Written by Mary Joaquin
Edited by Huimin Zhuo
Working at home all day sitting behind a monitor can be pretty lonely. You’ve been given the assignment, you’ve worked out the details—all that’s left is to execute. And the cold sound of your keyboard clicking along is your only companion.
Or maybe it’s your mouse going click on the “Submit” or “Send” button for a change. You know, whichever helps your workflow.
Thankfully, such isn’t the case for those of us who interned (yes, including me!) at EGD this Fall.
Beginning Summer 2020, the EGD Collective has held remote internships with a wide array of teams to contribute to: Operations, Marketing, Creative, Writing, Community Engagement, and Software.
Each team sees to the day-to-day operations of the organization from the inside out. And not only does EGD grow from members coming in, it also grows from within.
But for now, let’s go behind the monitor and take a look into what’s in the minds of the remote interns of EGD.
EGD Collective has had internships but in the summer, it was its first time holding it remotely. Not only was the remote aspect able to reach more people, it was able to impart the fact that there was an organization like EGD that existed.
“The more I got to learn about the goals of EGD, the more I wish there was a similar club in my college,” wrote one intern.
Several of EGD’s current batch of interns also found comfort in the fact that it was entirely remote, even if the fear of COVID-19 had not been around. Citing reasons such as distance, travel time, and conflicts with work and classes, the internship enabled them to contribute without having to worry about the aforementioned factors.
“I like working from home more because the time is more flexible,” wrote another intern.
“I enjoyed the remote aspect because it allowed me to fit it into my schedule and take part in something from states away.”
“The remote aspect allowed me more flexibility, especially factoring classes as well as my day job.”
And for the inaugural Summer batch that personally experienced what it had been like for the sudden transition of going from in-person to remote, the first weeks of the remote internship had the interns get a feel for and coordinating under their respective teams through Discord.
(Psst, we also have a community server open to all!)
Think of this first meeting as a huge Viking style feast—long table and all—only this time it’s just people and their webcams. And maybe their icons popping up green when they’re speaking in-call.
The Summer interns who came back this Fall also admit there had been trials-and-errors but those didn’t take away from the value of the experience.
“[Despite some issues] later towards the end of the summer, it was great,” wrote one intern.
“I gained valuable experience from it, I got to see behind the scenes at how [a] non-profit start-up operates. As time went on, [things] became more efficient and thought through and I feel as if I grew with [the organization].”
“Remotely EGD handled every assignment for us interns incredibly well,” wrote another returnee.
And there remains an ever-upward learning curve as both leaders and interns grew together under the new—you’ve heard this word before—unprecedented development.
What’s It Like @ EGD?
Improving upon the challenges that Summer experienced, the Fall interns witnessed firsthand how those paid off and made for a better overall workflow.
“Their schedules are really flexible,” wrote a Fall intern. “The HQ Staff are open and easy to approach. They seem to be responsive in communicating with the interns.”
“EGD has clear expectations of its interns, but management has also been very good at being flexible given the precarious times we're in,” wrote another. “The [department] I worked in was organized and gave people work at a manageable rate.”
The day-to-day of each department is different, headed by their respective organization leaders, with Creative Lead Sarah Roman for the Creative Department and COO Huimin Zhuo for the Writing Department.
For creative interns, their days consisted of working on social media graphics, promotional images, and Discord emotes (We have a waffle in a party hat and horn; and a cool waffle with shades! They’re the emotes we don’t deserve, but need).
From the blog to the various social media and to the banners used in our Twitch streams, it’s the handiwork of our creatives that grace everyone’s screens. And there is no shortage of feedback that these go through before they make it to publication!
Just like certain pottery become more refined with constant use, skills get honed through these various assignments over time.
For community engagement (CE) interns, taking to Discord was their way to go! They chimed in on Friday Night Mashups, took charge of the latest Game Jam, and kept the server up-to-date with news and job openings in the games industry.
EGD is a place for any and all walks of life. Our friends at CE make sure you’re in the know and that you’re free to interact with the server whichever way you can.
For operations interns, they work behind the scenes on events and work closely under the HQ team to make sure things keep running smoothly for the organization. From time to time, they also help out with CE for events to run a tight ship.
And while their roles are more on the backend, their work is some of what’s in the forefront now that all EGD operations are online. The challenge may be a real one but it is tangible all the same. Leave it to Ops to keep everything afloat!
For marketing interns, they worked on getting the word out about EGD through social media posts and email newsletters. As the gaming scene is more prevalent online, an online presence remains key in keeping up with the heavy hitters.
