Q&A with Brooklyn Mounce: Balancing work, school and life

by Gianna Rispoli

Brooklyn Mounce, a current senior at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and recruiting intern at Charles Aris, has experienced remote work throughout her college education. Following her first year, Mounce opted to continue fully online classes, as she preferred to work in a remote environment.

Gianna Rispoli, a marketing and digital intern at Charles Aris, sat down with Mounce to learn all about how she balances her day-to-day life as a student and intern working online.

Gianna: How did you come across the internship here at Charles Aris, and why did you apply?

Brooklyn: I found the Charles Aris internship program through my university’s fall career fair. Because of COVID-19, the event was held completely virtual, which I preferred. This gave me the chance to be prepared for the companies I planned to speak to.

With a background in entrepreneurship and arts administration, I wanted to apply to many different jobs to see what fields would interest me. At first, I was unfamiliar with Charles Aris. Upon reading the small description about Charles Aris, I decided to log into their Zoom meeting to learn more.

There, I met with Josh Kotelnicki, who is now my mentor. He explained the internship program to be exactly what I was interested in: a fast-paced, everchanging and high-energy role. I decided to apply, and, before I knew it, I was accepted into the program. I now assist in the corporate development searches at Charles Aris.


Gianna: How has the transition been for you so far?

Brooklyn: At first, I thought the internship would be in-person, but once it was announced as remote, due to the pandemic, the transition was much easier for me. Since my education and past internships were always online, I got used to working remotely. Being asynchronous has its perks. I was able to map out my days based on the tasks I was assigned and what schoolwork I needed to get done. With Charles Aris, I love the environment and I am excited to grow my recruiting career here.


Gianna: Have you struggled to balance both school and work?

Brooklyn: Before I started interning, I made sure to come up with a plan. I use both Google Calendar and my physical planner to time-block my days. Every Sunday I color code my different key activities to manage my tasks. Some tasks include personal ones, studying for exams and projects for my internship. Having two ways to check on my daily progress makes urgent tasks easy to get done.

I was able to stay organized and prepare myself for busier days. I also quickly realized that if I don’t get everything done, that is okay. If I could move a task to the next day I would. It is all about finding a balance between schoolwork and internship work. On days when I do feel stressed out, or like there’s not enough time to get everything done, I like to unwind and clear my head by going for walks around campus. I want to make sure I am staying healthy and motivated in this remote world!


Gianna: What is your favorite part about the internship?

Brooklyn: Most definitely my mentor. Because I meet daily with my mentor, I have been able to form an instant connection with him. Josh helps me schedule my days and maximize my productivity by assigning me projects he knows I will enjoy. Most of my days are spent making calls, reaching out to people on LinkedIn and emailing. These consistent tasks provide me with balance.

Along with speaking to new people, I have been able to apply my training and knowledge to learn by doing. Instead of being thrown into projects, Josh ensures I will be able to gain experience [while working on] them. From this, I have learned to trust myself and to ask questions when needed.

Another great part about the internship is that every Charles Aris employee is supportive and kind. Every time I have a question, I don’t feel nervous to ask it. I have had the opportunity to learn from the younger recruiters who I relate to a ton! Because this is my first recruiting role, I love to speak to the current recruiters to learn more about their careers and what they do daily.


Gianna: Any advice for students who are looking to intern and attend school at the same time?

Brooklyn: For students who want to intern, it can sometimes get stressful, especially if you have an exam or paper due at the same time as a work project. I recommend being open and honest throughout your internship experience. Most companies understand the importance of balance. Charles Aris has been nothing but understanding of my student obligations and always works with me in a timely manner to ensure I am not taking on too much at once.

Other tips I have:

  • Gain time-management skills early on.
  • Set clear personal and professional goals.
  • Maximize first-hand experience in a field of interest. Experience is priceless.
  • Put yourself out there.
  • Learn as much as you can in the time that you have.
  • Don’t be afraid to learn hard skills because they will benefit you the most.
  • Find your own success path.

To learn more about how to intern with Charles Aris, visit charlesaris.com/intern-at-charles-aris.