Above Just Another Kind of Magazine Acing the Internship In this issue of our quarterly magazine, AJAK Leadership Consulting brings you a comprehensive guide for analyzing organizational culture during college internships, and provides techniques for taking the fullest advantage of your time. Our guide will give you the groundwork you need to excel in any internship with examples in the for-‐profit sector, the non-‐profit sector, and government. BBDO Advertising on Page 2 The White House on Page 4 ANN Inc. on Page 7 Urban Ministry Center on Page 10 Closing Thoughts on Page 12
A b b y H u t h , J o h n M c A u l i f f , A n n L o u i s e S e a t o n , a n d K a t y C l o s e A J A K L e a d e r s h i p C o n s u l t i n g
By Katy Close This summer I have the privilege of being able to intern at BBDO Advertising in NYC. I can still remember the way I felt a few minutes before my phone interview. I was basically every kind of nervous. BBDO is a worldwide advertising agency with its headquarters in New York City. Today there are 289 offices in 80 different countries making it the second largest of three global networks. BBDO Worldwide has been named the “Most Awarded Agency Network in the World” by The Gunn Report for six consecutive years beginning in 2005. BBDO was named Global Agency of the Year by Ad week in 2011. Some of its most well known clients include The Economist, PepsiCo, Visa Inc., FedEx, AT&T, Mercedes, M&M’s and Footlocker. Earlier this month, BBDO confirmed that they would be taking over Bud Light Platinum as well. BBDO prides itself in their strong work ethic. Their “Mantra” is: “The Work. The Work. The Work.” Each of these statements has a greater meaning that the BBDO and their CEO John Osborn strive to uphold. The Mantra is formed from three versions of work; work built from behavioral observations and insights, work that has ideas so big they can be defined as tweets, and work that is constantly measured and optimized. Overall, “In the absence of great work nothing else matters; which is why we obsess about creating great work that works great.” The third division of their mantra, “work that is constantly being measured and optimized”, reminded me of the definition of goals groups were coming up with during the group formation projects. It is important for a leader to present an overall goal; therefore, the followers will have something to strive to achieve. It is even more beneficial if this goal is tangible. Another trend I noticed from researching more information about BBDO is their desire to get things accomplished with simplicity. Their story, which they consider their philosophy, is about a client they had in 1989 from Courts Furnishing who said, “I just want to sell more carpet.” The concept of having a concrete and straightforward goal is something CEO John Osborn hopes to continue even as the dimensions of advertising become more and more complicated over the years.
John Osborn, the CEO and President of BBDO NY, resembles some of the great leaders we learned about in class this semester. I truly believe it is a privilege that I have the opportunity to work under people who have been mentored and advised by him. In order
to understand why I think John Osborn resembles a leader that I would want to resemble, it is important to learn a little more about where he comes from. John Osborn knew from the beginning that hard work and determination was the only way he would get to the top. In an article about 2005’s 40 under 40, they joke about how John Osborn has been marketing his entire life. When he was younger he used to sit behind a card table on street corners in North Hampton, N.H trying to convince strangers to buy the eggs laid by the 50 chickens he raised all by himself. After attending Dartmouth College, Osborn worked his way up in the advertising world eventually becoming the CEO before the age of forty. Within a year, BBDO gained 12 new clients and received over $300 million in extra billing. One of the main focuses of the article about the 40 under 40, is that John Osborn focuses to make his 600-employee agency feel like a small firm. For example, he encourages his coworkers to go to their on location bar Central Filling so he can get to know them on a personal level. This relates to the book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. They talk about the importance of forming genuine relationships with people and making them feel as though you are actually interested in what they have to say. For example we had a class debate about the new commonly used way of greeting each other, “Hi, How are you?”. It is important to only be asking how a person is if you are actually genuinely curious or concerned. When John Osborn makes the effort to spend time with the people he works with this may make them feel more comfortable in the work environment. Similarly, Osborn made a strong effort to revamp BBDO’s management board into teams that meet weekly to discuss projects. This tool is extremely effective because it gives coworkers the opportunity to work together and get to know the other people they are working with better. Lastly, Osborn launched a new campaign encouraging staff to speak up for themselves in situations where they felt change needed to be made. I know that when I feel as though my opinion isn’t heard or respected I immediately shut down. In addition, John Osborn was recognized for his efforts with the “New York Miracle” campaign that helped lift the spirits of New Yorkers after the September 11th attacks. Now for my experience at BBDO I am planning on commuting about 45 minutes into NYC every morning to work 9-5. Ideally I would like to work with a specific account and learn about the management and planning side. I think the hardest thing for me as an intern will be to find a confidence to perform to my best ability. I think that I significantly hinder myself because I do not always feel comfortable to speak up. Especially because I am the only sophomore hired for this position. This class has definitely reminded me of the importance of finding the confidence in myself in order to effectively work well with other people.
