On Monday the 2nd of march in 2020 and after 2 years and a half of studying, a practical period of my life has been started. This period when a student gets the opportunity to have a real world experience outside the campus. A period of a five month internship that enables me to gain first hand exposure of working in the real life, when I can sharpen my skills and knowledge and gain new experiences.
In that date, I started my internship in the Energy Academy Building (Bedrijfkracht) the most sustainable building in the Netherlands. Bedrijfkracht is an initiative started by a number of employees of Enexis Groep, Nederlandse Gasunie, and Hanzehogeschool Groningen, to help companies and their employees to save energy at home. This internship is an opportunity to put all the theories that I have learned during my study of International Communication into practice, and if someone would ask me about my feeling at that day, I would say I was so happy. Happy because finally it comes the time that I was waiting for to feel the feeling of going to my work, meeting my colleagues, and working within a real workplace environment. However and not far along, everything has started to take another direction when no one was expecting to be so.
Working from home
On Thursday the 12th of march when the Dutch government announced about the first lockdown measures that should be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the Dutch government’s measures that took place, was working from home. As a consequence, I started working from home on my internship assignment and conduct a weekly skype meeting with my company supervisor for about 30 minutes in order to keep her up-to-date with the things I have done; also to discuss things together, ask questions, and get feedback.
Nevertheless, working from home and doing my internship was not that easy for me, since I am also a mother for a year and a half; I will leave the rest to you to imagine how working from home with a young kid would look like. Since I like to be challenged, I was able to keep myself on the right track and complete my tasks on a good level, regardless the difficulty that I faced.
The tasks done for the internship assignment
Me as an international communication student and as an intern at Bedrijfkracht, I was responsible to provide Bedrijfkracht with an effective social media strategy that can help them to reach their objectives of enhancing brand visibility and increasing the target group engagement. Therefore, in order to come up with an effective social media strategy, a lot of research has been done. For instance, researching about best practices of similar companies that perform well on social media; in addition to, consulting other theoretical sources where useful information about an effective social media strategy that can be implemented by companies have been collected.
Based on the results of the conducted research, reliable and valuable design requirements have been concluded to design an online campaign for Bedrijfkracht to be later launched on their social media platforms; such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The campaign was implicitly aligned with the mission and vision of Bedrijfkracht of helping companies and employees to reduce their carbon footprint by saving energy at home, which in return, help societies to be more sustainable. Moreover, the campaign was built upon a creative concept and a value proposition that can promote the target group interaction with the campaign. The creative concept was embodied in a tagline of Invest in 3S’s: Save energy, Save money, Save the world!
However, before launching the final design of the campaign, testing phase for a prototype took a place. This prototype testing is important to be done in order to investigate the viability and feasibility of the design requirements. Thus, the prototype was testable by some critical friends, experts and some of Bedrijfkracht’s employees through sending them surveys. As a result, the final design of the campaign have been developed based on the test outcome to be finally launched on Bedrijfkracht’s social media.
This period when I have to do my internship was worth remembering, especially during this exceptional time that imposes on us an atmosphere of tension and depression; yet, I was extremely happy to be able to reach the goal of my internship assignment.
Nour Elhaj Ali is fourth year student International Communication and followed her internship at Living Lab EnTranCe