We have successfully finished another Let’s Boost internship – our fifth one in a row. Our WordPress team is always happy to accept young and eager (soon-to-be) developers and, this time, both our interns stayed on our team even after their internship was over. What was especially interesting about this round of internship? COVID-19 and the quarantine it brought with it, which forced us into having our first digital internship. How did our intern Neja experience it all? Find out below. :)
Let’s Boost Internship – COVID19 Style
With March, I started my Let’s Boost internship at Optiweb, which quickly turned out to be slightly different from what I expected – or from what anyone expected. I started my internship in the WordPress team and even though I didn’t have a lot of experience or knowledge on the topic, my wish and motivation to learn was too great to pass this opportunity. Plus, that’s what internship is all about, right?
The first day of my internship definitely exceeded my expectations (which were high enough as it were). The first thing that without a doubt impresses anyone who visits Optiweb is the office space. Innovative offices, full of positive energy, laughter, colors and bright ideas. The Optiweb team welcomed me open handed. I immediately felt as a part of the team – a part of Optiweb. The onboarding process lasted for a few days and it was truly on point. At first, we had a series of workshops where they presented Optiweb and its processes and then I soon joined my team – WordPress. They nicely accepted me as a new team member and I always knew that I could count on the help of the entire team whenever I faced a problem.
Soon, it became clear that coronavirus will also force Optiweb to close the doors of its offices. Before I started with my internship at Optiweb, my wish was to work from home. Without the traffic jams, working in my sweats, eating lunch in my own kitchen… But now it was different, because I really enjoyed the offices. My colleagues were of great help and we got along great. We went to lunch together and the overall atmosphere in the company was incredible. Needless to say, I was not thrilled when we got the announcement of remote work.
Before I started with my internship at Optiweb, my wish was to work from home. But now it was different…
Internship by COVID-19 rules
The virus struck panic all over the world. During the last days, when we were still at the offices, you could also sense that panic in the company, since no one knew what would happen next. The leadership reacted very quickly and we basically started working from home over night. Of course that took some adapting to since we had to move all our meetings and gatherings online. But all the employees were always kept in the loop about the company’s situation and I especially valued the fact that I myself – even though I was just an intern – was included in that as well.
Of course, my colleagues were well aware of the distress remote work presented for me, as an intern. Despite everything they made sure that my Let’s Boost experience was the same as it would be in a corona-free situation. I soon realized you need great discipline to work from home, which is why every day I started working at the same time and I quickly got used to the new routine. I rearranged my new home office to be as functional as possible and I tried to recreate the same work surface as the one I had in Optiweb. It was great that we could take whatever we needed from the offices in order to make our transition and daily work as uninterrupted as possible. The last day before switching to fully remote, we carried with us everything from chairs to monitors. We basically left the offices empty. During my internship from home I realized that my productivity was greater at home, because at the office I always had someone I could ask for help. But now they weren’t around so I had more time to think about the problem and to solve the problems on my own. Another positive side to my remote internship was working in my sweats, eating home-cooked lunch and avoiding traffic jams. :P
Soon, my team introduced “daily morning coffee”, where we would start our day together over a cup of coffee. I gladly joined these virtual meetings because it also gave me a chance to connect with those members of my team with whom I didn’t usually get a chance to hang out. Overall, the company really tried to keep our company culture and virtual gatherings. During the time of the quarantine, we had a virtual teambuilding and weekly challenges that ignited our imagination and creativity, so we were rarely bored. :)
During my internship I was included in various projects and have really had a chance to learn a lot. Working on projects was slightly more challenging because we were working from home, because it was more difficult to coordinate all the calls and meetings. I would of course be glad if we could talk about some things in person but the circumstances sadly prevented it. However, our projects were all successfully completed and you know what they say – practice makes perfect. ;)
Remote internship – yay or nay?
Remote internship has brought all of us a new challenge. The greatest downside to it is definitely the lack of socializing with the coworkers, especially when it comes to learning new things, because it’s harder to execute it through a computer screen. However, I still believe that we excelled as a company at this new challenge of remote work. We all also got a different insight into remote work and I’m sure that we will make use of it more often in the future.