By John McAuliff I worked at the White House for my second major internship during the Summer of 2013. The White House was so completely different than any other environment I have been in that I have had to drastically adjust my own behavior. I also had an internship with USA Today in Summer 2012. I’ll look at the public sector-private sector comparison through my own experiences at USA Today last summer by comparing the people, their leadership styles, and the way they treat their interns. The differences are stark, and I’ll attempt to use our coursework to identify some of them, and try to reason why what was going on. In a word, the people working in the press office at the White House are careful. They speak quietly, walk quickly, and are quick to notice someone who is not. Almost all communication I had with anyone was through email, all of which is recorded and made permanent by the presidential records act. This makes everything written in the building subject to eternal preservation, and so I noticed how carefully written emails are. On the rare occasion someone spoke to me, it is because I grew tired of the silence and interrupted whatever they were doing to ask a question easily answered over email, or in those rare moments when my supervisor wanted to socialize. Being an incredibly talkative person accustomed to roundtable discussions around a harkness table or in a Jepson classroom, this was a very difficult adjustment. During my first few weeks, I found myself commenting on what was happening on the TV, then looking over to my supervisor and her boss, who gave no indication that they had even heard me, let alone that they planned to respond or converse at all. I realized I needed to adjust, however, and killed that habit. The volume of work—the sequester has cut a day a month from each employee’s time at the office—combined with the nature of an office that can be disrupted by any event, anywhere in the world, makes this culture understandable. When you combine the enormity of work with the fear of saying something that could damage the goals of the organization if it leaked out, it becomes easy to see why conversation is muffled. It is worth noting of course that much conversation goes on in daily planning meetings, but I was not able to attend one. Compared to USA Today, this is a dramatic and important difference. Almost any question to an editor was answered with “come by my desk and I’ll explain” and conversations that started on topic rapidly became personal with discussions of family and hobbies. Granted, I sought out these conversations as I do everywhere, but they felt very natural at USA Today. The second point of comparison is the leadership styles of people at the White House, which I was extremely excited to analyze when I first arrived. This ties heavily into the way people interact, since much—if not all—of leadership is conveyed in person-toperson interaction. When there is such little face-to-face interaction, leadership must be
transmitted through other mediums. No other office in the world sees their CEO on TV every day, speaking directly about the challenges their organization faces. In that way, the President is speaking directly to his staff when he speaks to the American people, laying out challenges and solutions and inspiring action. It is not difficult to argue then that leadership at the top of the organization is very visible, and very strong.
The rest of the leadership hierarchy draws their power from being handpicked by the visible leader, President Obama. On the wall of all the well-positioned middle managers are large, old-fashioned plaques commemorating their selection to one of three positions: Deputy Assistant, Assistant, and Special Assistant to the President for whatever it is they specialize in. This highly formal document resembles a diploma and is signed by President Obama and the Secretary of State. It represents the highly formal atmosphere, in which wearing a suit and tie is mandatory and walking into any office—including your own—to the sound of clicking keyboards and silence makes you feel like an intruder. This culture is a stark departure from USA Today, where I felt comfortable walking into any of my editor’s offices, going out for ice cream with a few reporters on a slow afternoon, or having an extra long lunch with a mentor. This gave me time to forge real personal relationships with leaders at USA Today, including the hiring manager, digital director, and editor-in-chief who all collaborated on a recommendation that got me to the White House. I had two of them over for dinner last summer, a symbol of a genuine relationship that did not end with the internship. At USA Today, mid-level leaders have no proclamation of their skills on the wall, so perhaps that is why they took the time to get to know their employees, even the lowest of interns like myself. This style of leadership produces more loyal followers because the leader’s attitude will influence how the follower reacts and responds to their goals. The last point of comparison is a look at how the White House treats their interns. From both a personal and professional perspective, I have had a chance to see how the White House treats their interns. I received a morning-long orientation detailing mostly security procedures before heading to my office, where my supervisor introduced herself, emailed me a guide written by the previous intern and gave me some assignments. The guide was outdated and designed for a different system, but I wanted to impress on the first day so
I filled in the holes as best I could. My first transcript was 50 minutes long with 8 different participants shouting at each other on CNBC’s Squawkbox. There is no reward structure, which makes it appear that no matter how well I do, I would not receive any more interesting work, despite asking every night before heading home. I was well aware that I was not my supervisor’s priority, professionally or personally, nor should I have been, but it would have been a great help to feel like I am a part of the team. According to the massive NextGen survey of millennials in the workplace, I am not alone. Millennial generation employees “say that creating a strong cohesive, team-oriented culture at work” was a big part of their happiness in the workplace. The lack of time and interest in each other personally was not something I expected at the White House. I had been told DC is not incredibly friendly to interns, and that I needed to expect to do work I wasn’t interested in. However, that combined with the complete lack of opportunity for personal connection makes the White House a difficult place to work, and it’s hard to see how that ensures quality work gets done.
