My Remote Internship Didn’t Suck

By Leen Azmeh

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I finished my last college final from my childhood bedroom, closed my laptop, and thought, “shit.” I graduated into a pandemic, so there was zero chance I’d land the internship of my dreams, right? Wrong. Between the chaos of post-grad-existential-dread and quarantine sourdough starters, I summoned up the energy to write a cover letter that caught the attention of a badass agency. I got an interview, took a copywriting test, and beat out hundreds of applicants. In June, I began my summer internship with Butchershop Creative, a brand agency based out of San Francisco, CA.

Instead of interning out of their office, I interned from home (IFH, if you will). But one can only really have, at best, a mediocre remote internship experience, right? Wrong. My internship experience was like no other. This is one of those “You had to be there,” situations, but I’ll do my best to explain just how valuable my remote internship was.

Here’s what went down, virtually (if you run an agency with an internship program, take notes):

1. I Played on a Level Playing Field

I was trusted. This is a huge deal. Client work, client meetings, being interviewed by our CEO in front of 400 people within the first month of my internship. I did it all. I was given room to use my voice and talent to make a difference. Your interns don’t gain anything by making coffee runs, or whatever the virtual equivalent is, and neither do you.

2. Our Shepherds Shepherded

Each intern had their respective ‘shepherd,’ as we called them. Our mentors, who guided us every step of the way. I learned the most from working with my shepherd, a senior copywriter at Butchershop. From him, I learned that “There’s more to be said in less words.” “Every sentence serves a purpose.” And whenever I felt stuck to “Just keep writing.” I learned just as much without him, as he trusted me to handle his projects in his absence.

3. Brand is Everything

This is a Butchershop mantra. I was made aware of how much thought and meaning goes into building every brand. Brands aren’t built in a day. The designs are meaningful, strategies are insightful, and the words, purposeful. Your brand determines the public’s opinion of you, which is the only opinion that really matters. As a copywriter intern, I was able to curate the language that people use to define a brand.

4. Skill is Only Half of It

I won’t be remembered for the headlines I wrote, but for the effort in which I approached the work and how I worked with others.

Final Thoughts

I went into this internship with the hope of becoming a better writer, despite learning from the confines of a computer screen. I not only left as a better copywriter, but with an appreciation for what it means to make words count, be a good teammate, and give brands meaning. So, my remote internship didn’t suck. Not even a little.