The Advantages of Remote Internships

An internship is the perfect introduction to the career students want to pursue. They provide opportunities for students to build their resumes and to learn in an experiential setting while testing their interests in the field.  The AES Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative and HFA Advising and Career Center, encourage students to complete at least three internships before graduation to gain experience before heading out to the job market. In these past few months, many arts and humanities organizations have been adjusting to the current climate and shifting how they provide internships. Like so many other industries, some immediately pivoted their internships online this past March when the COVID-19 emergency surfaced, while others are now planning for their next steps to relaunch their opportunities in the fall. 

One recent graduate, Lia Fialho (photo top left), found her current internship through connections she made at UMass.  Lia is a recent BDIC (Bachelor’s Degree with Individualized Concentration) graduate of UMass Amherst who earned her AES Arts Management Campus Certificate along with degrees in Marketing and Dance Production & Management. Arts Extension Service marketing intern, Rachael Chen, caught up with Lia to talk about her experience interning remotely as a marketing associate with Kuvio Creative, a digital design agency based in Fort Worth, Texas. 

Rachael Chen: Congratulations on getting the position as a marketing associate! What interested you most about this internship? What was the application/interview process like for you?

Lia Fialho: The internship is remote so I was able to still do the job that I had [while I was] at UMass and over the summer and do the internship as well since I could do it from my computer and could work hours that fit into my schedule. 

I emailed the contact my friend had given me to see if they had any positions and was told to send a resume and some writing samples in. I then was scheduled for a Skype interview. After the interview, I completed some work for the company (writing a blog post) to get an idea of what I would be doing and the nature of the job.

How many people do you work with and how often do you meet with them?

Lia: I work closely with the other two members of the marketing team and three members of the sales department. I have weekly meetings with my team and biweekly with sales and the other members of the company. I also have monthly meetings with the CEO.  

Wow, it sounds like you must be really busy. What has it been like to work with the agency remotely and how have your marketing/working strategies have had to change? Was this transition challenging for you?  

Lia: I love working remotely because it gives me flexibility in my schedule and allows me to work two jobs at a time while taking classes without it being too overwhelming. The biggest challenge in remote work is managing your time but it does get easy with practice. I have become a lot better at working independently and holding myself accountable. I know that even though I am remote, I still have to be an active member of my team and it has helped me to work in team settings even if they are not traditional.

What are some of the projects/tasks that you are most excited about? How have you used the skills you’ve gained from your AES Arts Management classes?

Lia: I love developing marketing plans and strategies for our clients and internal projects because I am able to be creative and present my ideas. My AES classes have taught me to make proposals and marketing plans, manage budgets, and apply to and review grants. All of these lessons have helped me in this internship.

Each of your clients must have interesting projects. How have you been able to use your own creativity in the internship?

Lia: I am in charge of managing a lot of the company’s social media accounts and thus being able to be creative in those posts. My boss is also always open to new ideas and proposals and so I am able to be creative in that way as well

It is wonderful that you get to bring your own visions into Kuvio Creative. What makes this internship different compared to working with an arts nonprofit? What are the similarities?

Lia: This company is different as it is a for-profit company that is not involved with the arts. However many applicants to our grant program come from the nonprofit and arts realm and so I get to work with these types of companies sometimes if they are our client. 

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned while working with the agency?

Lia: I’ve learned the importance of building a positive company culture and creating an environment in which employees can express their ideas openly and work well with each other. Everyone in this company is lovely to work with and you can see the impact this environment has on everyone’s productivity and level of work. 

Who/what inspires you and how has that driven your passion for pursuing arts management/marketing?

Lia: I am inspired by many dance artists and choreographers who have created studios and spaces that are open to all and that become a second home to many of the students. I want to one day open my own after school dance program and a lot of this ambition comes from seeing the positive impact many of my dance icons have had on their communities.


Are you an artist, creative business or nonprofit, and interested in hosting a remote internship? Join AES with the HFA Advising and Career Center for a webinar on August 13 at 3:00 p.m. We will guide you through how to get an intern, introduce our new remote internship toolkit, and guide internship providers on how to best connect with students and successfully transition their internship programs online.  

Sign-up for the webinar

Save the date for the Virtual Arts and Humanities Internship Fair on September 10, 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.