My Remote Internship Experience at Athena
By Rachel Yang, Editorial Intern
Senior Year: Set Up for Success
After a year blurred by on Zoom lectures, I returned to Brunswick, Maine in Fall 2021 for my senior year at Bowdoin College. As a History and Francophone Studies major who felt the fast-approaching reality of graduation, I was eager to see how I could develop and leverage my writing skills outside of academia.
This is how I found the remote Editorial Intern position at Athena Global Advisors. After submitting my application and going through three rounds of interviews with team members I would work with, I successfully landed the offer. While I was beyond excited for this opportunity, certain concerns weighed down on me. How can I balance a part-time internship on top of my already demanding course load? Will a remote experience be as rewarding as an in-person one?
Pushing these hesitations aside, I kickstarted my first week as a remote intern at Athena. When I joined, Athena had been operating on a hybrid-working model since March 2020. As a result, the company had robust and streamlined virtual communication processes. Over the first few weeks, I became well-versed in Microsoft Teams as a widely used digital tool. Through virtual meetings such as the weekly creative syncs, I felt that I was seamlessly integrated into the team, their projects, and the company culture, despite being away from the Philadelphia office.
Overcoming an Unfamiliar Task & Growing Professionally
The first substantial task that I undertook as the Editorial Intern was drafting the quarterly earnings summaries for some of the major players in the telecommunications and media industries. Essentially, the project was an exercise in market research and one’s ability to distill a large amount of information with concise writing.
Despite having little knowledge in these industries and no previous experience in market research, I felt that I was thoroughly supported in this endeavor, which helped me quickly navigate the learning curve. While the first few attempts at these reports were especially time-consuming, my supervisor frequently reached out to check if the workload was overwhelming so that he could adjust the deadlines.
The World of Branding through the Internship Project
Another especially enriching experience during my time with Athena was a semester-long internship project that introduced me to strategic marketing and familiarized me with the operations of my team: Athena’s in-house creative agency. The premise of the project was a ground-up branding effort for a fictional gastropub, organized around a timeline with periodic deliverable presentations to supervisors acting as the “clients.” This structure allowed us to experience first-hand what managing a branding project was like—from handling client communications, to delivering virtual presentations, to the collaboration between designers and copywriters when building creative solutions.
The project culminated in a presentation to Athena’s senior leadership team showcasing the branding strategy we assembled over two months. The genuine interest that our audience expressed during the following Q&A session indicated how interns’ ideas and perspectives were carefully considered by the leadership team at Athena.
An Opportunity that Opened Up More
While the unprecedented shift to remote learning and working was an unwelcome disruption to our plans and routines, it also opened up unexpected opportunities. Upon graduation, I will be joining the Athena team full-time as an analyst. I am incredibly grateful for this remote internship experience, which would not have been possible during an academic year under normal circumstances.
The organized and thoughtful internship program, which allows interns to take on significant responsibilities while being mindful of their academic obligations, provides a flexible working structure that is as fruitful and immersive as an in-person experience.
Athena is a place that values strong personal initiative and an exploratory mindset in young professionals over an established background in business or marketing. For college students unsure about their career path or who balk at their lack of industry experience, the internship program at Athena provides not only a perfect introduction to professional services but also an entrance to the professional world.