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I think this past spring and this summer have both been a major lesson in resiliency with all of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as moving back home to finish my college courses and take my finals was not an easy thing to do. Moreover, I’ve learned resiliency through my DukeEngage experience thus far, especially when it comes to connecting with a team and working cohesively even when we’re all in different time zones.

I would say the greatest skill I’ve learned so far during my DukeEngage summer is to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to working with a team and meeting deadlines. I didn’t expect to have the amount of control that I currently do over my personal schedule, and much of my own timeline for completing deliverables is unstructured apart from meetings. To make sure that things get done in time, I’ve learned to get a head start on major projects in order to leave time for group editing and comments from my other team members. I’m hoping to transfer these skills over to my schoolwork to limit procrastination and to optimize my time working to be more efficient.

I’ve also learned a lot from my fellow team members, both about the content of the course we’re developing, and about different working styles and writing styles. Finally, I’ve found that I work best in the mornings and early afternoons, so I’ve structured the rest of my daily activities (meals, exercise, family time, etc.) in order to ensure I have plenty of time to work when I’m most productive. In addition, most of my work this summer has been with a team of other students working towards a common goal (and common deadline).