As mentioned, the entire program was completed remotely which shaped its organizational culture. The founders specially designed the program to be remote and set specific expectations for accepted students. The timeline was laid out for us from the start. We were each expected to attend weekly educational meetings, 2 hours of group work, and 1 hour for mentor one-on-ones. Aside from this, each student should spend over 15 hours a week working on their personal contribution to the paper whether that be research or writing. Throughout the five weeks, I made sure to dedicate enough time to the project consistently so that my group did not fall behind. From the start, I could tell that the founders valued hard-working students that are committed to creating and presenting an insightful piece to use for future career opportunities. Knowing exactly what they were signing up to do all 17 students reserved time to work on the project and attend meetings without outside distraction. As all of the students came from similar colleges such as Hamilton or Davidson, they demonstrated their commitment to their teams. Many of us were without formal internships and wanted to find meaningful work for the summer. Similar to how Richmond students perform in class, each participant paid attention to deadlines and held up their own share of the work.
Communication between students was relatively effective. While it was difficult to get in touch with other students during certain timeframes within the week, my team made it work. To communicate with our mentors, we often sent emails to set up meetings or ask questions. Over time we got to know them better and emails became increasingly casual. They made it clear that they were there to help and doing this solely for our benefit. All meetings occurred through zoom. While I would have preferred to meet in person with my group, this worked well, and we openly voiced our opinions despite our position behind a computer screen. Conversations with other students were always casual which assisted us in clarifying the specific message of our project. Overall the organizational culture of the program was collaborative and engaging.