iZest

Internship During a Pandemic

An internship is a turning point in every young person’s education irrespective of their degree. The values and skills learned throughout an internship are what will ultimately carry you into a positioning job at the end of your four year degree. The skills learned with onsite placement are unmatched to the classroom education you receive throughout university.

However, in 2020 the entire world came to a standstill with the Covid-19 pandemic. This pandemic shuddered every economy across the globe and in turn completely eradicated the need for interns due to company closures and fear of what the future held. But as we’ve all adapted and navigated our way through this pandemic, the economy began to thrive again and companies began to operate in a new way – Remotely. Adapting to this new way of working happened quickly and naturally for seasoned employees but had a whole new set of challenges for newcomers.

An insider’s perspective

Where are you currently in college? And what made you decide to do an internship?

Rachael –  I am currently a student in Dublin City University and I was 1 out of 30 students selected from the 300 students studying my course to partake in an internship. This selection process is only applicable to certain degrees where an internship is not essential to the degree. The application consists of a written submission, cv upgrading workshops followed by a collection of educational workshops. Once selected to partake the application process lengthens to company applications and interview processes. This system is one every intern is completely committed to in the intent to gain an internship in their chosen field. 

Jane –  I was in my final year at TU Dublin when the pandemic began. Before I knew it, college had closed and online classes became second nature. I studied International Business and Spanish and always had a huge interest in Marketing. My plans to travel after finishing my degree were quickly abolished and I started looking for jobs in the area of marketing. When it became clear that walking into a job in marketing was not realistic without some experience or a degree in marketing, I started looking into masters. I loved TU Dublin and once I found out that they offered a one year full-time MSc in Digital Marketing, I knew I had to apply. I thoroughly enjoyed my masters and became totally accustomed to remote working having not been able to meet my classmates or lecturers face-to-face once. It was a bizarre way to complete a degree but TU Dublin were extremely supportive and made it as enjoyable as it possibly could have been.

How did you become an employee with izest Marketing?

Rachael – I applied to izest Marketing outside of the university after hearing their story on a podcast. This energetic and experienced company simply landed at my feet at the most uncertain of times. izest is a diverse, engaging, fast paced and dynamic company that has an incredible history and simply makes its own personal story and journey one of admiration and nobility. I applied to the company through an email and after the interview process, I began working with izest Marketing in late September. 

Jane – In my module Value Driven Strategic Marketing, our lecturer tried to make classes as interesting as possible and had guest speakers in frequently. That’s how I originally heard of izest Marketing. Laura Nolan spoke to our class about all things digital marketing and her experience working in a fast-paced agency like izest Marketing. I worked part-time in a marketing agency throughout college and knew it would be an amazing place to start my career and I loved the sound of izest Marketing so I reached out to Laura in the hope of doing an internship with izest. I was delighted when I was offered the internship and couldn’t wait to get started.

How did you feel becoming an intern during a pandemic?

Rachael – Becoming an intern in 2020 had its own unique set of values and downfalls. Marketing and Consultancy have always been a passion of mine and having been predominantly exposed to the consultancy side of things, I have come to love them both equally. Beginning work with a company at a particularly strange time, izest Marketing has made the internship experience unforgettable. The team bond within izest Marketing is clear and strong but you are quickly welcomed into this atmosphere. The concept of hitting the ground running is definitely something this company stands for!  

Jane – I thought after completing my entire masters behind a computer screen I’d be well accustomed to beginning a new role from behind one but I was wrong. Starting anything new from your bedroom will never not be weird but weird as it was, I got the hang of things quickly and I enjoyed it from the start. I love working in a fast-paced environment so izest Marketing suited me perfectly and the team was beyond welcoming.

What have you learned most in your time with izest marketing? And how did you feel the pandemic affected this internship? 

Rachael – Throughout my time with izest Marketing I have developed not only a keen interest in this industry but also I have gained the skills to be able to move forward in it. I think ultimately joining the company throughout a pandemic has had some learning curves that probably would not exist in normal times but overall the benefits certainly outweigh any difficulties that I have faced.

Jane – As Rachael pointed out, there are many pros and many cons to starting an internship remotely and my opinion on whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa changes like the weather. I love the idea of being in the office because I am very sociable and feel far more connected to people when I’m with them. I also think I’d be a lot closer to members of the izest team if I had met them in person. In saying that, I am grateful for the amount of time remote working has given me in the day. Without the commute to and from work and the time spent putting on make-up in the morning, there is far more time to relax and exercise. In normal circumstances, if you get up two hours before work starts, you only have about 15 minutes to relax. Now, you have 2 hours to relax. 

If the past year has taught me anything it’s that technology is fantastic and absolutely anything can be done remotely. In saying that, it’s a shame I haven’t met anyone face to face and I really hope I get the chance to meet some of the people I work with every day before I finish my internship.