The impacts of COVID-19 are still being seen and have created a significant impact on students and their overall success as they move forward with their careers. Through this time, we are spotlighting students whose internships were affected by COVID-19. We virtually caught up with two more Emerson College students, Allison Sambucini (Writing, Literature, and Publishing ‘21) and Hannah Brewitt (Journalism ‘21), to talk to them about how COVID-19 has affected their internships.

Allison Sambucini, #emtern at Her Campus Media
Hannah Brewitt, #emtern at WHDH Channel 7

What were some of your responsibilities during your internship, and how have these changed with the effects of COVID-19?

Hannah: “I was the Sports Desk Intern at Channel 7 WHDH and my main responsibilities were logging Celtics and Bruins games, and transcribing interviews and press conferences. I also had opportunities to go into the field, gathering Celtics and Bruins locker rooms and press conference sound at TD Garden. Because all major league sports have been suspended until further notice, my internship was cancelled.” 

Allison: “I help track the performances of and develop new resources for Her Campus chapters. Colleges around the world can start their own chapters and gain experience running their own magazines, and our headquarters gives them the tools they need to succeed. I’ve had the chance to do a little bit of everything, which has been exciting: I edit articles for launching chapters, write newsletters for our chapter network and alumni network, create graphics for the website, and track website analytics and social media performance. 

Thankfully, Her Campus Media is a remote-friendly company, so I’ve been able to continue my work with little interruption. Our whole office has been working remotely since mid-March, so we’ve been utilizing online tools to stay in touch, like Slack and Google Hangouts.”

What is one experience you have from this internship (COVID-19 related or otherwise) that you feel has better prepared you for your future?

Hannah: “My internship with WHDH helped me gain confidence in front of the camera. I had multiple opportunities to shoot broadcast stand-ups on the court at Celtics games and rink-side at Bruins games. Being immersed into this setting was nerve-wracking at first, but I grew more and more comfortable as the semester went on. By the end of my internship, my producer was sending me into the field to conduct interviews on my own. My confidence has truly grown as a result of this internship.”

Allison: “This internship has helped sharpen my communication skills, and I’ve learned how important it is to speak up. As an intern, it can feel daunting to share an idea for how you think the company can be improved, but sharing my input with my team has established a sense of trust and respect between us. It shows that you’re paying attention to the work you do and are actively thinking of ways you can make everyone’s experience even better!”

What are your next steps?

Hannah: “Due to the pandemic, my planned summer internship has unfortunately been cancelled. I am entering my senior year at Emerson this fall. I will graduate in May with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Sports Communication. Throughout the year, I plan to be on camera as much as possible, gaining even more experience and building my reel.”

Allison: “Next semester will be my last at Emerson, so I’m going to make the most of every moment! I’m hoping to start a new internship in the fall, either with a publishing house or magazine, to give me some more professional experience before I start looking for a permanent job.”

Do you have any advice for students interested in this internship or similar opportunities? Also what is your advice for future students navigating for internships in times of uncertainty?

Hannah: “There are two things I believe any employer likes to see in their employees: eagerness to learn and willingness to work. No matter how much experience you have in any given field, there is always more to learn; everyone you come across in a professional setting is a resource to you. Furthermore, you must be willing to go above and beyond when given a task. This will build trust between you and your employer and potentially get you more opportunities in the future. While these are troubling and uncertain times, there is still work to be done and connections to be made. This is a great time to be creative and take advantage of the extra time you might have on your hands. The world will eventually come out of this and your work in the off time will pay off!”

Allison: “If you’re interested in interning with Her Campus Media, we have a local Her Campus chapter at Emerson, so I’d recommend starting there to get familiar with the company (or to just gain some more writing experience!). I would also say that it’s important to emphasize everything you’ve done at Emerson when looking for internships, especially in the writing and publishing field. I work on various Emerson publications, so I make sure to note that on my resume and LinkedIn. I also mention any relevant courses I’ve taken, since not everyone has the opportunity to take publishing courses as an undergraduate and that can make you stand out.

In terms of looking for internships during uncertain times, I would recommend staying flexible. Even if it’s not directly related to what you want to do, an internship in another field could help you gain new skills and maybe even discover something you didn’t know you were interested in! Also, it becomes especially important to use all the resources available to you: utilize the Career Development Center, talk to your peers, and consult with your professors. You never know where it might lead you!”

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