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7 Things I learned during my remote marketing internship with Roots

Working with Roots during these past two months has been a valuable learning experience. Between experimenting with different marketing tasks and writing pieces for the website, I’ve also had the chance to discover new and exciting aspects about my abilities and future goals. To anyone who seeks a worthy cause to work for, or simply longs to get closer to their desired vocation; doing a remote marketing and communications internship with Roots is a great idea!

– By Emilia Simpson

On the first day of my internship, I didn’t know what to expect; I had never been an intern before, or was part of anything remotely similar to what Roots offers. But once I met the team during what would become our weekly check-in meetings, I knew I had the support and guidance I needed to accomplish the tasks that followed. Getting an inside view on what a profession in marketing and communications looks like was thrilling and thought provoking.

When I started my internship, I was leaning towards pursuing a career as an environmental marketing specialist. However, after these two months I realized how much I enjoy advocating for all sorts of sustainability oriented organizations. Now, I just might consider adding conservation, social development, and non-profit management into my future plans.

The following is a list of tips that added to my remote marketing and communications internship experience. Hopefully, these will show you just how much Roots’ internships have to offer:

1. Get involved in your remote internship beforehand

Before even beginning your internship, truly immerse yourself into the cause and the organization you are working for. Joining remotely, although it has great benefits, does have the limitation of not fully experiencing what happens on a day to day basis in the field. This means missing out on living in the work environment and with the community that the nonprofit assists, which is usually a great source of inspiration —especially for marketing and writing tasks. Due to this, I highly recommend getting familiar with the organization’s website, social media and even diving into the uniqueness of the culture and place it’s based in.

As for my remote marketing and communications internship; writing and publishing content for Roots meant adopting a voice that represents a community. In order to achieve this correctly, I made sure to learn the most I could about their mission, values, beliefs, work ethic, and anything I could get my hands on. So, trust me when I say it makes a difference.

2. Starting from day one, communicate openly about your goals

Saying yes to every task that is offered to you is extremely tempting (for me, at least), but it’s not always realistic. Go into your internship knowing what you like and dislike; if you prefer to strictly work on writing tasks then stick to that, and if that’s exactly what you don’t like then that’s perfectly fine too. It’s important that you remember that this experience is completely tailored to your preferences. Therefore, how much you want to step out of your comfort zone depends entirely on you.

3. During your internship (remote or in-person), remember to set weekly goals

Map out what you want to accomplish at the start of every week. This means making a physical or mental checklist on how much you can realistically get off your plate. Possibly even use your team meetings as a starting point to determine what you’ll do, and get advice from your peers.

Personally, verbally saying what I had planned out every Monday morning in front of my team was extremely helpful. This way, you have both personal and external reassurance that you haven’t under- or overestimated your work. On top of that, it’s a lot easier to commit to accomplishing a group of tasks when you consider how much time you have at your disposal.

4. Be honest about your work hours and stick to them

Don’t expect to be productive all day, every day; that’s just physically and mentally impossible. The beauty of a remote internship is being able to maintain the fundamental aspects of your routine, while still working on something new and exciting. It’s important to respect this balance and honor the time you have set aside for your personal responsibilities.

The Roots work ethic is simple; set realistic deadlines and do your absolute best to achieve them. The team recognizes you have a personal life and encourages you to balance your days to not over-stress. Moreover, they’ll even show interest in what’s going on in your life apart from the internship. Therefore, don’t punish yourself for not being productive when you have a valid reason not to be. Your remote internship is supposed to be a fun learning experience, not a stress-provoking obligation.


5. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the team

When at a crossroads, or when you’re unsure about your work, don’t hesitate to ask for guidance. I remember feeling very self conscious about my initial writing pieces, especially since it had been my first time writing for an organization. However, getting feedback from my supervisor was extremely helpful. It allowed me to learn about the writing style and tone that Roots preferred, and to gain confidence in my abilities. Even when many corrections were made, I knew that my work was appreciated. The team will celebrate every little win, showing great excitement when they’re grateful for what you’ve accomplished.

6. Especially as a remote intern, seek versatility in your tasks

Working remotely can be tedious and repetitious. Between staring at a screen for the most part of the day and completing the same group of tasks, your routine may at some point seem uneventful. To avoid this, I recommend seeking new inspiring challenges to keep your creativity and curiosity on edge. Both in-person and remote internships are full of new possibilities and responsibilities; this is your chance to test your skills and even learn new abilities.

In my case, when I was first asked about what I wanted to do, I decided to stick solely to writing tasks. This involved creating blog posts and completing landing pages for the website. I enjoyed my work very much since curating pieces of content is usually an effortless task for me. But, when writer’s block did kick in, it was hard not to feel stuck or unproductive.

That’s when I decided to take on more marketing tasks during my second month of my remote internship. This meant being responsible for the LinkedIn account and helping out with other specific projects. Switching from writing content to managing posts allowed me to stay in touch with my creative side, avoiding those annoying slumps which contaminate your workflow.

7. At all moments of your internship, your work team is also your new family

I can’t emphasize this enough; not everything during your remote internship will be strictly work related. During weekly team meetings, expect to have spaces for catching up and humanizing your experience. I know that sharing personal anecdotes with people you may not know too well can be nerve-wrecking, but I assure you that the Roots community —including both the organization’s members and the nonprofit partners— is welcoming and interested in getting to know you. So, feel free to share your weekend plans or send some pictures of your other projects and hobbies!

My final thoughts on my remote marketing and communications internship

In the span of sixty days, I truly believe that I’ve learned a lot about the vast amount of content creation behind the management of an organization’s image, as well as aspects of my personality and future goals. Roots’ initiative to support multiple do-good organizations in Africa is inspiring. Through my work, I came to realize that there is so much we can do as individuals to help out those in need. On a daily basis, we’re so accustomed to seeing tragedies on the news or reading about devastating events on the web; however, small scale change is occurring in every corner of the world.

Joining Roots on their quest to enable sustainable social development has given me the hope and skills I need to create change of my own. Hopefully, you too can experience this same feeling by applying for one of the many internship opportunities they offer!