Xenomorph Community Outreach: A Unique Summer Internship
As part of our community outreach program, this year Xenomorph gave an opportunity to two students from Boston Latin School – Thomas Garity and Vincent Hock – to take part in our summer internship program. Given that the program took place during unprecedented times, we asked Thomas and Vinny to share some insights into their unique experience.
Xeno: Tell us a little about yourself and your role at Xenomorph?
Thomas: Hi! My name is Thomas Garity, and I have been working as an intern at Xenomorph. I am seventeen years old and I go to Boston Latin School in Boston, Massachusetts. As a part of my job, I do projects in each department. I help make improvements to the company social media pages and I also regularly complete research on client leads.
Vinny: Hey! My name is Vincent Hock (most people call me Vinny) and I live in Boston, Massachusetts, entering my senior year at Boston Latin School. I’m a summer intern at Xenomorph, and although I’m not assigned to a specific department, I spend the large majority of my time working in marketing with Thomas Garity, another intern from Boston and a long-time friend of mine.
Xeno: How has the lockdown changed your day-to-day routine?
Thomas: Lockdown has given me more time to do the things I actually want to do. When you get rid of time spent taking the train, walking to the YMCA, or trekking to the office (and when your bedroom becomes your office, your gym, and your lunch room), you have more time to exercise, to work, and to take breaks. As quarantine was starting, I began to go on longer runs than I ever had before, and eventually got into a routine of running four days a week. I’ve gotten to put my set of weights to full use, and I’ve gotten into a workout routine for the first time in my life.
When it comes to work, I start around 9:30 every morning, which means I can wake up at 7:30 if I’m feeling ambitious, or at 9:15 if I just want to roll out of bed and sleepwalk to my desk. Regardless of how tired we are, my fellow intern and I call at 9:30 to plan and figure out what we can get done during the workday. By 9:45, we are fully in motion, and we work about 6 hours every day.
Vinny: While quarantine has prevented some of the networking aspects of our internship, I actually don’t mind working from home; it cuts out commuting time and allows for a much more flexible schedule, enabling me to complete all my work and still have time to get personal things done if necessary. For example, I can easily schedule soccer practices or lunches with friends into my day because I get to decide when I get work done.
Despite the internship, I’ve had a lot of extra time this summer. I’ve gotten into working out, played countless hours of Spikeball, and binge-watched the entirety of Game of Thrones, just to name a few. I even tried to teach myself guitar, but that didn’t work out very well. Finally, I recently got my driver’s license, and sometimes drive around for hours to clear my mind or relax.
Xeno: What aspect of the lockdown have you found hardest, either from a personal or professional perspective?
Thomas: The hardest part of lockdown has just been maintaining focus. Before I was with Xenomorph, I was finishing up my junior year of high school, studying for my College Board Advanced Placement Exams. In the months of April and May, I had a hard time spending more than three hours at a time at my computer. I wasn’t surprised, as it is a big switch from in-person classes, but it was difficult to re-learn how to work.
Soon enough, I began scheduling all of my meetings to my advantage; I would plan calls as my intermission. That way, I could take a breather before jumping onto Zoom, and return to work without crashing. By the time I joined Xenomorph six weeks ago, I had a strong system in place for keeping myself productive.
Vinny: All this freedom can be dangerous, though. I used to occasionally catch myself getting distracted by my parents or something else. Although I’ve now found ways to avoid that, I can’t guarantee that a permanent shift to virtual work wouldn’t lead to a decrease in my productivity (or a permanent feud with my brother resulting from our constant togetherness). Conrad, who’s heading off to Harvard next year, never misses a chance to drive me crazy. My dad, a doctor, is almost never home during the day and my mom is always working, which leaves my brother with free reign.
Xeno: What positives can take from this experience?
Thomas: Over the past five months, my family has spent some much-needed time together. My older sister (19) was finishing her first year at St. Andrew’s University in Scotland, and we all missed her immensely. We’ve had quite a few moments where we nearly lost control with each other, but we have always laughed it off. In March, we gave each other haircuts, and after cutting too much off of one side, my dad was forced to shave my head to save the haircut. It didn’t take long for us to begin joking about it, and soon enough I had gotten over it. I know that I will never allow my dad to give me a trim again, but since the buzz cut, I have been more open to DIY haircuts every now and then. Even as we are slowly, slowly working our way back to normal life, our family now has a bit more of an expectation that we take a few nights every week to spend time together.
Vinny: With all of that said, however, there’s no chance that I’d be able to work for a company across the Atlantic Ocean under normal circumstances. Quarantine has disrupted my normal routine, but it’s also opened up countless doors, and introduced me to a company that I genuinely enjoy working for. And, as much as I can’t stand him, left me with some much needed time with my brother before he leaves.