Published September 15, 2020 by Archetype Solutions Group
8 minute read
This past spring, college students were left to question the future of their summer internships as COVID-19 forced many companies into a virtual work environment, practically overnight. Most had the length of their internships cut in half, and 38% of student jobs and internships were canceled. Archetype was one of the companies that maintained its commitment to its internship program by taking it virtual.
As a business, we had just barely adapted our working norms to our new virtual reality, but we chose to use this challenge as an opportunity to learn and expand the possibilities for our internship program. By collecting feedback from the intern class throughout the process we looked to create an ideal framework to potentially offer hybrid working opportunities in the future. We thought it best to turn this piece over to our interns to capture their experience in full.
The Archetype Summer 2020 Internship Experience
By Juliana Romeo
As a rising senior and newly hired Archetype intern, I had mixed feelings at first about a virtual internship. On the one hand, I was very grateful that my internship would take place at all, as I was hearing daily from friends about canceled internships. On the other hand, I was wary about whether a virtual internship would provide me with the kind of valuable work experience I expected to have the summer before my senior year. Due to the innovation and commitment that Archetype’s leadership applied to its virtual internship program, I was able to improve my marketing and social media skills, contribute to client-facing work, and participate in a multitude of professional development opportunities.
Archetype entered uncharted territory with its virtual internship program.
There was no clear cut blueprint at the time for virtual internships. Archetype created a program guided by the overall values of trust, communication, feedback, and professional development. To gather best practices, I interviewed the Archetype team and my fellow interns to uncover their tips for executing a successful virtual internship.
Communication Is Key
“The ease and frequency of communication at Archetype helped me feel like a real part of the team. Even though I haven’t met most members of the Archetype Crew in person, the constant Slack messages, Zoom calls, social events, and casual chats helped me to get to know each of them and build real relationships.” – Kate Purschke, Strategy & Consulting Intern
In any organization, effective communication is the key to unlocking potential and increasing employee engagement. When I interviewed my fellow interns all of us agreed that the communication systems and norms the Archetype team established made the internships so much more valuable. Through frequent touchpoints with managers, fellow interns, and team members in our departments, the interns and I were made to feel connected to the team. We also had the opportunity to join virtual trivia night and happy hours, which helped us contribute to the lively and welcoming Archetype culture.