Day one of an online internship…
Nearly 8 months after having secured what seemed like a perfect internship in Moscow, today is the day I finally got round to starting (and finishing of course) my first day. Naturally, thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, it did not go entirely to plan, as I did not find myself sitting in a fancy office in Russia, but rather, in my makeshift working area in my parents’ dining room at home. To be honest, it did not really hit me that none of this was happening until last Friday, when I got a rather strange notification from British Airways telling me to check in for a flight that had been cancelled two months prior. Or at least, happening in the way I had imagined it.
Therefore, instead of my plans to somewhat relive my year abroad in Russia for three months, thanks to the internet and a rather convenient time difference, I will be spending the next 90 days completing an internship online. At this point in lockdown, it doesn’t even feel that strange that I will probably never even meet the people I will be working with, as like many others, I feel like I have become far too accustomed to the life under quarantine. The thought of actually putting on work clothes and commuting to the office seems so alien now, in comparison to the usual quarantine routine of carefully concealed pyjamas and zoom meetings.
I have done work experience and internships in offices before, so part of me was quite relaxed at the prospect of hiding behind a screen and getting on with whatever work in the comfort of my home. But of course, it is quite surreal to have to introduce yourself on video chat, in front of 7 or so colleagues who you will probably never meet. I think the hardest part will be the “learning” nature of an internship will be impacted, as it seems so much harder to message someone a question, when normally you could just ask them quickly whilst walking past each other in the office. The one thing that really surprised me was the nature of accountability; given the entire company is working remotely, everyone has to be far more upfront with what they are doing, how long they take, and when they are working, to ensure that everyone is productive and not struggling. Having spent the best part of four months in lockdown, with only yourself and time to answer for, suddenly having to be regimented and disciplined was certainly quite the wake up call. It is going to take some getting used to…
However, given the chaos inflicted by the virus, I’m just glad I still have an internship, seeing as so many of my friends have had opportunities and contracts cancelled at the last minute. For a long time I thought this would be cancelled, so even though I have to partake virtually, I realise how lucky I am.
Therefore, it looks like my life is going to be pretty computer based for the foreseeable future, which whilst it may different, is probably very beneficial in terms of distracting me from my inevitable boredom and sadness that travelling is pretty impossible right now. I just need to master “how not to get a headache from staring at the screen for hours on end….”
Cover photo taken from pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/st-basil-s-cathedral-3629813/ because I certainly wasn’t able to take it….