Making Personal Connections in a Remote Internship

This summer (2021) is my second remote internship as a college rising Junior. This concept of a remote internship has been a standardized throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, but before this puzzling time I feel like all internships were in-person and the terms “remote ”or “virtual ”never preceded “internship”.

I personally am NOT a fan of these remote internships because, well… There’s a lack of people. The very reason us humans enjoy each day. I am an extreme extrovert and people person and so having two remote internships (not by choice per se) has been quite an interesting experience.

Today’s picture is a screenshot from the intern Discord server I made to remedy the issue of not meeting people face-to-face in the company’s actual office like in a normal year. And I do have to say.. A Discord server is the PERFECT platform for interns, or any group of “virtual” people in that sense, to get to know each other for the 3 months of working from anywhere in the world.

Last summer, when COVID first began, I was an intern at the same company, but us interns did not have any robust method of communication, so I went the entire 3 months not truly connecting with any new people while working from my parent’s house in Virginia. Don’t get me wrong, I did talk to other interns, but it was just not possible to truly get to know them remotely from quick Zoom meetings.

This is why this summer I decided I had to make a Discord server, and after a month of the internship, it has over 400 members (NASA is a large company)! The sectionalized text channels and access to voice chats where you can always see who is participating and can optionally turn on your camera are reasons why Discord has worked so well for us to meet each other.

The group in the picture are interns working from tons of different locations in the U.S., varying from Virginia (me), Los Angeles, New York, and North Carolina amongst others, yet we all convene and have great conversations during the work day to keep each other company and bond. We even got to schedule a meetup on the East Coast. All of this is so radically different from my lonelier experience last summer, but it is just such a relief and morality boost to the remote internship experience to actually meet the others in the same shoes as me.

Thanks to all the amazing interns I have been meeting this summer, and I truly look forward to continue getting to know you all and meeting up in the future since we are all from such different places. Although I am so glad that this is finally the last summer of remote internships since the pandemic is coming to a visible close due to vaccines because I would never want to replace true human interaction in-person with anything ever again.

Also this is my first photo + story post. I am excited to continue to post more of these and just reflect on each day with a picture and thought to take a breath and focus on the present moments in my life.



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