“Never could I have imagined that a speculative email requesting an internship at FieldHouse Associates would end up affording me such exciting new opportunities.” Julia Nana-Dabankah reflects on her experience of interning during a pandemic.
Before interning at FieldHouse, I was like many other Gen Z young adults – stuck inside and wondering how to use my time productively before the start of the new academic year. Fear that I wasn’t “investing in myself” drove me to apply for a (virtual) internship, as by now – having held marketing and PR roles in campus societies – I knew I was interested in marketing and communications and wanted to get some professional experience under my belt. The opportunity to learn about PR and communications in the world of technology and venture capital was fascinating, and I had to know more.
Having a humanities background, it’s fair to say I was a complete novice when it came to technology, startups, and venture capital. Between reading Leviathan and Das Kapital at university, I hadn’t really explored the fast-growth tech scene. However, attending my very first event at London Tech Week 2020 opened my eyes. As my first ever insight into this world, it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The tech industry is fast-paced, exciting, and innovative – but there is also a lot of trial and error going on behind the scenes. For instance, venture capital as a form of investment into tech startups is evolving as the Covid-19 pandemic and the #BlackLivesMatter movement shine a light on the ways in which it can help create a more equitable and sustainable future for everyone in this industry.
Throughout my time at FieldHouse, I have learnt plenty of skills: effective communication, planning and organising, working together as a team, and being open and adaptable. I have also developed more specific skills related to the world of marketing and PR – in particular, research and interpreting and reporting on data. Interning virtually also removed the monotony of the clichéd tasks usually associated with interning – there were no coffee runs or photocopying – as I was given meaningful work to do straight away.
After this internship, I’m moving on to my third and final year at university, where I hope to continually develop my industry-relevant skills through my various leadership roles on campus. As for post-university plans, I’m currently undecided – torn between applying for a Masters degree in marketing or jumping straight into applications for graduate roles. Regardless of what the future holds, I am confident that I will choose the right path.
My advice to those thinking of interning at a firm during the pandemic would be to embrace all the opportunities that come your way! Fully embrace this unique and slightly unconventional chapter in your professional and personal life, and make the most of it while you are there. Time flies, so appreciate your internship while you can! It’s shocking to think that I am finishing mine already, but it has been a very rewarding experience nonetheless. I feel immensely proud of all I have achieved, and pleased to have met some brilliant professionals along the way.