Interning Remotely During a Pandemic: What I Learned
Hello! My name is Ian, and I was the first remote intern at Media Genesis! Currently, I am a Junior in the School of Information at the University of Michigan studying UX design.
I enjoy outdoorsy things, whether it’s biking, golfing, skiing, kayaking, rowing, hiking, or playing basketball. In my work, I love being a part of a team that sees projects through to completion.
Why Media Genesis?
When I read about the MG culture as well as previous interns’ experiences, I knew right away that working as a Project Manager Intern for Media Genesis would be perfect for me. A place close to home with a highly collaborative and fun culture, and a job that would prepare me to manage several different projects and tasks at once; it would give me the exact type of experiences I wanted and needed. I knew I had to apply.
After a rigorous internship search, I applied and had a Zoom interview with two of the Project Managers at Media Genesis.
A Remote Internship
I was super excited to work in the Media Genesis office over the summer of 2020; however, life happened, and unfortunately things didn’t go entirely as planned (COVID-19). However, the MG team created a training plan and environment where I could work remotely, and on my first day (and every day thereafter), I felt welcome and was treated as an equal. Everyone, from development and design to project management, was super helpful!
Media Genesis was definitely able to keep the culture I was looking for during quarantine. My first week, we played Scattergories online, had virtual lunches, and throughout the internship, we could reward each other with points on Bonus.ly. We also had some fun all-staff meetings.
I got to assist on a ton of cool projects with clients of all sizes. It was really cool how meaningful the work I was doing was; especially pertaining to COVID-19. For example, we worked on a large task of upgrading a client’s website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 and had to also add in a handful of content changes to meet the evolving needs that presented themselves; namely, significant functionality features, as those became much more commonplace. I also assisted the marketing team with creating copy and managing several digital advertising campaigns on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google for industries such as higher education, where we worked on strategies that focused on online degree programs. Due to the unique challenges of 2020, it was important that we created these campaigns as quickly as possible in order for clients to adapt to the new marketplace.
My favorite experience of all was going in to help with the New Bright R/C video shoot; my one experience away-from-home (except for the time I went to pick up equipment from Brad, the CEO of Media Genesis, at the office). There was catering from Jimmy John’s and tents set up with all of the film equipment. It felt like a Hollywood set! My job was basically a “runner” for all of the props (their new line of Monster Truck R/C cars as well as the new Ford Bronco R/C car, which we got to see before Ford even advertised it) and special effects (smoke bombs) provided by Antoine, Media Genesis’ president.
As the internship came to an end and my online classes at Michigan came to a beginning, I paused for a moment and thought about how Media Genesis gave me a head-start. Since I had been working online for the entire summer, my schoolwork would be a continuation of the same. Thanks to Media Genesis, I was already prepared to attend online meetings, take notes, and communicate with classmates virtually.
Before my Media Genesis internship role, I really didn’t know if I was going to even have a job for the summer of 2020. I had been building a company with a friend of mine called “BuyMySpot,” a parking marketplace, and was planning on doing this all summer while earning cash on the side delivering groceries for Shipt. I was incredibly grateful to land my dream internship, and I decided to do all three!
At Media Genesis, I tried to learn everything I could about how a large company operates and completes projects, and I am continuously using the skills I learned in project management (such as the use of tools like Slack and Asana, and the AMA process – a unique workshop/process that was developed at MG) as well as all of the skills from the different projects I worked on (managing digital advertising campaigns, bug testing best practices, copywriting) and applying them to my company BuyMySpot.
My team is now working with Ann Arbor SPARK (who have been ceaselessly impressed by the skillset that I have learned in things like digital advertising and SEO, which I credit to Media Genesis) who has generously given BuyMySpot funding for a website revamp and digital advertising. When it came time to choose who we would be working with on these initiatives, it was obvious – Media Genesis!