Completing an internship during a pandemic: Kate Brady

Kate Brady s a current final year Business Studies student in DCU. As part of her degree, Kate undertook a 12 month placement within EY as a Communications Intern .

I have just completed my years INTRA working as an intern on the communications team of EY.

It was an extremely challenging year, but I am so proud of how I performed throughout my role from starting on my first day in the office, to finishing my last day working from home in the new virtual world.

The communications internship was definitely one that appealed to me however I can’t say I knew much about a communications team really work or what their role is in a multinational firm like EY.

If I think back to the interview for my role, I think my extra curriculars probably helped me stand out and consequently helped me to secure the job. I feel like it’s so important for people to know the value of having hobbies or interests outside of your course. Realistically, everyone applying for the role will have the necessary academic achievements, so for you to stand out you need to be able to chat about what makes you you!

Although the past two years of my course helped me with the technical aspects of my job, for example excel or organisations skills, I feel like much of my role was ‘on the job learning’. The communications team in EY deal with a wide range of workflow. For example, one day I could be editing and proofing a communication for a network in EY to be sent out firmwide while the next I could be making a video to be played on the internal plasma screens in the EY office all around Ireland.  This meant that I needed to be up to speed with a lot of different technologies and ways of working.

EY communications intern during a global pandemic
Kate worked as a communications intern for EY.

One of the most important skills I learned was the ability to even exist in a corporate setting and not feel alienated or intimidated by those around you who seem so accomplished and knowledgeable in their job. When I first started I was nervous to even go up to the coffee area if there was a lot of other employees there – office small talk is a skill in itself! But with a bit of self confidence boosting and self-belief I also became one of the coffee area employees who enjoyed the ‘any plans for the weekend’ chats as much as the next person!

My team were a small team of 8 people, who by the time I finished my internship had reduced to 5. This meant that as the year progressed, I was given so much more responsibility for my work and given projects that were quite advanced for my role. I think I found this constant intensity of responsibility the biggest challenge.

Another challenge I faced during my internship was the shift to remote working due to the pandemic. Although it was difficult to navigate this new virtual working world, I felt very fortunate to have a close-knit team to make the transition easier. We began to have daily team calls and catch ups to keep everyone in the loop and personally I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to be able to continue my work through the pandemic.

Although I really did enjoy my year working in EY on the comms team, I’m not sure it will be the career path I choose to follow. The corporate world is not where I see myself even though it has many perks and career development opportunities. I see myself joining a creative agency or possible opening my own business in the future. With that being said, the skills I have learned with EY are almost completely transferrable to whatever career path I choose!

Kate Brady

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