Luxembourg Digital Innovation (LDI) students adapt to interning online when they can no longer be onsite
by Megan smith, Proposal writer
Miami University’s Luxembourg Digital Innovation (LDI) program is for students who are serious about advancing emerging technologies in a global industry. Miami student Kati Buchheit was initially skeptical about being a “guinea pig” in the LDI program, but the draw of networking and traveling abroad was too good to pass up.
Before embarking to Luxembourg, Kati already had an impressive resume. Kati cut her teeth on Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign in her summer 2018 internship designing print and digital materials for EmployStream, a software development company in the Greater Cleveland area. Between February 2019 and January 2020, Kati was employed on-campus as Director of Special Events for Miami Activities and Programming (MAP). During her time with MAP, Kati coordinated with more than 15 food, novelty, and entertainment vendors while planning and executing an average of eight events per semester.
Once accepted into the LDI program for the spring 2020 semester, Kati interviewed for and was offered an internship at Refinitiv, located in Luxembourg City. Kati was a marketing specialist whose day-to-day responsibilities included launching email marketing campaigns, creating social media assets, and coordinating promotional and on-site logistics for Refinitiv’s proprietary events. In order to support a global company like Refinitiv, Kati had to not only collaborate with Luxembourg colleagues, but also learn to communicate effectively with other professionals from countries across Europe.
Kati and her peers in the LDI cohort had only begun to dive into their internships last March when MUDEC students were recalled as a result of the global COVID-19 health emergency.
“Waking up to the news that our program had been canceled and that we had to book a flight home, pack our bags, and say goodbye to our host families and coworkers so quickly was heartbreaking,” Kati stated. “I was and still am crushed that my study abroad experience was cut short.”
Less than two months into the spring 2020 semester, many LDI students were faced with the uncertainty of whether or not they could complete their internships. Kati feels fortunate to have been able to continue her internship work after returning home to the U.S., but acknowledges that adapting was challenging.
“Due to the COVID-19 developments in Europe, all of the events I spent my first month planning were canceled. Therefore, I had the opportunity to take ownership of many new digital projects and initiatives as we attempted to translate our in-person events to virtual experiences.”
Kati credits adding structure to her calendar for remaining productive and engaged while finishing out the semester as an intern and student.
“My daytime hours were dedicated to working on my various projects. In the evenings, I would switch to ‘student mode,’ where I worked to complete my weekly assignments or jumped on the occasional Zoom call with my classmates.”
School may be out for summer, but Kati is focusing her technological and disciplined time management skills on a new internship experience. Kati’s working this summer as a Growth Marketing intern at Narrative Science, a Chicago-based software company that specializes in data storytelling. Although Kati’s next chapter remains stateside, she’s insistent that her European story hasn’t ended yet.
“I find comfort in knowing I will be back one day. Europe hasn’t seen the last of me.”
Student ProfileName: Kati Buchheit
Graduation year: 2021
Major: Interactive Media Studies
Minor: Graphic Design
Hometown/State: Wickliffe, Ohio
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