Coming Full Circle
By Anika Pasilis
This is my last week at Symba. I have been here for seven months, and have accomplished so much in my time as a remote intern. My team was located everywhere, from Washington D.C., to San Francisco. The distance was never an issue for me. I still found bonds of mentorship and friendship during my time with Symba.
Our meeting was never planned in advance or predetermined by an application I sent. I came across Symba by chance after I lost my internship. The CEO and co-founder, Ahva Sadeghi, was impressed with my writing abilities and invited me to join the team. From that point forward, my mindset surrounding both remote work and remote internships has changed forever.
I attend the University of Arizona as a journalism major. From the onset, all of my professors told me that internships pay in experience. I believed that to be true for a long time. It is very rare to find a journalism internship that pays a real salary. I used to subscribe to the notion that one day, these unpaid internships would result in a glorious job in a far-off city beyond my wildest imaginations. That is, until I wrote blogs that exposed the truth behind it all.
I have always been passionate about making people aware of their rights, which I was able to do through a blog I wrote about the rights interns have, why academic credit is not a sufficient replacement for pay, and why paying your interns is ultimately more beneficial in the long run. I was astounded by how people learned something new from these blogs. Many people told me they had no idea unpaid internships were this harmful, and it sparked a wider conversation about how more companies can take action. The fact I was given creative control to write about important issues that mattered to me meant so much as someone with a creative drive. I also spearheaded the Symba Spotlight series, which aimed to both reflect and highlight on the work remote interns do every single day. The Spotlight showcased the importance and need for interns, and they were a huge hit! Very quickly, they became one of the most popular blogs on our website. It was gratifying to see interns happy their work at various companies in differing industries was being celebrated.
The truth is, I am glad I lost my internship and found Symba. The saying is true: when one door closes, another opens. If I hadn’t lost my internship, I would not have learned important skills such as email scrubbing and writing press releases that I will carry with me as I embark on a career in journalism.
While it is bittersweet to go, I know that I have a full force of powerful women that will support me through any endeavor I decide to pursue. I know that no matter what, my work at Symba has helped drive the company to new heights. The team will continue to expand and grow, and hopefully paid internships will be a reality for all. I am so glad that all those months ago, Ahva took a chance on me and offered me the position.
Remote work is the future which beckons to us all. Remote work opens up opportunities for many, extends jobs to a new talent pipeline and changes the world. It did for me.
About the Author
My name is Anika Pasilis and I am triple-majoring in journalism, Middle Eastern Studies, and Arabic. I attend the University of Arizona (Bear Down!) and have lived in Tucson, Arizona my entire life. I’m a Greek history fanatic and my favorite foods are kunafah, koshary, and baklava. I am also an amateur calligrapher and practice whenever I have a spare moment.
By Anika Pasilis