Through this blog, we will spotlight Otterbein students who are engaging in internships and professional experiences in a variety of industries and geographic locations. We will also share tips and advice on searching for internships and making the most of internship experiences.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cordray in Colorado, Part 3: Communicating in the Workplace

I have successfully completed my third week of internship and am getting nice and settled into my new work environment. I'm also becoming surprisingly accustomed to the eight-hour work day.... well almost. One thing I am still adjusting to, however, is communicating with my co-workers in the office.
My cluttered desk

My office, pictured below, is made up of four desks, one in each corner, with no cubicle walls or anything - just wide open space. This creates lots of opportunity for interaction between the three people I share an office with: the PR and Media Relations Director, the Marketing and Communications Director, and the Creative Director. They are all incredibly nice people to work with and I'm very lucky to get along with all of them as successfully as I do. That being said, they are three completely different people who communicate in completely different ways.

The Media Relations Director, for example, gives me mostly creative tasks to work on like editing videos and crafting social media posts. He takes a pretty hands-off approach of directing me, which allows me to be creative and find my own way of doing things; however, it can also make me feel like I am in way over my head. The Marketing Director, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. Whenever she delegates a task to me, she gives me an ample amount of instruction. Most of the tasks usually utilize Excel spreadsheets and are not nearly as creative, which allows for more structure and direction. The Creative Director is very used to doing things on her own, and often forgets that I am there to help in any way I can. I often have to remind her that I can do things like run to pick up posters or cut out signs and other promotional media. So with her, it's hard for me to know what she needs done because she is very quiet and is used to getting things done by herself.

The office
Navigating these three varying communicative styles is a real challenge and something that I am grateful to experience. In the workplace, you have to collaborate with people of all types who have various ways of communicating. Being able to identify how the people around me communicate is key in making this internship the most it can be. After three weeks of observing them, I now know to ask the Media Relations Director a lot of questions when he gives me a project to work on, so I have a better sense of direction and feel more structured. I also know to ask the Creative Director if she would like help with anything, because she is not one to ask unless I offer. Picking up on how those around me communicate is a valuable skill that I am definitely glad to be learning through this internship experience! And with twelve more weeks to go, I'm sure the communication between the four of us will get better and better!

Anyways, thanks for reading! Until next time!

Dillon Cordray
Music and Business '15

P.S. The weather here has been absolutely amazing! It was 70 degrees and sunny all weekend - it feels like summer! I've been exploring this beautiful state and realizing how lucky I am to be able to intern out here!... But more on that next week! See you then!

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