Throughout the course of my internship, I have been working in social media, logistics, and also conducting product research for the new store that the director of SIRPLUS is looking to open. I have had to research products to make sure both they and the brand they're from fit the values of and target market of SIRPLUS, network with brands regarding possible wholesale partnerships, and keep a running spreadsheet of the products I believe fit best. I have also been doing analytics work on the company's Instagram to help them adopt a new approach that will lead to more customer engagement. Additionally, I've been running employee logistics by helping out with the contract website HelloSign and working with both the director and other managers to get both employee and client contracts updated.
I think my greatest accomplishment has been with the product research. My boss has often been both very specific and vague at the same time when asking for various items, so I have had to be very creative in my searches and able to dig very deep for information. For example, he once asked for a "British blanket that has a story" for the new shop. It took about a week of digging, but I was able to find a company that manufactures in the United Kingdom that makes blankets from recycled/scrap wool and linen. I am still quite proud of that find to this day.
Working virtually with an overseas company requires a lot of time management, flexibility, and creativity with thinking outside the box. My role all summer has been summed up to the idea of "What can I do to make your life easier?" This has led to needing to be a quick study in social media marketing, contract websites, navigating my search queries to work past my location and fit the United Kingdom, and learning how to navigate Shopify to help with website management. This has also equaled out to a lot of early morning meetings so I can accomodate the time difference between Iowa and London. However, being able to prove yourself as a reliable company asset even when a few thousand miles away is both an amazing feeling and a great thing to have on your resume for job interviews when proving your worth as a candidate.
What advice would you give?
If you're going to be doing any virtual work for an extended amount of time, especially with an overseas company, you need a strong handle on time management and self-discipline because it's very easy to want to put the work off until later and then just keep working overtime because you get in the zone. It's also a good idea to walk away from the screen for about 15-20 minutes every few hours because eye strain is a very real thing. I also recommend having a clock set in your workplace to the time zone of where the company headquarters is when you're doing international work. This helps you easily keep track of what time it is there so then scheduling calls and meetings is much easier.