Networking your way to an internship during a global pandemic

By Michael Pernice, Secondary Education of English, English Literature, & Computer Systems Technology, The Education Partnership Social Media & Marketing Intern

The COVID-19 pandemic has found a way to alter every aspect of ourselves, from where we can or cannot eat, how many rolls of tissue paper we can buy, and even the workplace environment. I was initially supposed to work in the social media and marketing division for Sienna Marcato until, our doors were forced closed on March 18, 2020, due to certain restrictions put on bars and restaurants. However, I did not receive word until about the middle of July, that they would not be able to grant me a three credit internship. So, there I was in the middle of July, running around like a chicken with his head cut off, trying to find another employer to grant me an opportunity.

During the previous summer, I had applied and accepted an internship with The Education Partnership (TEP). The Education Partnership is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to close the educational disparity within Southwestern Pennsylvania by providing students and teacher with the necessary supplies to aid in a richer educational experience. My first internship with them as STEAM Curriculum Development which was, an overwhelming success. Therefore, when I was in a pinch and the numerous places that I applied to canceled their internship opportunities, I called up TEP and asked them if their was anyway my services could be at use.

I had recently partnered with TEP for my own business, Legendz of The Stoop, first virtual benefit in which, we teamed up with three corporate sponsors and three other 501(c)(3) nonprofits to raise over five-hundred dollars in total. So, when I talked to Mrs. Jane McCarthy about my dilemma, needless to say they were more than thrilled to offer their help. During this second internship with TEP, I will be working in their social media and marketing division under the supervision of Kiki McGuinn. Although that does not mean that my array of talents stretching from coding, building and maintaining relationships, to digital brand development will be sidelined as I am currently working on the development of a game for our website to increase the engagement with donations. The best part about TEP is, they provide an inclusive, engaging, and thought-provoking environment which, challenges you to flourish in multiple aspects.


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