The Symba Spotlight Part Six: Genesis Alvarez
My name is Genesis Alvarez and I am currently finishing up my Master of Management degree with a focus on Innovation, Technology, and Sustainability at the University of California, Merced. From the same university, I got my bachelor’s in political science with an emphasis on American Politics in Fall of 2019. I have previously interned in the government relations industry. I hope to work for an organization that values people and the betterment of society. I am a team-oriented determined young individual that values doing meaningful and impacting work. In my spare time, I like to read, listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, and listen to music.
Tell us about your remote internship. What is your title, and what are the projects and daily tasks you work on?
I am the Production Research Assistant for The Justice Beat Talk Show. The Justice Beat Show is niche talk show that aims to be central communication outlet to harness and shape an accurate narrative of justice reform issues impacting family members and friends of loved ones incarcerated. The first season wrapped up in May 2020 and I, alongside my team members, are preparing for the second season to begin in September 2020. The second season will be airing on St. Louis, Missouri local news, Real STL News, and will also air on Hot365 Radio. The first season is found online on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and on The Justice Beat Talk Show website. My main task description is to conduct research on current news and policies pertaining to the criminal justice system, suggest episode topics based on my research, and find subject matter experts to speak on topics/issues for season 2. On a day to day basis, I am constantly reading new information and news relating to the criminal justice system. With the guidance from the creator of the talk show, L. Elaine Sutton Mbionwu, we bounce off ideas and knowledge that better help inform what episode topics and speakers make it to season 2.
What are you enjoying most about your remote internship?
I enjoy the autonomy of my remote internship. In an in-person internship, many-a-times I am subject to people’s time and agenda but now in this particular remote internship with The Justice Beat Show, I am able to carve out my schedule that works best for me that maximizes my productivity. During my journey of figuring out what helps to maximize my productivity in a remote setting, I am forced to learn a lot about myself and through trial and error, I figure out what type of tools and routines assist me in making sure I am able the most productive. My boss, Elaine, has afforded us this liberty of autonomy and makes time outside of her day job to make sure we have our questions answered and to guide us whenever we need some help through video chat or quick responses through email. It has helped make my remote internship worthwhile.
What new skills have you learned so far?
Because we are tackling a project that needs all team member’s hands on deck, my remote internship manager has shown me new technological tools and capabilities that help overcome the challenges that a remote internship may bring. To help make sure we are informed on each other’s project progress, we use a couple of online tools that help us stay connected and to see our progress. We use other online collaboration tools that help us organize projects into boards. I am able exercise different project management tools that help me gain project management and communications skills that work efficiently in a remote internship setting.
How have your company and internship manager supported you through your internship?
In general, companies want their employees or interns to feel valued. It is harder to do in a remote internship. My internship manager has found ways to be able to make the interns feel supported and have it come across online. I have a fantastic manager who is patient and present during one-on-one or team meetings. Whenever I have concern, question, or need, she is quick to respond and is receptive. It cultivates an open safe atmosphere and allows me to speak freely with my manager. Because of this, the line of communication is easier. It in turn helps me learn and grow. I work with more confidence. I feel the passion radiate from her with how dedicated she is to listen, learn, and guide each intern
What advice would you give to other interns about to embark on their first remote internship?
It could be hard to transition from on-sight internship to a remote one. Trust me, if you find yourself strolling in the beginning to do work from home, know that there are many people who are struggling to adjust to the remote change. I made it a priority to find ways to make it easier on me.
1) Get ready as if you were going to the office. It helps you shift from the relaxed state of mind you tend to have when you are home.
2) Find a space in your home that is solely dedicated to working. I do not recommend trying to do work from your bed or coach. It could get too comfortable and make you lazy.
3) Have a routine before you work that you do every time such as taking a walk, having a cup of coffee, writing a to-do for the day, etc. It helps signal to your brain that it is time to do work after awhile of repeating your routine.
By Anika Pasilis