After I was sent home from my study abroad program in Bologna, Italy in March, I was still determined to have a productive summer––perhaps in an effort to suppress my emotions from losing the study abroad experience.
Luckily, I was able to switch my in-person internship with Magenta Publishing & Vista Florence into a remote opportunity. As a scholar in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA), my position as an editorial intern with Magenta was my CISLA internship. I am very grateful to have been able to contribute to Magenta, a digital and printed publication for ex-pats living in Florence, as the experience allowed me to learn more about the journalism field which I hope to pursue post-graduation.
Since this position became remote, I was also able to intern part-time with SWAAY, an online publishing platform based in NYC for women in business. Together with my position at Magenta, I was able to combine my passion for Italian language and culture, with a second opportunity to learn more about SEO, copy editing, and PR outreach.
By combining two part-time positions, and picking up one to two shifts at a clothing store, I worked almost every day of the week. Although my workday centered around sitting in my childhood bedroom and staring at my laptop from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, I still encountered burnout. My daily routine began at 8:00 am when I woke up to go on a run or do a pilates video with Melissa Wood Health before eating breakfast and scurrying back to my bedroom to start the workweek.
I want to reiterate how thankful I am to have been able to secure not one, but two remote internships this summer as many college students struggled to do so given the pandemic. And like I said, I learned a lot about the writing industry which has helped me figure out what types of jobs I want to apply to after graduation. But, I will not sugarcoat the experience and say that I never felt stressed or overwhelmed during the summer months. Regardless, I still learned a lot about the industries I am passionate about and the effects of a busy work week.
- A Dynamic Duo Leads to Education and Networking Goals
One pro of doing two internships is that if one does not include a task you want to learn more about, the second could include this activity. For example, my internship with Magenta was focused on using Italian articles to write about events and news in Florence in English. This helped me expand my writing portfolio, but I did not have as much hands-on experiencing uploading articles to the website, sending out the newsletter, or posting to their Instagram. These tasks became my main responsibilities as an editorial intern for SWAAY, in addition, to writing content for their websites.
The combination of both positions helped me feel more prepared for the journalism industry, especially because my past internships have not been as integral in learning about this field.
- Management is the Name of the Game
I am good at time-management during the academic year, but I have never had as busy of summer than in 2020––which is somewhat ironic given that in many ways COVID-19 prompted individuals to slow down in their daily routines. I was working almost 40-hour workweeks split between three positions; I finally understood why adulthood careers are tiring.
With a tight schedule, keeping an agenda and writing out daily to-do lists was key to quelling my stress. It is also important to remember that you are an intern, which means that at the end of your workday (or when you reach the maximum amount of hours you are working each week), you can sign off and come back to the assignment the next day.
- There Was More Than Just Screen Burnout
I am not going to lie when I say that at many, many points this summer I felt overwhelmed and exhausted: two key signs that I was experiencing extreme burnout. Again, I do not regret the positions I took on this summer as they have better equipped me for post-grad job opportunities, but I also learned an important personal lesson. I can manage multiple positions and tasks, but at the end of the day, feeling burnt out for the majority of the time is not a feeling I want to become too familiar with.
As I move forward in the Fall 2020 semester, I am setting a goal for myself to listen to my body when I am feeling overwhelmed. And I urge you to do the same.