Valuable Lessons to Carry Forward from The NIIC
Noah Antrim, Marketing Intern, The NIIC
At the beginning of my internship at The NIIC, I wrote a blog about a few of the different projects and activities I was planning for my new role. Now that my college graduation is nearing and my internship is coming to an end, I figured it would be a good time to add to my previous story. Thinking about my overall experience, there are four valuable lessons I learned that I would like to share with you.
- Workflow is extremely important.Workflow is a crucial part of how teams and individuals work on various projects. This was a common emphasis between our marketing team when thinking about the best way to do certain tasks. Whether it was exporting a particular type of file back and forth, or creating templates for frequent tasks, it was always an important part of the dynamic. In some instances, a good workflow can cut project time in half. Efficiency is key, and it is one of the biggest lessons I will take with me going forward.
- Projects have many moving pieces.I know this may seem simple, but it was difficult to understand the amount of work that goes into a project until I was part of a team. We launched the NIIC HERO Video Series during my internship. The project featured entrepreneurs telling their stories through videos we produced and posted to The NIIC YouTube channel and posted through digital media. Most people only see the final product. However, they do not see behind-the-scenes tasks, what it took to get there. Like, concepting, scheduling, interviewing, directing, producing, rough cutting, sound enhancements, approvals, and final editing. The ability to work as a team to divide and conquer aspects of a project for successful results is essential.I also had the opportunity to work with The NIIC President & CEO Karl R. LaPan on research and reporting for The NIIC’s re-certification as an Indiana Certified Tech Park. My tasks included compiling a large amount of data, summarizing and manipulating that data. The spreadsheet took a lot of man-hours, but it was only one piece of the puzzle for the re- certification application. Many other members contributed, and everyone worked hard to hit the deadline. This taught me the importance of communication, and how collaboration can motivate hard work, especially when there is a tight deadline.
- Plan and communicate tasks.Having a plan of attack everyday has become an extremely important part of my morning routine. When it seems like there are a million things going on, I have learned that taking some time to organize thoughts helps tremendously. Every Monday morning, The NIIC team meets to discuss each person’s top three priorities for the week. This helps everyone become informed about what is going on beyond his or her scope of normal activities, and it allows anyone to help address problems being encountered to move initiatives along. This system maintains an expectation of accountability among team members.
- Acknowledge Others. Acknowledging others is an important way to support your team. It has no internal cost, and helps maintain good morale. I could not believe the amount of gratitude shown when an employee goes above and beyond the expectation on a project. Everyone at The NIIC is pursuing a common purpose, and showing appreciation makes it easy to say yes when asked to help one another. Since I intend to start a business in the near future, this lesson will be very relevant when building a desirable organizational culture.
I would like to say A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has taken the time to teach me valuable lessons during my time as a marketing intern at The NIIC. I would like to give a big shout out to The NIIC Marketing & Programs Director Tammy Allen, and The NIIC Marketing Communications Specialist Cody Walz for investing time and energy to teach me skills that will help set me apart from others. I would also like to thank Karl R. LaPan for the snippets of business and life advice given to me while working on the CTP project.
Now, as I embark on my new career, I will continue to be involved as much as I can with The NIIC. The commitment this organization has to building businesses in Northeast Indiana is unmatched. I urge you to find a way to get involved as well. To find out more, visit theniic.org.