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Interning in the Age of COVID-19

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

Hello, my name is Sacha, and I have had the opportunity to work as a virtual intern at Cue Digital since the beginning of May amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

When I had initially applied to intern at Cue at the beginning of this epic year, I would have never imagined myself in these circumstances. It seems like a lifetime ago that I had interviewed at Cue's office at Berkeley Castle in February. Back then, the severity of the coronavirus was mere speculation. However, the following month, Ontario implemented a state of emergency, and the reality began to sink in that my summer may not quite look like I had planned. The uncertainty of the situation was pressing, and at that moment, I was not sure where my position at Cue stood. However, with a superb team's efforts and the ambitions of an intern, we developed a completely virtual internship program.

Instead of searching for internships in the usual ways, I had first discovered Cue when I was working downtown last year. I was an intern at a large commercial real estate firm, and I was assigned a project to track tenants in the GTA - including tenants at The Berkeley Castle. Cue immediately sparked my interest with their # wedocoolsh!t tagline, customer-obsessed philosophy, and desire to create elevated experiences for the digital consumer. I knew at that very moment that Cue was the place where I needed to be.

While I understand that I did not have a 'normal' summer internship experience, I often think about what it could have been like to be working from Cue's offices. Sure, I would have created more substantial connections with my colleagues and may have been more entrenched in the digital advertising world, but I rate my Cue internship exceptionally. I am lucky I could have Google Meet status calls with my supervisor, Isabelle while working from the comfort of my family's cottage with my computer in one hand and my hotspot in the other.

Working at Cue has been a great honour because it has granted me additional knowledge on the media landscape that aligns with my post-secondary education. I am going into my third year at Western University, where I major in (MIT) Media Information and Technoculture and certifying in Digital Communications. MIT focuses on modern communication and information technologies and how they influence our lives in ways we may not recognize. Cue has advanced my understanding of the field by taking concepts and directly applying them to real-life conditions. For example, being an active Instagram user and learning about the power of influencer marketing in school, Cue gave us a behind the scenes look at the world of influencer marketing. Cue is an exclusive Canadian reseller of an influencer marketing and social listening platform called Tagger. Through a quick tutorial, I was able to see how this platform can help build successful influencer marketing campaigns, analyze social audiences, and report on competitive brands in the social space.

David U.K, our CEO at Cue, once said, as you go through life, have mentors and identify a few people who have helped get you to where you are and have shaped you into the person that you have become. Since working at Cue, I have increased my perception of this saturated media world and increased the number of people I consider to be my mentors. My supervisor Isabelle Davidian, Director of Sales at Cue, has been my mentor through this process and has assured me that regardless of not being able to engage with the Cue community physically, I receive the nearest extent of expertise regarding the media landscape online.

2020 has been an unprecedented year for many, and it is normal to feel like you may have lost control of your original plans. However, working as a virtual intern at Cue this summer has shown me that just because something does not work out as planned, does not mean that it will not work out for the better. In situations like these, patience is key, and information is power. Take the route that will get you where you want to be and do not give up.

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