Over the past six months, Jade and Roos completed an internship at Omnicom PR Group, although this experience was completely digital. What was it like doing an internship at the communications consultancy during COVID-19? Jade and Roos look back.
How did your internship start?
Jade: “At the start of September, I got on my bike to Amstelveen with a healthy dose of excitement: my first day as an intern at OPRG. Upon my arrival, it immediately became clear that it was a crazy time to start an internship. Normally you would walk into the OPRG office and be greeted by more than 40 colleagues, but instead I arrived in a relatively empty office together with my fellow intern Roos.”
Roos: “Fortunately, OPRG helped us to get off to a smooth start. During the first two weeks we were able to work in the office, and various meetings with colleagues were already scheduled for us. They told us more about themselves and the various activities within OPRG. This was very nice and helped us to onboard us well.”
Jade: “Unfortunately, the regulations around COVID-19 became increasingly strict, which meant that we had to continue our internship at home. I didn’t meet most of my colleagues at the office, I got to know them in a virtual way: through the computer screen on the desk in my bedroom. Who would have thought?”
Did you feel involved with the team in that online situation?
Jade: “Yes, certainly. Although we all had to get used to the situation in the beginning. In the office you could easily walk up to someone to ask a question or have a nice chat. To call someone you’ve never met for a short question or a virtual coffee, there’s more of a barrier or level of initial discomfort. But because of the warm welcome that every OPRG employee gave us, I quickly felt at ease and part of the team. Many colleagues took the initiative to get to know me and told me that I could always contact them with questions. They were open, enthusiastic and took me seriously.”
Roos: “I felt the same way. In the beginning, I also thought the dial-ups were very helpful. Twice a week there is a meeting with all the colleagues, in which you hear what everyone is doing. That helps a lot to get a picture of everyone who works at OPRG. Moreover, I enjoyed working in regular client teams, which means that you speak to different groups of colleagues on a weekly basis. That made me feel involved very quickly.”
What kind of work did you do?
Roos: “During my internship, I really enjoyed working for different types of clients. In general, I have been involved in research (for example into relevant stakeholders or target groups), media monitoring and writing press releases, news reports, and web texts. There were also different internal activities that I was involved in. For example, a webinar was organized about the influence of the American elections on Dutch and European businesses.”
Jade: “I have also joined several client teams in the past five months, where I was given quite a few responsibilities. It felt like I learned something new every day, which kept me excited throughout my internship. What I liked the most is that the work within an agency is very varied: for every client, there are different activities involved. I look back to an educational, challenging, and above all fun internship period at OPRG.”
What was the most fun moment of your internship?
Jade: “I think that was the TAD (Team Away Day). This year’s team outing had to be organized creatively, meaning digitally. And what a success this was! In advance we received a very nice box with all kinds of treats, the one and only OPRG sweater and a gym ball. TAD itself consisted of a virtual game with all kinds of assignments that we had to do in small teams. The team that won the most assignments was the big winner of TAD. Result: Within half an hour, our team was in front of the camera wearing dress-up clothes to take a crazy “selfie”. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but it was a lot of fun!”
Roos: “One of the best moments of my internship was the digital Christmas dinner. After we all picked up an extensive three-course menu to enjoy with our +1, we dined digitally together in various break-out rooms. Everyone was dressed in a glitter theme. It was a great success with fun activities such as a pub quiz, music bingo and comedy.” Jade: “But the icing on the cake of our internship period was of course the moment we were told that, in addition to being fellow interns, we would actually become colleagues! Roos will start inFebruary and I will start at OPRG in March as a Junior Client Executive. A great prospect!”