Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Why Taking Initiative is So Important as an Intern in a Virtual Environment

When a group of people work together in an office, you can physically feel each other’s energy and bounce ideas off one another. Communication can be as accessible as turning to your left or right. While so many companies have brought so much innovation to the table to make working at home a truly remarkable experience, of course there are  a few aspects of a working environment that are impossible to mimic virtually. I’ve found that there are gaps of time, while waiting for a response with approval to move forward with a project or in between zoom calls, where I finished my goals for the week and I have this empty space where I can choose to do what I want with my time. This time is a perfect opportunity for an intern to take initiative, be a self-starter, and go the extra mile by doing something for your company that you were not asked to do. I’ve found that my most creative and helpful work has come from these bits of time where I have the space to question what needs improvement or attention. For me, my strengths and favorite parts of my job are in data and formulation, so when I get the chance, I’ll build extra pieces of a database or do extra research on an ingredient we’ve been discussing. Taking the initiative to start a new project has helped me build confidence in my career and display my best skills. Now that many of our commutes have turned into walks up the stairs and employee cafeterias have turned to home kitchens, try to find some empty pieces of time during the day to show your workplace how you can truly shine.