It was April when I received my company laptop for my internship with the Digital Communications team at CSL Behring. Little had I known then that not only would I never step foot in the company’s King of Prussia office, but the laptop I received would become the exclusive gateway to my experiences for my six-month assignment.
As a sophomore Animation and Visual Effects student at Drexel University, I wanted to make sure my first co-op allowed a peek into the working world and pointed me in a career direction I had always been curious about – medical and biotechnology work. That was how I ended up at CSL Behring on the Digital Communications Team, and it was a decision well worth it.
While I was initially uncertain of how things would go, only a few days into my internship experience, those thoughts subsided. My first big assignment was one that defined my enthusiasm for the rest of my time at CSL Behring: An animation for National Nurses Day.
While developing my first set of storyboards, I thought of my mother. As a perioperative nurse at Temple University Hospital, she mainly works on cases in the OR, but she and her co-workers are still exposed to infected COVID-19 patients daily. Therefore, saying thank you to nurses through an animated medium was extremely important to me. Creating that animation for Nurses Day opened my eyes to what power animation can hold. Animation, sometimes perceived as merely entertainment, can also carry messages and display information people may not know otherwise.
I went on to create animated pieces for the company’s involvement in the high-profile CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance, HAE Day, National Social Media Day, and National Dog Day – all from home! These animations appeared on CSL Behring’s social media channels and received 120,000 views and counting!
I also had the opportunity to create an animation for a key company project called the “Suffering in Silence” campaign, which involved collaborating with our colleagues in Australia. This content, with research done by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), involved turning the five key messages of the Suffering in Silence white papers into visually engaging content. The animation I created even inspired the infographics created for the campaign! The EIU project was probably one of the most rewarding experiences of my internship (especially considering the translated versions I created in Simplified Chinese and Japanese!), and one of the most exciting considering the global reach of the project.
As my virtual co-op experience ends, I have found myself reflecting on two thoughts. One, how incredible it was to have such a valuable co-op experience, even with meeting my team over video calls on Microsoft Teams. And two, how I wish it would have been possible to meet up more frequently with the team at a local state park – we managed three socially-distanced outdoor catch-ups during my time! However, considering how the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant threat in the US, I am grateful for the resources and positivity I received during the past few months with CSL Behring. Despite working virtually, what I have learned will be irreplaceable for years to come.