Internship Spotlight – Kaitlyn Sump, My UofA Rental

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Kaitlyn Sump is a Pre-Business major set to graduate in May of 2022.  This summer she interned for My UofA Rental as a Typist. 

What was the process for getting this internship, job, or summer experience?

I had recently decided to leave my current job at that company due to COVID. I was not comfortable going in to work anymore and at the time of my resignation, they did not have remote work for me. About a month later, the company contacted me asking if I was available to work remotely transcribing audio recordings for them over the summer. It was great because I got to negotiate terms and work on my own schedule.

What was a typical day like?

I would typically get up around 5:30 AM to walk my pup before it got too hot. Afterwards, I’d have coffee while checking my emails and then I’d get to work. I would usually work anywhere from 2 hours to 5 hours per day.

What was your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part was that I could work from anywhere at anytime that was convenient for me! I could work sitting next to my pup in Tucson or while I was on vacation with family in Alaska.

If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:

My U of A Rental is a housing rental company whose target audience are U of A students. During the summer, just after previous tenants move out and new tenants move in, the homes have to be flipped. Employees do walk-throughs of the homes and create voice recordings that narrate what they are seeing. My task was to transcribe these recordings. They ranged from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and around 100 homes were flipped.

 What did you find most challenging?

It was most challenging to stay focused while sitting on the computer for that many hours at a time. While I love working from home, it was hard to fight all of the distractions that come with being in a more comfortable environment.

What did you learn?

I learned that when I have a skill that I’m good at and it is in demand, I have the power to negotiate terms to make it worth my while. I was hesitant to take the job because I was not willing to spend anymore time in the work environment that I was in, but when I realized that they were willing to negotiate new terms with me to keep me on board I realized how important it is to have a unique talent.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar experience, or advice for future students to be successful?

My advice to other students would be to recognize the value of your own time and don’t let anybody take advantage of your skills. If you are not being treated fairly you have the power to change that- especially if you have a talent or skill set that is in demand. Also, be transparent with your managers. When I approached my manager, she was so understanding and supportive of my needs.

How did Eller prepare you for this experience?

My business classes helped me to learn the importance of time management. Working remotely poses a challenge because of increased distractions. I had to learn that when time is limited I have to decide what to prioritize and that helped me to recognize that I was not willing to prioritize my previous job with this company if they were not willing to help me find a work environment that was more suitable for my needs.

Did you feel supported by the company or organization you worked with?

Absolutely. My managers were great. They were very flexible and did a great job communicating with me. They made me feel welcomed and accommodated me when I had to quarantine because of COVID by mailing my checks. They were also very understanding when I was no longer comfortable in my previous work environment and they worked with me to find a better solution.

How did the pandemic change or otherwise affect your summer plans?

I had an internship that was cancelled due to COVID and I was furloughed from a job at Sierra Fittness that I had just started working at prior to the beginning of quarantine.