In high school *nerd alert* I spent my summers at leadership camp. One lesson I learned that has stuck with me since then is to strive to be better every day. Specifically, to place yourself in environments and surround yourself with people that will help you grow.
As a summer communications intern with J.O., I’ve been surrounded with intelligent and creative professionals who have both embraced me in their office and given me opportunities to become a stronger communicator.
I had the chance to assist on photoshoots, help spread awareness for a client campaign, research SEO practices, develop media lists, write website copy, and participate in brainstorm meetings. While I was learning from the work I was being trusted with, I was also listening and watching to learn the secret recipe that makes the mojo so magical at J.O. From my experiences and observations, I’ve gathered five important lessons that I will take with me to my future roles.
#1 – Be Different
Be a fruit loop in a bowl of cheerios. J.O. is not just a full-service marketing agency. It is also home to both The Cause Agency, a non-profit marketing agency, and Gallery 440, an art gallery that highlights regional artists. Don’t be afraid to come up with fresh ideas and make bold strides that make you stand out.
#2 – Be Curious
My first few weeks as an intern, I was focused on doing what I was asked and doing it right. As I grew more comfortable in my role, I began to ask a lot more questions and pick the brains of the awesome people at J.O. Asking questions was key to learning more about the field, helping improve my writing, and overall develop a stronger arsenal of knowledge.
#3 – Be an active listener
As an intern, I was always included in client meetings. From observing these meetings, I learned that it is key to thoughtfully listen to the client’s issue, what is causing the issue, and what success looks like to them. I watched how mojo-makers at J.O. truly listen to their clients to identify the desired outcomes, even ideas and outcomes the clients might not realize they want, and from there, finding the best avenue to arrive at that outcome.
#4 – Build Relationships
In my management class last semester, we talked about the importance of developing relationships in the workplace. It was great to see this come to life at J.O. Taking the time to connect with your co-workers and with you clients creates a mutual trust that leads to stronger, on-target work and a fun work environment.
#5 – Be… not grumpy
This summer, the other interns and I discovered a Grumpy Cat stuffed animal tucked away in a small drawer. Grumpy Cat somehow made a home on my desk. I’ve never really liked cats, but I have grown a special fondness for Grumpy Cat. He’s a reminder that life, work, and everything in between is supposed to be lived joyfully… we can leave the grumpiness to him.
Cheers to J.O.! Thank you for welcoming me into your office, teaching me many valuable lessons, and allowing me to work towards being the best version of myself.