By Abby Huth This summer I will be the Human Resources Intern at ANN INC. I will be in the corporate offices in New York City. I like working with people, so I have decided to give human resources a try! I was drawn to the ANN INC. Summer Internship program, not only because of the amazing company, but also because of ANN INC.’s hands-on internship promise. At the beginning of the summer, Interns are assigned to either the Ann Taylor or Loft team; the teams are then assigned a task such as “What should next seasons campaign be?” “What are Ann Taylor and Loft missing?” It is then up to the teams to create a presentation for the Executive Board. Interns work together each week to develop this idea. Interns not only work in the department of the company that they are interning with, but with interns from all sides of the company. As a group we will be able to create our presentation having the perspectives of Human Resources, Design, Accounting, and PR. This allows for interns from all different departments to interact, collaborate, and learn from each other. The motto for ANN INC. careers is “Fit is Everything”, and I believe that this unique experience will show me where my “best fit” is. ANN INC.’s internship program is very hands-on, inters get to work very closely with the heads of their department, as well as with interns from all different departments through the Ann Taylor and Loft final group projects. When I accepted my offer with ANN INC., one of the associates mentioned that I would be the youngest intern in the program. This made me nervous, but after reading Winning Friends and Influencing People by Dale Carnegie, I have learned skills and gained resources that I think will greatly benefit me during my internship: The impact that you can have on others when using their first name is quite substantial. People identify with their first name, they take pride in it, and it gives one a sense of belonging. Especially being the youngest, I need to be aware of how I address others. When using Mrs., Mr., of Ms. I immediately classify that person as my superior. By addressing each employee I work with by their first name, I am “sitting at the table” and not just an intern. Hopefully through this tactic, I can gain the respect from other interns as well as the employees in my department and throughout the company. Because I will be working in Human Resources, creating a mutual respect is incredibly important. Being able to connect with the employees I will be working with is very necessary, so by establishing myself within the department is essential to having a successful summer. In keeping with their “hands on” intern approach, ANN INC. created an intern final project. At the beginning of the summer, Interns are assigned to either the Ann Taylor or Loft team; the teams are then assigned a task such as “What should next seasons campaign be?” “What are Ann Taylor and Loft missing?” It is then up to the teams to create a presentation for the Executive Board. Interns work together each week to develop this idea. Interns not only work in the department of the company that they are interning with, but with interns from all sides of the company. As a group we will be able to create our
presentation having the perspectives of Human Resources, Design, Accounting, and PR. This allows for interns from all different departments to interact, collaborate, and learn from each other. When in my larger Ann Taylor or Loft intern group, there will be around twenty to thirty other people with great ideas, all wanting to be heard. It will be hard to control a room and for everyone to maintain concentration with so many ideas. Because there will be so many of us in one group, it will be important to maintain drive and focus. It will be hard to hear and incorporate the ideas of everyone; I feel as though, many of the individuals in the group will feel that their voices are not being heard or that their ideas are being considered. Because of this it will be important to stay enthusiastic and encourage those around me to stay focused on the goal and the project as a whole. As stated by Charles Schwab, “I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among my people the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a person is by appreciation and encouragement. .. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my appreciation and lavish in my praise” (Carnegie, 26) Each and every one of the employees at ANN INC. have earned their spot, they are creative, smart, and ambitious; by combining the ideas of a group we will be able to create a very successful and impressive final project; But, if we do not maintain the enthusiasm for the final project we will not thrive as a team. In order to sustain that enthusiasm, each team member needs to feel important and appreciated. As stated in Carnegie’s book, “Dr. Dewy said that the deepest urge in human nature is ‘the desire to be important’” (Carnegie, 19). I aim to focus on the encouragement of each team member. By doing this I will be able to keep the team together, collective, and thriving. Encouragement can be as small as reiterating an idea of another, and giving approval, to a more public display of my approval. This allows for the individual to not only feel like an important part of the team but they then become more excited and passionate about the final project. With all members passionate about the final project, our team will be more effective and innovative.
