This internship is definitely presenting me with many challenges. This is the first time for me ever to do a remote internship and there are many things that don’t align with my expectations. I think the biggest obstacle in my internship is in communication. How to keep in stable touch with my supervisor and develop a cordial professional relationship. The distance between me and my workplace and me reduces my relationship with my supervisors to just she emailing me instructions, me emailing her back my assignments and very occasional check-ins on phone. This feels much more impersonal and more difficult to develop a relationship. Sometimes I was stuck between wanting to take initiative, but also not wanting to appear to obnoxious by sending too many emails.
The other big obstacle that I encountered was about getting paid. My contract with AAJC is that I get paid hourly and after I submit my timesheet bi-weekly, they will mail the paycheck to my address in Ann Arbor. But for the first month of my internship, I did not receive any payment. I emailed my supervisor and the HR manager about this. They realized that they made a mistake and haven’t processed the request yet after I submitted a long time ago. The HR manager promised to fix this issue but they two weeks passed I still didn’t get any paycheck in the mail. I subsequently emailed the HR manager again to flag this issue. This time somehow, she seemed irritated about my request, and went on a rant in the email about the payment process takes a long time to issue checks and to be mailed, and that it is wrong for me to email her on her day off (I emailed her on a Friday morning). I felt terrible about it, but at the same time confused: I was not informed of how long the paycheck process works, and all I was told was that I should submit my timesheet bi-weekly. It seemed natural that I got worried since I have not received my payment in over a month. Still, I apologized for emailing her on a Friday and a week later I got my payment for two weeks. I feel like there is just a lot of problems with communication and negotiation when working remotely.