• Ryn Harris

Long-Distance Internships Suck. There, I Said It.

They say being in a committed relationship over a long distance sucks - and they're totally right! I mean, isn't most of the satisfaction gained from being together there in person? Initially I thought, 'lots of my tasks as an intern were completed via laptop anyways, so how bad could interning remotely really be? Plus, I really really love this job!'

Well, let me tell you. The distance is killing me! Minor challenges that I experienced while interning physically have only been amplified. Before, simple communication or clarification difficulties could be solved by a quick stop at my supervisor's office. Now? We haven't spoken in weeks. I'm pretty sure i've been ghosted.

Am I doing my job right? Did I put the right information into the right infographic? Is she giving my tasks to other interns?! Despite my amazing personality and charm, I am only human, and this whole distance thing is really starving me of validation. But you know what they say- "Communication is key."

All jokes aside, this period of remoteness has also had its moments of value. I've had time to really share in-depth my farm-to-table idea with several of my peers, and they were great at offering suggestions or perspectives that I hadn't considered. Two of the ones that really stuck out to me were the concepts of accessibility and scale. Ms. Chandler had decided that the tickets for the event should be priced at $40. While I initially saw no problem with that number, I have since been enlightened. While $40 might be what I personally expect to and am able to pay, it isn't respectful of the financial limitations that many Frenchtown resident's are experiencing, and it most definitely excludes a large portion of the very population we are trying to engage. Yes we want to raise money, but we also want it to be affordable enough that it is accessible to everyone. Another peer suggested collaborating with a similar event in town. I hadn't heard of it before, but there is a grand-scale seasonal event called the Tallahassee Longest Table. While not specifically a farm-to-table, the Longest Table accomplishes many of the same social goals I had set for the Hub's event. Of course, we would have to weigh the pros and cons of joining a preexisting organization versus hosting our own, but I think that it could be worth looking into, and at the very least we could gain some 'how to' advice from it.

The transition online has been frustrating to say the least, and I am incredibly bummed out that I won't be able to see the fruit of my efforts anytime soon. But I have benefited greatly from this experience, both professionally and personally, and I hope to continue working with Frenchtown Heritage Hub in the future.

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