ANNpowers Because of the stigma around female leaders, I was nervous about applying to internships in the corporate world. When researching opportunities I came across an impressive fact: ANN INC.’s associates are made up of 98% women, this fact is astounding, but as I started my interviewing process I found that there is much more to ANN INC. than a fitted blazer and classic pumps. ANN INC. started the ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, which is a groundbreaking partnership between ANN INC., and Vital Voices. They work together to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities, and begin their journeys as the next generation of leaders. ANN INC. and Vital Voices select 50 outstanding young women every year, who are high school sophomores and juniors, to become ANNpower Fellows and participate in the ANNpower Vital Voices Leadership Forum, a three-day leadership training and mentorship program in Washington, DC. After participating in the Forum, the Fellows then must transform their ideas into action; they are then eligible to receive the ANNpower Grants of up to $2,500 to help them implement projects in their communities. ANNpower Grants are supporting projects that range from creating mentoring opportunities for young women entering politics, to enabling youth activism through the arts, to encouraging girls to enter the fields of science, technology, and math. The work that ANNpower is doing with young women is incredible. By working with young women in high school, these young women are empowered to be leaders in the community, and more importantly they are not defeated by the stigma of women in power and leadership positions. ANNpower encourages them to change their communities, take initiative, and change the world. This initiative drew me to learn more about ANN INC. and the progress that this company has made for women in leadership is immeasurable. I believe that this initiative is incredibly important and influential. As stated by Sheryl Sandberg, “We hold ourselves back in ways both big and small, by lacking self-confidence, by not raising our hands, and by pulling back when we should be leaning in.” Similarly, as we talked about in Leadership in Organizations, Sheryl Sandberg is making waves as a leader in encouraging women to “Lean In” to the balance of maintaining a career and having a family. Her book Lean In was groundbreaking for many, and she has become the face for women “leaning in” to leadership positions. Although Sandberg has made much headway already, I feel as though it is still not enough. Through ANNpower young women are able to learn how to “lean in” at such a young age, before they even start working for corporations and organizations. This initiative is so instrumental to the need for greater equality in the workplace. Knowing that the company that I am working for cares so much about the future of women in leadership, has made me more passionate about this internship and is pushing me to do my best this summer.
By Ann Louise Seaton Urban Ministry Center (UMC) is a nonprofit organization located in Charlotte, NC that operates under the mission to "end homelessness one life at a time." UMC refers to the 500-600 people they serve daily as neighbors, creating a feeling of sameness and community between neighbors and those working at UMC. It provides the neighbors with daily necessities, like laundry, shower, and food services as well as runs multiple programs to assist neighbors in finding permanent housing. In nonprofits, everyone does everything. UMC heavily relies on volunteers, interns, and staff to keep the daily operations and special programs running. I spent most of my summer working with the JobWorks program—a program that helps connect neighbors with employment opportunities in the hope that employment will lead to stable housing. I also attended Helping Homeless to Housing (HHH) meetings, which are led by formally homeless Charlotteans who are dedicated to helping the homeless through advocacy and education. Everyone I worked with at UMC displayed leadership qualities in some way, whether by serving as a role model to others seeking housing or volunteering to serve soup in the soup kitchen. Successful leadership styles vary across situations. However, after reflecting on my internship using the examples of leadership we studied in Leadership in Organizations, I believe there are some qualities of effective and ethical leadership that transcend situational factors. 1. Get people to trust you In his TEDTalk, General Stanley McChrystal summed up, “a leader isn’t good because they’re right, they’re good because they’re willing to learn and to trust.” One of the hardest parts of working at UMC was cultivating trust between the neighbors with whom I work and myself. Trust comes from a willingness to be vulnerable; something that is scary to do, especially if you’re homeless and have not always been able to trust yourself or others. My supervisor at UMC asked me to write a blog post about my time in the HHH meetings for the UMC website. I did not want my blog post to focus only on the work HHH members were doing; I wanted people reading the post to get to know the HHH members. To do this, I needed the people to trust me if they were going to be willing to confide in me the reasons why they had been homeless in the past and how they got into housing. So I went to meetings and integrated myself into the group. I listened to the 10 members talk and asked questions about the things they were interested in, namely the housing crisis in Charlotte and offered to help where I could before asking about their lives. The relationship was not one way, however. The HHH members welcomed me into their meetings by finding ways to connect with me, too. By the end of my internship, I trusted the HHH group as
well. The reciprocal relationship made it easier to reach out to them and to share my experience as a HHH member. Looking back, I realize that Dale Carnegie was right in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People—the best way to make people talk to me was by showing a genuine interest in their wellbeing. Furthermore, really listening to people and understanding them makes it easier to be empathetic, another key factor to help create trust. See Stanley McChrystal’s TEDTalk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmpIMt95ndU 2. Leadership is a long-term process Leadership is long-term in that reaching goals does not happen over night. In her TEDTalk, Majora Carter talks about a mayor in Colombia who was doubted by his constituents when he first proposed the plan to change his city’s streets. The citizens could not imagine that the changes would be successful, especially since the effect of the changes would not be felt for years. However, the mayor was able to maintain his vision and faith to see the changes successfully play out years later.
