesn’t sound like a lot, within these categories I was taught to ask myself multiple questions. Tone of voice? Visuals? Social media content? And so on. 

The in-depth competitor review process was definitely the primary activity I was tasked throughout the week. I was even able to work on a real proposal going out to a real client! Alongside these activities, I was also a part of the regular morning catch-up with the whole team and meetings throughout the week. 

The morning meetings (Google Meets) were a nice start to the day as each employee discusses what they will be working on with the whole team – this gives each individual an opportunity to set themselves specific goals and a sense of direction each day. I was also asked every morning which meant that I had to set my own targets each day too. 

The meetings I attended throughout the week varied. Some days I’d attend strategy team catch-ups where progress was discussed and work was divided. Some days, I’d have an internship catch-up where I was able to discuss the progress I was making, any questions I had and how my experience was going. I was also lucky enough to make notes throughout a client workshop where I was able to observe the company directly interacting with their client. 

To briefly outline my first week, I would say that it was interesting, dynamic and fast-paced. As I mentioned earlier, I was unsure of what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised!

Week two was very different from week one. I was a part of the design team which meant being exposed to a completely new, different side of Make it Clear. I was guided through the design process of how to turn a written brief into high-quality output and was also shown specific websites of where to find the best stock photos, icons and typography used specifically for layout.  

My primary focus for the week was putting together a presentation of my own to outline my views on the company and my two week experience. Working on the presentation meant that I was able to explore new softwares such as Adobe inDesign and for someone with a significant interest in design, this was a good starting software to get familiar with! 

Along with attending more meetings throughout the week, I also had to work on writing a blog to round up my two-week experience with Make it Clear (yes, the blog you are reading right now). 

To summarise my second week, although I was offered all the support I needed, I found it to be a much more independent week. I was able to plan my presentation content and get creative with my layout/presentation design. For a creative individual, sometimes that’s the best way to work because you have the opportunity to come up with your own ideas and develop them into something great. 

How would I sum up my experience? 

Overall, I think I had an enjoyable and valuable two-week experience. I learnt new approaches and processes, took part in regular meetings and got a flavour for work-life. Although the internship was remote, I got an “as close to work” experience as possible. I felt very comfortable, well-looked after and included within the team. 

Make it Clear planned out a thorough, well-organised two-week programme for myself where I felt very much involved in the work they do. The work environment was positive and friendly which made it very easy to settle in. It would have been great to meet the team in person and get a feel for office life if the circumstances were normal, however, the internship was still extremely valuable regardless. 

Remote or not, I would 100% recommend it to anyone thinking of applying. I mean, I don’t think I could’ve made it any clearer!