The Drawbacks of a Virtual Internship

Over the past three weeks at Campbell Soup Company, I have loved getting to know the company and the people on my team. However, it has proven a little more difficult to get a grasp on my projects in a virtual setting.

On June 4, the first draft of my first project was due. It was a slide deck for use by the sales team highlighting the sustainability goals and progress of the company. I presented my draft to my supervisor over Teams, and while I completed the task assigned to me, there were some changes that my supervisor recommended I make. While I knew there were going to be changes, some of the suggestions that my supervisor made might have been prevented if some things had been clarified sooner.

Since I am not in an office and do not see my supervisor every day, we do not have a constant line of communication. She is always accessible over instant message and email, but we only formally check-in once per week. I feel like if we were in the office together every day, there would be more consistent communication and clearer expectations for my projects.

I think that another reason why I am running into some difficulty is because I am the first-ever Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Intern at Campbell. Typically, my supervisor does not have anyone working under her, so I think it may be that she is not used to giving assignments, especially to someone who is still learning about the field and about the company. Despite this, I think that we are now on the same page about the expectations for my first project, and moving forward I think she will be clearer about what she wants the final product to look like.

An insight that I had about collaboration for this project was that I suggested that I work with a salesperson for Campbell to see and understand how my project could help them. I brought this up to my supervisor, and she set up a meeting with someone in sales that clarified the questions I had and helped to inform my project. This collaboration focused my work and will hopefully contribute to success in my role.