Off to start my new internship at Noble Events, I was eager, energetic and ready to work. I’d been given the job as valuable work experience before going off to university in 6 months’ time. I thought I’d fit right into Marketing & Business Development – given my background in social media marketing – and hopefully I’d gain some good experience learning on the job, getting to work in a professional environment with the rest of the team. Of course, being the team intern there’d be lots of spreadsheets and files to sort through, but it’d be well worth the experience. Everything seemed to be all set for me to start working mid-March. What could go wrong?
My first week was going great. Just getting settled, been given a few tasks, meeting my colleagues – the usual. At the beginning of my second week, things seemed to be picking up. ‘Want to help brainstorm for our sustainability meeting?’ ‘Sure!’ ‘Can you change the format of this presentation?’ ‘Of course!’ ‘Could you take some new staff photos for us?’ ‘I’d love to.’ The kind of thing I was expecting.
But by the end of that week, with the PM on the news, Covid-19 was officially a pandemic and a nationwide quarantine had begun.
I’d gone from moving into my new office space, to now collecting all my equipment to bring home again. On my first day as I sat at my desk in a shirt, I had no idea that in 2 weeks’ time I’d be joining the morning meeting from my bedroom, muting my mic to hide the sound of my barking Spaniel. I guess I didn’t really know what to expect, just like the rest of the team.
The third week felt as though I’d started again, trying to learn the ropes, the admin, the meetings – only this time it was all online. I’m glad the company had recently updated its internal communications system because the transition to working from home could definitely have been worse. The main thing that I needed to adjust to was the culture change; going from asking people if they wanted a cup of tea in the office, to watching them drink it in their kitchen while a child meandered around sleepily in the background. All through my monitor. How bizarre.
The 4th week wasn’t any more predictable. Half the team started their furlough, leaving me to re-juggle my supervisors and responsibilities once more.
By the 5th week, I was praying the world wouldn’t end! But it didn’t, and another month later we’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. sigh of relief Perhaps in another month, we’ll all be back in the office.
The point of this timeline was to illustrate how crazy this seems to the new intern barely two months in. My time here has quickly taught me what is and isn’t an important part of my job. For me, being a member of Noble Events has been less about continuity and more about adaptability. The market has changed, as it always does, and now new avenues must be explored. Things I didn’t think I’d do in my 6 months here I’m now doing on a regular basis, and some things I’m doing now I probably won’t be doing by the end of month. That’s just how it is. But I’ve learnt so much – more than I would have – and that’s what I came here to do.
Admittedly, it has stopped me from trying several things I had wanted to, such as spending time onsite at events, meeting potential clients, and taking part in team activities. Also, it was definitely a bad time to start updating the employee photos… But it could be worse. Much worse. And I’m thankful that me and my family have been ok when so many have been less fortunate.
Overall my experience here has been challenging, testing and certainly demanding, but I’ve learnt so much already that I’m eager to see where my internship at Noble Events will lead me next.
Quite frankly, I’m just glad I’m here – and to be supported by a fantastic, close-knit team during a globally difficult time.