My name is Samantha Friedman, and I am a senior at Chapman University with a major in communication studies and a minor in sociology. For the past six months, I have had a human resources internship with Open Robotics. Open Robotics is a company in Mountain View, California that creates open software and hardware platforms for robotics.

I started my internship in June 2021 and decided to continue into the fall semester. During my internship, I performed many different tasks, some of which included: facilitating and organizing virtual social company events, maintaining employee records, sorting incoming resumes, logging them into appropriate tracking spreadsheets, managing employee invoices and ordering company merchandise, and distributing it properly around the world. Below is a specific mug design that I ordered and distributed across the globe.

I found that two of the communication courses I have taken helped me be successful in this position. The two courses were organizational communication and intercultural communication. Organizational communication taught me the various forms of communication in a company and how to communicate with employees to ensure engagement, satisfaction, and commitment. In this internship, I was able to apply different forms of communication like formal and informal communication firsthand. In addition to this, I was able to see how communication within an organization plays a crucial role in providing accurate information and how the information is conveyed to employees. Another course that helped me with this internship was intercultural communication. Open Robotics has employees all over the world and has two offices in Mountain View, CA, and Singapore. Intercultural communication helped me increase my understanding of the different ways of communicating in different cultures to be respectful and ensure my message was conveyed properly. This course was very applicable to my internship as I had to utilize various forms of communication with employees from all around the world.

One of my favorite memories of interning at Open Robotics was organizing virtual company events. Some of the events I organized and facilitated included: a virtual escape room, virtual paint party, virtual scavenger hunt, virtual Halloween costume contest and spooky scavenger hunt, and an upcoming virtual holiday party.

In all these events, I was able to bring most of the company together to participate in an informal social event. Since most employees work from home and are located all over the world, I realized how vital maintaining company culture and morale was in a virtual environment. This was my first time working in a remote setting, and I am grateful for the experience. By creating the virtual events, I was able to bring people together from around the world to bond and socialize. I have realized that in a company, employees must take breaks from their workweek to have fun with other employees to reduce burnout and boost employee satisfaction. The image below is an event that I coordinated for interns and mentors; it was a virtual paint party where we all followed an art instructor in painting on canvas. This specific painting was supposed to be the Aurora Borealis.

My time at Open Robotics has been an amazing learning opportunity, and I am so grateful that I can take the skills I learned in this internship into future careers.