Updated: Jul 13
By Leigh Kesser
When I first started the internship for the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), I also had to take a UVA class to complement the internship experience. Our first assignment, Envisioning Your Learning Chart, stated, “it is almost guaranteed that your internship will not be what you expect it to be.” There was no way I would have ever predicted my summer turning out the way it has, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Although I was and still am slightly sad that I was not able to physically go to Morocco, I am still so grateful to be able to learn as much as I can through a global, virtual internship. Even though I was hesitant about what a virtual internship would look like, I have been pleasantly surprised by how consistent we have been able to meet and talk, and I have enjoyed being able to get to know and work with my fellow interns. Working with the other interns and the HAF staff has made the virtual work feel more connected and meaningful.
When we were talking about the benefits and challenges of virtual work, I have somewhat struggled with keeping a consistent schedule. I tend to do my internship work at a variety of times throughout the day, and I would like to have a more regular schedule during the day. Maybe I’ll try planning out my week more. With the move to virtual work, Morgan, a fellow intern, brought up an interesting point about work-life balance in view of the fact that many people are now available on a 24/7 basis. I have also wondered how much technology will continue to be implemented in our daily lives, because it seems as if the pandemic has only cemented the integral role technology plays in people’s lives. It scares me how much society, including myself, relies on our phones, laptops, tablets etc., because I cannot imagine a world without these gadgets now. Especially with all the crazy events in the world recently, people rely on getting their news and social interactions through technology, which has its benefits. I hope the world will better learn how to use technology as a tool without it becoming a crutch we cannot live without. But, honestly, I think we have already passed that point.