My name is Abigail Francis, and I am a current junior at Chapman University studying strategic and corporate communication with double-minors in graphic design and public relations. I was recently the communications intern for Karyn Elizabeth Jewelry, an up and coming online jewelry company. Karyn Elizabeth Jewelry specializes in handmade pieces crafted from 24k gold overlay and an array of precious gemstones. The creator, my supervisor, Karyn Bond has an innate sense of craftsmanship as she designs one of a kind pieces for a luxury audience. After taking a hiatus, Karyn hired me to handle the company’s communication outlets, while she created new pieces and worked with investors to build the company’s website.
Tips for Making Remote Work ‘Work’
- Initial Shock is Normal: My prior internship experiences were all in corporate office settings; therefore, working from home was a huge transition when I first started out. Karyn and I communicated mainly over phone calls and through email. While this system was effective, I was not used to this setup. Allow yourself a couple weeks to get used to the changes in your work schedule and adjust accordingly. For me personally, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons were crazy with my class schedule, so I tried to schedule all our calls on other days.
- Create a Productive Work Environment: While working from home sounds like the dream, it sometimes becomes difficult to differentiate between work and other daily tasks. Especially being primarily on social media through my phone, I needed a place outside of my house to be productive. Going to campus, reserving library rooms, or even just setting up at a coffee shop made my productivity immediately better. It was easy to get into a work frenzy when I was bored at home and wanted to start reaching out to influencers or schedule posts in advance, so having time set aside every week to do work helped me distinguish between these two worlds.
- Keep Yourself in the Loop: Because my work primarily lived online, keeping updated with my emails, social media direct messages, and other forms of digital communication was vital to my effectiveness as a remote intern. Working remotely is not the time to go off the grid. Even on days I did not work, I would keep daily tabs on the social media channels. By doing this, I was better prepared for my workdays, and I became the key handler of these media sources.
- Communication is KEY: The School of Communication taught me the importance of communication across all aspects of my life; however, this experience showed me the value of workplace communication. Classes like Business Communication, Message Design, and even Introduction to Strategic and Corporate Communication all cover material that is vital to effective communication in a business setting. For me, scheduling weekly calls and communicating via email was the easiest way to keep in contact remotely. While there are some differences between the communications styles used in an office and remote setting, the School of Communication prepared me with the right skills to communicate effectively.
Working remotely was an experience I greatly value as a student. While it has both its drawbacks and its benefits, I believe my time at Karyn Elizabeth Jewelry better prepared me for my career pursuits postgrad. Thank you for reading!