And while building that presence is no easy feat, EGD got to stretch its legs with our interns who particularly enjoyed creating the campaigns to boost EGD. Make sure to take a look at what they’ve cooked up by following our different platforms!
And finally, for us writing interns, our playing field is the organization’s blog! We write about the key issues in the gaming industry, boost creators and job opportunities that are not to be missed, and keep gamers in the know on the latest news.
Don’t underestimate (the time we spend on) our research! Our several open tabs is proof we know what we’re writing about. And we come away knowing more and writing better each day.
Together, we’re the hands that keep on typing behind the monitor for EGD and while our time with them has been limited, the real treasure was the experiences we made along the way.
Let’s revisit the Viking-style feast again. It’s the picturesque combination of food, companionship, and good vibes. And interning for EGD definitely checked the boxes for people vibing along good company.
“Being on camera with other people really made it feel like you were all working together even though you're not in the same room,” commented one intern.
(Check out our Friday Night Mashups for that sweet TGIF energy release that we sometimes got to join in on!)
The only missing thing in our bundle is the food, really (maybe it’s closer to a potluck where you bring your own but… only you get to eat what you bring).
That aside, there is something about knowing you’re working at the same time as others even if you’re in a different part of the map. Despite the time zone difference, despite the distance, the time you spend is shared and, most of all, enjoyed.
Most of the interns, both the returnees and the newcomers, found fun in their work for EGD.
“I really enjoyed my internship. The people were really amazing and understanding while also helping me develop my skills.”
On top of that, most interns found the workload manageable despite retaining their other responsibilities, enabling them to get a feel for the remote work life that would be the “new normal” in today’s landscape.
And with the much needed escape from all the happenings in the COVID-19 era, some saw their time in EGD as a way to keep themselves busy and distracted, and allowed them to gain experience in a field they want to get into in the future.
Not only that, but each and every one of us are gamers in our blood—EGD let us tap into that interest and gave us an outlet to contribute to the world of gaming in our own ways.
“I really liked my time at EGD, there's a great community [and] environment here, and I was excited to be more involved in gaming and collegiate esports.”
“I found it very rewarding and I am very happy I have been able to work and collaborate with people within the gaming world.”
And a few found the experience worth every second.
“What I learned about start-ups, non-profits, and my personal career preferences was indispensable,” wrote one intern. “Looking back, it's cool to see how far the EGD and the internship program has come since the summer and I'm proud to be a part of it.”
“It was a learning experience,” wrote another. “I got to learn about how this organization functions and the interactions between coworkers and employers. Communicating with the HQ Staff was pleasant [since they encouraged people to ask] questions and I like that cause I tend to ask a lot of questions.
“The [other] interns were nice too. I only spoke with a few of them and they were really chill. I hope [the work I put out was] useful and can be used as reference in the future.”
A majority also shared that they’d tell others about the internship opportunity at EGD! Here’s some of the takeaways they shared about their overall experience:
“Believe it or not, there are people out there who like the same stuff you do. Sometimes it can feel like you're alone, but EGD has shown me that I'm not.”
“Communication is key! It can be a little harder since we're all online but everyone should always be able to contribute and be on the same page.”
“My biggest takeaway is that I have really strengthened my ability to turn work around quickly.”
“Definitely being more on top of my own schedule. Even when on my shift, no one is actively checking to make sure I'm going to make a deadline so it taught me a lot about self-motivation.”
“Being a leader and understanding how to network with other like minded people.”
With our time with EGD coming to its end and a new batch coming this Spring, here’s what some of us shared about how to make their time at EGD as fruitful and fun as we found it:
“Time management is key!”
“Be vocal, make friends, share your opinions, and get the most out of your experience.”
“Expect a great supportive group that gives a wide range of opportunities of work within the gaming community!”
“Don't be afraid to reach out to your supervisors. They're really awesome people and it's okay to ask for help. You can't really learn much if you don't ask for help sometimes.”
“Don't be afraid to take the initiative and ask questions. Don't worry about looking ‘dumb’ or lost. Seriously. You're here to learn. This is your internship experience and you want to make the most out of it.
“Everyone also encourages [taking advantage of the opportunities] here. Communicating with other interns is a nice way of making friends and learning about other aspects of the organization.”
Thank you for a fruitful Fall, EGD! We’re sure to pass the torch along in our own ways for a brighter future in games.
Be part of the change!
Interested in joining the EGD Collective? Head on over to our Discord to be part of the community!