Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Outside the classroom

I go to a teeny tiny school in the middle of nowhere. I interact with the same twenty people in all of my major classes. I am used to doing things my way. It sounds selfish, but it is a reality. I like to be in control (its part of my personality profile. . . I’m an influencer and a dominator). In school, this works because my peers allow me to do work in group assigned projects because they don’t want to do it. At Liggett, the interns are all leaders, we all have ideas, and we are all used to doing what we want. This has created a learning experience above all other learning experiences.

Having peers who care as much about a project as you do means a variety of opinions and ideas. It creates a challenging work environment that makes you a more skilled listener, a more humble team member, and a better-prepared student. In school, whoever has the idea makes the decisions, and it is rarely challenged. Here, we challenge each other all the time. The interns all have their various strengths; they know what works and what doesn’t. For example, I came up with an idea for our T-shirt, but when Abie actually started to sketch it out, she realized how boring it would be for clothing. So it went back to the drawing board. Bonnie had come up with a witty saying for the shirt, but then the new design would not accommodate it. So we had to give up our personal preferences for the good of the team. Then we found out it would be too expensive to do the new design, so we had to readjust again. We have all gone through the process smoothly, but it has been interesting to see how different life is when you aren’t trying to get an A, and are instead trying to get a job accomplished. We are all contributing and all sacrificing our own personal ideas to make collective ideas that are definitely better than any one person’s single idea. This has been a hard lesson for me, but a helpful one as well. It is not that I think I have the best ideas, it’s just that I am not used to other people caring enough to contribute. That is what makes this experience real.

A few fun updates from the office:

~3-D press kits are my new obsession. I think they are the most fun way to promote a product or event to the media, which is why LS makes them (duh). They are little kits with client’s product samples in them, press releases, and others special goodies. We even made one that had a cake in it.

~There is a man hanging part way out of the ceiling. It’s been happening a lot lately. Which goes to show that there are a still a few things to be done around here . . .

~Yesterday we had a happy hour christening for the building. There were snacks, drinks, and threats of intern karaoke. Luckily, that was only a threat (since I have a phobia of karaoke due to an unfortunate performance at the age of 13). It was definitely a fun time to get to know employees in a casual atmosphere.

Morgan P.
Brand Management Intern

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