Alex BoundyNever did I expect the words quarantine, social distancing, and face covers to become a part of my everyday vocabulary. At the start of the pandemic, it was hard to wrap my mind around what was actually happening. It seemed like COVID-19 cases were popping up so far away that it would never interfere with my daily routine or the people I cared about most.

At the same time, I was finishing my junior year in college, and there is a lot of pressure to find out who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life. After dabbling in a couple fields, I started to fall in love with communications – writing and developing creative content for different publications. I officially declared a major in Integrated Strategic Communications.

During the summer between junior and, senior year is a key opportunity time to gain real-world experience in your dream profession. As the end of my junior year was approaching the internship hunt began – it was time to send out resumes. I applied to about 10 different public relations firms and waited for a response. Slowly they trickled in and one after the other, internships were being canceled leaving me very stressed out. I had applied to Vicarious Multimedia (VM) where I had the opportunity the previous summer to sit down and talk with its founder, Melanie Santostefano. A couple of days after applying, I got a call from Melanie saying that she was going to find a way to give me an internship while navigating through a new, virtual, and uncertain world. I was super excited to embark on my new journey!

I didn’t know what to expect as my internship started on Zoom! My first day I immediately began training on the different platforms that VM publishes content for its (our) clients. At first, it was a little overwhelming, but I got more comfortable with practice. I initially met the VM team via Zoom and got to know each one a bit on team calls and a couple of happy hours. Each took me under their wing to help get me acclimate to the work. I would hop on Zoom calls to discuss social media plans, newsletter content, website copy, and press releases. My boss, Melanie, was amazing in challenging me to always do my best and dedicate 100-percent to my work. After weeks on Zoom, we got to move back into the office, though be it with face covers and social distancing. It was an awesome environment to finally see team members in person who I had met on Zoom. If there was ever anything I needed to have reviewed, instead of getting to close to one another, we would hop on Zoom to keep a safe social distance. Working side by side with Melanie, I also got the opportunity to sit in on client meetings and later to help out with a video production shoot (socially distanced with face covers, too).

While I wasn’t sure what to expect at the start of this summer internship, it ended up being super successful and one of the best experiences I have had. Starting virtually helped me to become more organized and mindful. I am so grateful for Melanie in taking a chance on me and pushing me to always put my best foot forward. She taught me with the right attitude and drive to take any challenge head-on, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. As my first internship experience, I would not have wanted it to go any other way. The VM team looks out for one another and pushes each other to do their absolute best. I learned so much from each one that I will hold onto forever. Thank you to everyone at Vicarious Multimedia who continued to show me why I became so passionate about public relations.