How I learned how to work remotely for my summer internship

By: Ruby Crow, senior in public relations

During the spring semester of my junior year, I was worried about obtaining an internship for the required 499A course. I had been looking for one for a while, and it was difficult to arrange one in the middle of the pandemic. However, my friend and former Greenlee student, Claire Simmons, had been working for Strategic Elements LLC and recommended me to their hiring team. They reached out to me and arranged an interview. I was fortunate enough to be invited to work for them remotely over the summer.

From that point on, being a part of the Strategic Elements team has been nothing short of impactful. I got the opportunity to work with companies like American Clean Power, EDP Renewables, FUELIowa and the American Council on Renewable Energy. Working with these companies gave me hands-on experience with different research projects, contact and data tracking, social media drafting, writing and communication drafts, and transcribing. The team, composed of former communications directors, has been an excellent source of guidance for me. They never fail to lend a hand when I need it most and are always willing to help in any circumstance.

While working remotely was a bit of an adjustment, I learned how to keep an open line of communication with my co-workers, manage my work, uphold deadlines and do it effectively. I have become more diligent in my work and making sure the quality is up to its highest standards. I learned the importance of knowing your client’s and company’s values and voice, understanding how to properly communicate with your specific audience and comprehending different subject matters of which one may not have much knowledge.

With each project, I have grown in different skills and abilities–not all with public relations. I have learned how to be part of a well-rounded and results-oriented team. I see the cohesiveness between each member of Strategic Elements and how well they work together to achieve their desired outcome. I am constantly shown gratitude and appreciation for my time and effort for the work I do. The impact of this work environment doesn’t go unnoticed in the outcome of their work and their influence on me.

As the summer ended, I was offered an extension of my internship into my senior year. I am thrilled to expand my experience and knowledge with Strategic Elements while I pursue my next adventure.

I want to thank the donors of the Greenlee School Internship Scholarship that aided my financial support, the faculty and staff who have encouraged and advised me throughout my college career and my team at Strategic Elements. They made this company a wonderful place to work and always supported and guided me to better my future.

Editor’s note: Edited for length and clarity. Greenlee 499A internship scholarships support students who have a primary major in advertising, journalism and mass communication or public relations and are completing their required 400-hour internships. The application is available each spring.