Reflections on a year of remote work

In Professional/Networking by Chanel Sheffer

When I was chosen as one of the student practitioners for this school year, it was not set in stone to be virtual. Everything was uncertain at the time, but I was happy and excited to be given the opportunity to further my professional career. I knew entering this virtual school year with a virtual internship was something that was going to challenge me but it had to be done.

My internship at Martin Waymire has given me many experiences to work on my writing abilities and grow my skill set even in a virtual climate. Since I started in September, I have helped with many COVID-19 related communication projects and it’s great to know that my work is helping Michigan achieve its goal of ending the pandemic. I’ve felt very supported while working virtually and would never hesitate to reach out to one of my coworkers if I needed it. Virtual events and a few masked meet ups have made me feel as connected as I can be during this time.

Virtual life is convenient. It has allowed me to figure out what works for me and I’ve been able to constantly tweak my days to see how I can be most productive. I have never struggled with productivity and procrastination, but virtual work and schooling have made it a problem for me. Doing internship work and school in the same spot in my apartment has posed a real challenge to my attentiveness and ability to get things done.

A few actions that help my productivity every day are:

  • Following a planner on both paper and my phone to keep on top of my priorities
  • Implementing somewhat of a schedule has helped me with my motivation but it is still a struggle
  • I’ve also been trying to work on asking for help and talking to others about issues I am having rather than bottling them up to make things worse

Though I am still navigating how my virtual potential can be met, I appreciate the lessons virtual life has taught me. I am grateful to have gotten through my first virtual year safe and healthy.

I have high hopes that our lives will be at a new normal soon!