A virtual Web Design Internship in Vietnam
ABROADER February 28, 2022 5 minute read
What does it look like to have a virtual internship in the field of Information Technology? We bring Marielena to our blog to share with you her experience working as a web design intern for an NGO in Vietnam. Let’s learn Marielena’s stories through her own lens.
My name is Marielena Peters. I am a senior at Wilmington University majoring in Web Design. I am a web design intern for the non-profit organization, Share4VNDev. Their mission is to provide resources pertaining to social and economical development in Vietnam. As an intern, I will be designing web assets such as logos, icons, headers and providing website maintenance.
A typical remote workday
A typical remote workday begins with me picking a spot to settle for the day. I like to change my environment a bit since working from home can be a bit distracting. My options are my room desk, dining room, or outside. I like working in intervals of 2 hours with a 15-30-minute break between walking around and stretching.
As a web design major, all of my work is completed on my computer so other than location, my day to day activity has not been impacted much by Covid-19.
Why I chose Vietnam
Originally, I was interested in physically traveling for the internship but due to the pandemic it was not really an option. I thought that doing the internship remotely through TEAN/ABROADER, I would still have a memorable experience and learn about a country I have not had the chance to visit yet. Also, in my area of study, there is a lot of freelance work so this gives me the opportunity to learn how to manage my time working a remote job.
Changes in my personal development
Share4VNDev has been really welcoming and accepting of my opinions and it has really made me feel confident in my abilities. They value my input and as an intern it is really appreciated. I think this confidence will be something that will affect the quality of my work moving forward.
The most interesting thing about my internship
The most interesting thing about my internship is that the website that I am working on uses a platform that I have never used before. A lot of time has been spent studying how the platform works and other examples that utilize it. This will be extremely beneficial to me in the future as I have found that many businesses and organizations use the platform to create their websites as well.
How I cope with challenges
The most challenging aspect for a remote internship is keeping to a schedule. Since there is no daily clock in, it can be easy to fall into an “out of sight, out of mind” mindset. But keeping a weekly schedule with blocked out times to dedicate to the internship has been how I have been able to keep up with tasks.
One thing that I wish I could do more during this internship is have meetings with the full staff of the organization I work with. I think it would be interesting to be able to sit in on a typical meeting the staff would have. My meetings have been with just my supervisor, but the meetings have been fine!
What I have learnt so far
I gain the experience of working as a professional in the field that I am studying while also broadening my own personal experiences through being exposed to a new culture.
My experiences with cultural activities at ABROADER
Apart from working on the internship at Share4vnDev, I have been joining cultural events. The cultural sessions have been one of the most enjoyable parts of the internship experience. I appreciate all the effort the staff and local buddies put into each meeting to make it enjoyable and educational for us interns. Even though this program is remote, every meeting has been very interactive and engaging. The use of games and break out rooms to encourage dialogue between local buddies and interns is wonderful.
Food and Vietnamese pop music were my introductions to the culture. I live in an area with many Vietnamese restaurants and fell in love with the cuisine. Learning more about the cuisine and dining etiquette through the cultural session was very interesting. I especially liked learning about how important balance is to a traditional meal. There are a lot of fun sharing moments between us interns and the local buddies, especially through our WhatsApp group chat. Whether it is food pictures, pictures of local fauna, craft challenges, or even videos using short Vietnamese phrases we learned, it is always a fun time interacting with everyone!
I am very quick to share the experiences with my family – like directly after I hit the “Leave Meeting” button! My sharing of the meetings has piqued their interest in learning more about Vietnamese culture and now they want to travel with me whenever I eventually make plans!
I have always wanted to visit Vietnam but now that I have met the amazing ABROADER staff and local buddies, I will absolutely be visiting! I hope to go as soon as I am able!
My advice to future interns
I would encourage future students to not be afraid to talk and share! Being an active participant in all the activities can truly make this an incredible experience.
Do you have any plans this Summer? What are you considering? A remote or in-person internship in Vietnam? We – ABROADER – are willing to support!