"My Opinion Is Valued, My Voice Is Heard and I Have a Seat at the Table": Meet Intern Remi Wiseblatt
"My Opinion Is Valued, My Voice Is Heard, I Have a Seat at the Table": Meet Intern Remi Wiseblatt
The media and communications major shares three reflections on her experience as an all-digital intern.
Making It Work While Working Remotely
As a video production intern this past summer, Remi Wiseblatt said that it “feels like I'm getting a first glimpse into everything that’s happening." And that might be because she's working on "The Road to a Vaccine," an online video series about the scientific community’s efforts to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
Of course, like most of us, Remi has been more or less home-bound these last few months—and what's more, she just started her fall semester virtually. But she’s taking it all in stride. "I’ve actually enjoyed working remotely,” she said.
As for getting to know her new colleagues through the screen? Remi sounded an equally sanguine note: "I feel like I'm really connected with everyone on the team, even if we aren't all physically together in the same space. During calls and meetings, the conversation isn't 100% about work. We all share what we did over the weekend or what’s new in our lives."
Plus, it didn't hurt that Remi’s manager Lauren Ruotolo, Director, Creative Partnerships, Global Content Lab, went the extra mile for her from the outset.
"Lauren and a bunch of other people reached out to me and set up 30-minute one-on-one video calls independently, just so that they could get to know me better, right at the start of my internship," Remi recalled. "That made me feel very special."
And she has other reasons to be grateful, as well. "A lot of my friends at other companies had their internships canceled," Remi said, sympathetically, “so I feel especially lucky to have had this experience. I’ve been holistically exposed to every part of the production process."
Contrasting her internship at Johnson & Johnson with a previous one at a different company, Remi had this to say: "With that other internship, I was essentially told at the beginning of each day, ‘This is what you're going to be doing for the day.’ I didn't have a lot of freedom or responsibility."
With Johnson & Johnson? "I've been in control. This has felt way more hands on. I'm leading my own path."
Lessons So Far?
"When I start a new work situation, I’m always uncertain about how I’m going to integrate into the team and have an impact,” Remi said. "I can be the kind of person who says, 'Sure, I'll do that, whatever you want.' Someone who's afraid to put her foot down."
But she credits Lauren with helping to change that, starting from day one.
"Lauren would always ask me, ‘What do you like? What do you want to do?’ It’s to the point where now I’m able to say, ‘Hey, Lauren, you know what? I’d really like to join that PR call later today.'"
For proof of Remi's newfound assertiveness, you don't have to look very far: Most notably, when her summer internship was winding down, she asked if she could stay on for the fall term. Lauren and the team happily assented. "In the past, I never would have asked for something like that," she reflected.
Coming Full Circle
Full disclosure: Remi might be the newest addition to Lauren's team, but she isn't exactly a stranger to Johnson & Johnson.
"My mom worked at Johnson & Johnson, so as a kid I literally grew up in Johnson & Johnson Day Care"—a reference to the Johnson & Johnson Child Development Center, which we offer at subsidized cost to all U.S. employees—"until, I think, like age four."
Remi's grown up quite a bit since then, of course. A big part of her current role consists in pulling analytics and uncovering insights around The Road to a Vaccine. "Internally, I'm giving us greater visibility into our performance on social channels," she explained, "and answering questions like, 'What does our audience look like? What kinds of things are they engaging with?’"
She's had a hand in content development, as well: "I participate in all of our creative meetings,” Remi said, “so I'll help brainstorm, come up with ideas and share them with the team. From day one, I've felt that everyone here values my ideas and listens to me."
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