Life of an intern during a pandemic

Students navigate new internships as COVID-19 cases increase


Photo submitted to The Simpsonian

Jenny Nguyen begins new internship at Denman and Company, LLP

by Sophie Reese, Video Editor

Some students recently began new internships for the spring semester, but it may look different as COVID cases rise.

Senior political science major Tatum Clayburn, a new intern for The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is working remotely for the job that usually takes place in Washington D.C. near Capitol Hill.

“I decided that I wanted to stay on campus and kind of appreciate my senior year because I didn’t know what I was going to get as a COVID senior and I kind of wanted to get, you know, whatever I could out of my senior year,” Clayburn said.

Since she is online there are a few things she has missed out on.

“So, there’s normally a lot of training that we have to go through for the office that I don’t have to go to,” Clayburn said.

Even without being in person for the internship Clayburn said she is still learning a ton and taking on a lot of projects.

“I’m doing a lot of data entry and making Excel sheets, making sure that everything is correct. And just getting trained on a bunch of different software that I had no idea existed,” Clayburn said.

Clayburn’s favorite part about her internship is the overall work environment and the way the HRC handles mental health in their employees.

“So that’s been really nice and having a work environment where they very much so prioritize your mental health and also making sure that like, because they acknowledge that it reflects on your work and how happy you are in the workplace,” Clayburn said.

Junior Jenny Nguyen is a tax intern for an accounting firm called Denman and Company, LLP and is able to get the full experience as an intern as COVID has not made a big impact besides a few co-workers or wear masks or work remotely.

“If you were to ask me last year, then there’d be a bigger impact. But this year, I guess everyone just really wanted to go back to normal,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen shares that the Career Development Center was a huge help in getting this internship.

“To be honest, without Simpson and the Career Development Center, I would not have my internship,” Nguyen said. She also explains that Laurie Dufoe was the one who pushed her in applying for internships.

Clayburn also explains that the connections made at Simpson were helpful in this process. “If I hadn’t come to Simpson, I guarantee I wouldn’t be working here,” Clayburn said.

Clayburn admitted that having this internship has helped her grow. 

“I’d say something has helped me gain confidence, and where I’m at intellectually, where I can speak for myself and be confident. I’m not scared to share ideas or ask questions like that.”