What I learned from my writing internship with Roots
I’m Moira, I’m a recent graduate from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. I’m 22 years old and I studied English with a double minor in Creative Writing and Communication. Through Northeastern’s co-op program, Roots Interns stuck out to me with their commitment to providing valuable learning experiences and meaningful work. Similarly to my last internship, Roots Interns offered to expand my writing skills and get my byline out in the world. While I thought I was only going to be writing blog content, this internship has far surpassed my expectations!
HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO DO AN ONLINE INTERNSHIP?
From the beginning of the school year, I knew my remote writing internship would be atypical. All of the internships on our Northeastern website were going to be online, so I knew it wouldn’t be like my last writing internship. When I came across Roots Interns, I thought I would only write blog content. Luckily, I was very wrong! I have had the best opportunity to take on so many tasks. I’ve written landing pages for their website, managed their social media, written internship listings, written blogs, and a lot more!
While there are some difficulties being online, i.e. the different time zones, the fuzzy wifi connections, and not actually being in South Africa, there are also a lot of benefits! Casual Friday is every day, no recovery time for jet lag, you can listen to music without disturbing the other people in the office. Every Tuesday, we would have a staff Zoom call that I would really look forward to. It was not only nice in a practical sense, but it let me get to know the people I was working with. Although my writing internship was fully remote, I still had a great experience.
ASSIGNMENTS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
One of the surprising parts of my time at Roots Interns was taking over their social media account for Instagram and Facebook. Writing content for social media was not something that I had done before, so I was a little unsure of myself. But after a bunch of research, I found writing for Instagram and Facebook really enjoyable! The captions need to be short, witty, and memorable, so it flexes a different aspect of your writing skills. By keeping a strict posting schedule, writing engaging content, and posting interesting pictures, I was able to get 1,000+ followers on our account. I’m so excited to see how the account grows in the future!
WHAT I’VE LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE
One of the most rewarding parts of this remote writing internship was getting to know the partners that we work with, and helping them spread their message. As someone who both writes their internship listings, their partner pages, and writes social media posts about their work, I got to know all of our many organizations. Each of our organizations are working towards a unique goal, and doing amazing things while they’re at it! I always appreciated interacting online with Monkeybiz, Greenpop, and Penda!
As a future working professional, I really appreciated all of the freedom I was given. At my previous internship I was monitored very closely, and worked under extremely tight deadlines. In comparison, Roots Interns gave me a lot of opportunity to work independently and flourish. While learning to work under deadlines is important, I think this internship taught me how to take initiative by setting goals for yourself.
5 TIPS FOR YOUR OWN REMOTE WRITING INTERNSHIP
1. Over-communicate. Especially while you’re online, communication becomes vital. If there’s ever a question on if you should share something, share it anyway. Ask lots of questions, no matter how small.
2. Track your progress. Keep track of your daily tasks! Try to keep a checklist of all of the tasks you have been assigned, working on, and completed. Not only will it help you stay organized, it will also help you when you write your resume. You will handle a lot of different tasks during your internship, and it’s helpful to jot down what you did.
3. Take breaks. The best way to stay motivated during a long day of looking at a screen is to take breaks. Take a quick walk around your office, stand up and stretch, meditate. You will come back to your screen refreshed and ready to go.
4. Have a schedule. While you’re working from home, it’s easy to get lax about structure. But your sleep schedule, your motivation, and your work ethic will thank you if you stick to a schedule. Try to wake up at the same time every work day, take lunch at the same time, and stop working at the same time. This makes sure that the work day doesn’t go from the moment you wake up until you close your eyes at night.
5. Have fun! Yes, you’re working a job, but there’s no reason you can’t have fun doing it! Flex your creativity whenever possible, play/sing music while you work, enjoy your coworkers.
Here are some blog posts that I wrote during my internship:
- 7 Reasons to do an Internship in Africa
- Ultimate Guide to Nonprofit Internships
- 5 Best Destinations for Internships in Africa in 2021