Our Virtual Project – The Best and Worst

As this project is now slowly coming to a close, looking back, there have definitely been positives and negatives presented by working in the virtual environment. However, the one thing about this pandemic is that it is not just affecting us in mainland United States, however, there are individuals all around the globe being effected. Our specific project is with Caras con Causa in Puerto Rico, therefore while we are still both US entities, I feel as if the problems existing in mainland US vs. outside entities are very different. In total the US averaged around 62,000 new cases a day, wherein Pennsylvania averaged 4000 a day while Puerto Rico averages around only 400 new cases a day in the last 30 days. While the two are very different in their comparisons, it is also easily identifiable that coronavirus is a bigger issue at stake for the population of Pennsylvania, than Puerto Rico. I think that the biggest negative effect that Covid has had on the Caras con Causa organization as a total, is through having a reduced number of visitors to their site due to stay at home and travel restrictions. Caras’ goal for advancement is to start a potential environment science student research program wherein students would travel to the lab and undergo a learning experience using their facilities. However, students have not been able to travel due to covid restrictions and it will continue to be a struggle to gage how individuals feel about potentially traveling overseas. I think this definitely has a bearing on our project since our outreach in gaging interest for the potential research trip is all subjective to how guidelines set forth by universities and states change. Additionally, we are unable to travel to site in order to get an understanding of how we can implement marketing strategies and capitalize on the organization’s strongpoints. 

Although these struggles have been evident in the virtual environment, I do feel that I have been able to accomplish even more in the virtual environment than I was able to in the in-person. This year I have become very accustomed to working efficiently in the space of my home office, and therefore everyday am flourishing in that same environment. Being able to work in a familiar scene has definitely increased the efficiency of my workflow as well as allowed me to eliminate the time I spend walking in-between destinations to meet with groups. Aside from this, I am definitely looking forward to an in-person setting and am looking forward to the work next year’s consulting group will be able to accomplish. The cross-cultural setting has been an adjustment but I could not have asked for a better learning experience in order to learn how to communicate properly with members who do not operate in mainland US. Bringing this perspective to my future projects will not only allow me to be a more open minded worker but will also help me continue to learn in respects to my future career path.