Interning with Today’s Business has been a great learning experience in many ways. Aside from the actual fundamental skills related to the field of Communication, specifically marketing and public relations, that I have obtained, I have had the opportunity to learn how a new business and its organizational culture is created, developed, and maintained. Because Today’s Business is a fairly new organization, only entering its second year of existence, the business operations within the organization are as much of a learning experience for the interns, as it is for our supervisors. Although the business is very new, my supervisors Tomasso Ottaiano, Chaz Cervino, and Billy Ash, all possess and display the skills, knowledge, and characteristics necessary to begin and maintain a business. What makes this experience so valuable is that not only are the interns receiving great training in the field of Communication, but we are actually taking part in constructing the organizational culture that will carry on after our internships are over.
Their success has been achieved primarily due to the trust that is cultivated and maintained between supervisors and interns. The supervisors are very open with interns with regards to how the business is run, what their goals are, the struggles that the business has faced, and how they have become so successful. Through training us based on their experiences of “trial and error” with their clients, our supervisors have taught us many valuable skills and relayed what is expected of us to maintain the success they have achieved. Decisions are primarily made by our supervisors, yet they are consistently asking us for our input and opinions regarding decisions being discussed and decisions made. This relays the message that they value our opinions, they value our input, and that they trust that the success of the business is just as important to us as it is to them. This truly creates an atmosphere where interns feel valued and appreciated, resulting in a common goal of wanting to achieve success for the business.
Interns that share a common day on their schedule primarily communicate in the office. However, many interns do also communicate through phone calls, texting, e-mails, and Facebook. Interns work both individually and in teams; individually by being responsible for specific clientele accounts, and in teams when asking each other for help or during group meetings. Every day at the office, interns and supervisors have lunch together, which is paid for by the supervisors. During lunch, there is an “unwritten” rule where no one is allowed to speak of the work day. Lunch is strictly a time for all of us to relax, bond, and get to know one another better. Typically, when interns and supervisors are in the office alone, the environment is informal in the sense that we talk very openly. At the same time, we are always expected to dress professionally and to behave in an extremely professional manner when clients are in the office.
Personally, this is a work environment that suits me. I am actually excited every time I go into the office because of the environment that our supervisors have created. They respect and value our opinions as if we were supervisors ourselves. They are great at giving constructive criticism and at praising interns when their work is above what is expected. In a sense, they have created a small family, where trust, respect, hard work, and dedication are emphasized and praised. They know that without the work of their interns they may not have been able to achieve the success that they have, and they never take this for granted. As a result, it makes me, and all of the other interns, want to work even harder to achieve more success for Todays-Business, every single day.
By: Shahed Kawash Rutgers University 2013