Beyond traditional internships
Published on 10 August 2023
Adam Chudzinski's experience as a remote Intern working for a Chinese-based company.
Unlike traditional internships that require a physical presence at the company’s premises, remote internships offer a unique opportunity to gain professional experience without geographic constraints. Over the last 8 weeks, I embarked on a remote internship journey that not only broadened my horizons but also transformed the way I perceive work and collaboration.
As a part of my summer project for my degree in MSc International Marketing, I took part in a remote internship experience organised by Pagoda Projects. Pagoda Projects partners with universities and companies around the globe to deliver high-quality in-person, blended and remote placements to enhance and broaden student experiences.
Working for RT Media Corporation
I worked for RT Media Corporation, a Chinese-based company that publishes news and organises networking opportunities for the print and consumables industry worldwide. Also, the company organises the world’s largest print consumables trade show event – RemaxWorld Expo – which is held each year in Zhuhai, China. This event attracts over 15,000 professional buyers from over 100 countries each year.
Over the course of 8 weeks, I had the opportunity to work on this project and was responsible for writing promotional social media posts. In addition, I was responsible for gathering and analysing various metrics to see whether RT Media’s followers were engaging with the posts that I created.
The Virtual Workspace
The first day of my remote internship was filled with excitement and a tinge of nervousness. As I logged into my virtual workspace, I was greeted by a diverse group of colleagues from various parts of the world, each brining their unique talents and perspectives. Although we didn’t meet in person, our daily virtual calls fostered a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. Collaborating through digital platforms taught me the value of effective communication and active listening, as well as the importance of setting clear goals and expectations.
Flexibility and Time Management
One of the most significant advantages of a remote internship was the flexibility it offered. With no fixed office hours, I was able to tailor my work schedule to suit my productivity peaks. This was particularly important because this internship experience was completed as part of my degree, which involved a written summer thesis element. Learning to strike a balance between work and personal life was crucial to avoid burnout. Additionally, staying organised and using productivity tools became second nature.
As with any experience, there were challenges to overcome. Working remotely meant that misunderstanding might arise due to communication barriers or time zone differences. To combat this, our team fostered an environment of openness and encouraged regular feedback. Embracing challenges with a growth mindset allowed me to turn obstacles into opportunities for learning and improvement.
Cultural Exchange and Mentorship
One of the most enriching aspects of my remote internship was the cultural exchange with my cultural mentor and colleagues. As a part of the Pagoda Projects programme, each intern was assigned a cultural mentor who they met online for around 30 minutes every week to chat about cultural differences. These interactions fostered cultural sensitivity, broadened my worldview, and strengthened my adaptability to different working environments.
Contrary to my initial concerns, the remote internship experience offered ample networking opportunities. Pagoda Projects organised weekly online events, webinars, and group discussion which allowed me to connect with professionals from my field of interest and expand my professional network. The digital realm also enabled me to attend conferences and workshops that I otherwise might not have had the chance to participate in.