By: Noah Cliff

To say that this semester has been strange would be a major understatement. It just so happens that I am finishing college and entering the “real world” in the middle of a pandemic and one of the largest economic downturns in history.

In the midst of all of that, I am continuing to take online classes, work as an essential worker at Trader Joe’s and as an intern with Uniland Development Company.

The internship has been a rollercoaster. At the beginning, I was mostly tasked with learning about commercial real estate in Western New York and researching different trends around the country. It was not very challenging and easy to stay on track while I was working in the office.

At the beginning of February, my supervisor took a leave of absence for family reasons. This left me with little instruction on what to do and less structure in my days at the office. I used that as an opportunity to build relationships with other people in the office and create tasks for myself.

Once I realized that I needed to take more initiative, things really improved. I was enjoying the work I was doing and I was making a lot of connections. I had great meetings with my supervisor and others who were involved in opening a new coworking space downtown. They were giving me responsibilities that inspired me to apply to work with them. Things were looking up and I felt confident that I was the best candidate for the position.

Then, in a matter of days, the office was closed and I was working exclusively from home. This has been a bit of a challenge, as it is difficult to stay on task at home and be as productive as I want to be. I feel I have been getting better at it, but I’m not where I want to be yet.

In the last couple of weeks, my supervisor has started to give me more responsibility. I am now in charge of our social media content and some of our blogs. This is a great opportunity to improve my marketing skills and get the most out of this experience.

I was thankful to be asked to stay with Uniland after I graduate and continue working with them. It is going to be tough to find a job in the next year, so I’m glad that I can be secure in this position for the time being.