Name: Emily Whitten
Class Year: 2022
Major: Political Science
Hometown: Natick, Mass.
Internship Organization: AsylumConnect
Job Title: Corporate Partnerships Intern
Location: Remote (home)
Award: Isabella R. Falcocchio Memorial Internship Fund
What’s happening at your internship? We would love to hear what kind of work you are doing!
At my internship I am doing research and outreach for potential partners and donors for AsylumConnect, an app that connects LGBTQ+ asylum seekers. My work has predominantly been cold outreach and using online resources to scout out more people to add to our contacts. As my internship is remote, I don’t have an office other than my dining room at home, so all of my communication with my team and new contacts is virtual. My day-to-day work is up to me and my schedule, which has been a new experience essentially working without deadlines as long as the work gets done.
Why did you apply for this internship?
I applied for this internship because I believe strongly in the mission and purpose of AsylumConnect and was looking to expand the experience I have on my resume. As a rising senior I know I’ll be entering the job market imminently, and I am glad to get the experience in a sector like tech, to see what I can contribute to the development of apps and technology without having any real coding experience. I was looking to branch out from schools and education, where most of my previous and current work has been, and take the opportunity civic engagement provided to try something new knowing I had support behind me.
Working remotely for the first time? What has that experience been like for you?
I worked remotely throughout the school year for both of my on-campus jobs, but that was a vastly different experience than the one I’m having now. For my on-campus work I was still with coworkers I knew, in positions I feel comfortable with in a normal year, so I was only adapting, not learning something from scratch. Going into a new job fully remote, unable to talk to my fellow interns in the hallways or while in line at the dining halls: this experience has highlighted to me the importance of routine and establishing preferred methods of communication. It has also only made me more excited for the fully in-person school year we’re about to have, and has made it clear that for my future work experiences I would prefer to have in-person components as I thrive when surrounded by colleagues.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced at your internship?
The biggest challenge at my internship has been learning how to establish yourself within a workplace dynamic when there’s no workplace. The work I am asked to do is all within my wheelhouse. In addition, as a growing tech company we’ve had a lot of turnover (I am on my third boss of the summer), so learning how to adapt to new people’s expectations and managing an environment where I have been at the nonprofit longer than my boss has, but also in a reduced capacity than their day-to-day, has been a totally new dynamic for me to learn.
Visit the Summer Internship Stories page to read more about student internship experiences.