At UMC, connecting people with housing rarely happens quickly, especially when working with people who have been in-and-out of housing for a majority of their lives. Housing is not an immediate result but that does not deter the staff at UMC. They know that if they keep guiding the neighbors in the right direction, ultimately, the neighbors and staff will reach their shared goal to end homelessness one life at a time. See Majora Carter’s TEDTalk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ-cZRmHfs4 3. Set short and long-term goals to fulfill a vision One of the first things we learned in Leadership and Organizations was the importance of goal setting, particularly setting S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound) goals. Goals should be directed at a vision. Some of the most successful leaders we studied, Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, can partially attribute their success to their unwavering dedication to the vision they created for their companies. A vision provides direction for the leader and the group. The more leaders and followers share a vision, the more successful the group will be. In his book Leading at the Edge, Dennis Perkins analyzes the actions of Ernest Shackleton, and finds that one of Shackleton’s greatest qualities was his ability to set his
crew’s sights on an over arching goal and still provide his crew with smaller goals and subsequent victories along the way. Perkins says, "[Leaders] must be continually aware of their ultimate destination—their longer-term, strategic objective. This ultimate goal, however, may be distant and uncertain. So while pursuing this long-term target, leaders also must be vigilant in focusing the scarce resources of the organization on the critical shortterm tasks that create momentum an ensure survival" (p. 15). When working with the neighbors at UMC, I saw the counselors who were helping neighbors find housing, set short-term goals that, if completed, increased the likelihood of the neighbor finding permanent housing. By working towards short-term goals, like getting state identification or finding a job, while ultimately working towards finding housing, neighbors are more likely to stay motivated because they are experiencing successes that signal that they can do it. My work in the JobCenter helped fulfill one of the short-term goals neighbors often set—creating a resume, applying for jobs, and finding employment. UMC has been able to connect many of their neighbors with permanent housing solutions. After taking Leadership and Organizations, I believe that UMC’s success can be largely attributed to its ability to stick to their long-term goal, connecting people to housing, while also reaching short-term goals at hand to achieve their vision of ending homelessness. Closing Thoughts The class Leadership in Organizations and the entirety of our Jepson School curriculum provides us with a basis of information about the art of leadership to take out into the “real world.” We study scientific theories of leadership, pop culture books about leadership, leadership failures and successes, and everything in between. Our knowledge prepares us to analyze the leaders we come across to recognize the good and bad of each leader and use the information to form our own leadership style. The ability to reflect on and analyze the leadership we encounter demonstrates our desire to become and encourage effective and ethical leaders. Whether we are working in advertising and marketing, the government, human resources, or a nonprofit, the ability to effectively lead is essential to the our own success and the success of our company. Dale Carnegie’s advice in How to Win Friends and Influence People struck a cord in each of us. His book can be summed into a single word that our class focused on as well: empathy. Looking at our internships, whether previous or upcoming, we found that we respect and search for empathy in our leaders. In turn, we recognize that we too want to embody empathy in our actions. Once we empathize, we will understand what makes each person feel important and create genuine relationships to win friends and influence people. In class, we discussed the importance of an overarching vision and the development of effective goals that direct us towards that vision. Goals cannot be accomplished without the hard work of people and teams—two of the hardest things to direct when working towards goals. Leadership may stem from visions and goals but cannot be successful without the ability to relate to people to make them feel important and valued.
Published on Apr 29, 2014