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Nolan Piccola, a second year Journalism student, is spending his first co-op working for Takeda Oncology, a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is serving as the company’s Communications and Social Media Co-op, and has been adjusting to working from home – where he getting his work done alongside his family and dog! Read more about his experience below.

Tell us about your position and role at Takeda Oncology!

For my first co-op, I am working at Takeda Oncology as their Communications and Social Media Co-op. My role consists of drafting internal communication for the company, as well as assisting with the creation of press releases for any upcoming trials or data presentations. I have also done some external communication as well – assisting in the creation of social media posts for Takeda Oncology’s social media channels.

How has your co-op changed since it’s moved online?

For the most part, my co-op has generally stayed the same in terms of my responsibilities. My supervisors have been very understanding of the situation and have given me a lot of support as my co-op transitioned to remote work. I would say the biggest change is just the environment I am completing my co-op in – instead of sitting in an office for eight hours I am now at home with my family, completing work with my dog by my side! I’d say what I love the most about working remote is home-cooked meals after a day of work.

What digital tools is your co-op company using to keep everyone productive and on-the-same-page?

Our tools have generally stayed the same as Takeda Oncology has transitioned to remote, we’ve just been using platforms such as Outlook and instant messaging more often since we’re unable to shift our chairs around and ask a co-worker sitting across from us. To maintain productivity and communication, we have also instituted weekly meetings with our internal communications team just to catch up with everyone and check-in with how they’re doing. This has been a really good resource for me to ask my team any questions and also update them on what I ‘m currently working on.

Has there been anything unexpected for you as you transitioned your role online?

I think the most difficult thing about working from home is being able to stay focused. Sitting in an office environment helped motivate me to complete my work, but since I am working from home – there have been more distractions that I hadn’t really considered as I made the transition to remote.

However, I have tried to integrate a lot of the things I did in the office.

For example, writing down a list of tasks I need to complete and some music – to help keep me focused.

During this difficult time, how are you staying motivated and inspired?

During this difficult time, I would say what keeps me motivated is knowing that I am not alone throughout this process. All of my friends at Northeastern and at home are all going through a similar predicament, so being able to speak with them every day about what we’re all going through has helped ease my mind and show me that we’re all going through this process together.