Internships are an integral part of the Fisher experience, but like many other aspects of Fisher, many students who participated in internships had to do them virtually. Learn more about Agnese Palumbo, ('21) a Criminal Justice major navigated managing her time, getting used to a new work environment and collaborating with coworkers she never met in person.
Q: Where did you intern and what was your role?
A: I am currently interning at the Evan Guthrie Law Firm, located in Charleston, SC. I work as a legal writer for the firm’s website, Pre-Law Land, along with many other Criminal Justice and Pre-Law students. At the beginning of the internship, every intern is tasked with pitching ideas for upcoming legal articles; then, throughout the semester, interns conduct research on the topics they chose, and produce a new article every week. The articles are reviewed by the supervisor, and, if approved, they are published on the website.
Q: Describe the orientation process for your internship. How did your supervisors introduce you to the company and the job without you physically being there?
A: The orientation process was very simple and effective. I communicated with my supervisor over the phone, and he briefly explained how the internship worked. Shortly after the phone call, I received an email from him, which listed the expectations for the internship, suggestions and tips to get started, and, most importantly, words of encouragement.
Q: A big part of an internship is forming relationships with your supervisors and co-workers. What advice would you have for navigating these relationships with people you’re not interacting with in person?
A: Not being able to speak with my supervisor and co-workers in person was one of the things I was worried about the most. For the first few weeks of my internship, I was only communicating with my supervisor, and I did not know any other intern. Then, I decided to find a way to get to know other interns. I started reading their articles on the website, and then reaching out to them on LinkedIn. In doing so, I have met many other college students who feel just as passionate about the law as I do. I would highly advise other students who are doing remote internships to reach out to their supervisors and co-workers on social media platforms, particularly on LinkedIn.
Q: Focusing on virtual school is challenging enough, but what about virtual work? What challenges did you face and how did you stay motivated?
A: One of the hardest things about working remotely is having to create your own schedule. Since starting my internship, I knew I would struggle with juggling my coursework and my two work-study positions. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, creating a solid schedule and sticking to it has helped me immensely. Without it, I am not sure that I would still be able to meet my deadlines. Moreover, my schedule has allowed me to stay organized, and prioritize what needs my immediate attention.
Q: Last but not least, what skills did you learn from this internship, and how do you think they will help you achieve your career goals?
A: Since this is my first remote position, I was able to pick up on a variety of skills, such as time-management, being organized with my tasks, and professionalism in an online environment. On top of that, I have also gained legal writing experience, which I will be able to employ in my future endeavors in the fields of writing and/or criminal justice. This internship has furthered my interest in working in the legal field (and writing about it). Overall, I find that this experience has helped me grow not only intellectually, but also as a person.