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An Intern's Experience: Michelle Zhou

It is hard to believe that I’m already heading towards the end of my internship at LaSalle. Despite the short duration of my time at LaSalle, the company has surprised me enough with its unique organizational culture and its tight-knit community. And most importantly, the team that I’m working for, Culture 20/20, has allowed me to develop several important skills that I think would become extremely helpful when I officially enter the professional world.

Listen & Improve

In general, we have the tendency to focus on the speaking and expressive part of our communication skills. Although important, the ability to listen, reflect upon what you heard and then improve is equivalently crucial. And this is the set of abilities that I have been able to further develop during this internship. Ashley, my supervisor, and I have one-on-one each week in order to check in and discuss what has gone right and what could be improved upon. I have found those conversations rather beneficial for me to target specific points to focus on and improve upon in the following week. And the fact that those conversations take place once a week, I am encouraged and motivated to make sure that I make those improvements and fix what has not gone in the best way in the previous week.

Flexibility

Being flexible is also such an important skill to have in the workplace and LaSalle has helped me to develop this skill. On one hand, Ashely has a well-planned schedule for me and discuss the weekly objectives with me on each Monday morning so that I could have a general idea of what the week would look like. On the other hand, not everything could be planned. Therefore, there were times that I would be asked to complete certain tasks as they came up and to take a break from whatever I was doing. While this could be challenging from time to time, I have been able to get much more habituated to those spontaneous moments and have learned to love and embrace the spontaneity as part of my internship experience. And now, I certainly think that this characteristic of my internship has taught me to become more flexible in the workplace environment.

Communication + Flexibility --> Contribution

The development of those two key skills has certainly enabled me to contribute to my workplace in a more efficient way. In the past five weeks, I have been assigned with several different tasks, which included data coding for all the client and candidate responses, helping create the survey response report that got sent out to the executives, writing blogs for the LaSalle website, researching on leadership training activities and on popular trends in organizational development, and etc. By accomplishing those tasks, I believe that I have contributed to LaSalle in the following ways: analyze client and candidate feedback in order to identify areas that recruiters could improve upon, abstract concepts from research articles and see if they could be implemented in our Culture 20/20 consulting practice, compiling a list of leadership activities that could be used in actual workshop with leaders at our client site.

Contribution = Meaningful Experience

I can’t express how much I am glad about how this internship experience with the Culture 20/20 team at LaSalle has helped me decide the general direction of my future professional career.

By hearing from other recruiters on the phone and having conversations with interns who sit on the recruiting team, I don’t think I would work as a recruiter in the recruiting and staffing industry. Nevertheless, I have loved working as an intern under Culture 20/20, a team in which I have found many tasks are related to human resource management and talent acquisition. Given how much I loved working for Culture 20/20, I have decided that I would love to go into human resource management as I graduate from university. And this internship has certainly helped me see what a professional corporate world look like and I am less scared of my future after college after this internship- I feel more prepared for sure.

In addition, the qualities and characteristics that I see from the LaSallians will certainly be qualities that I would look for as I go through recruitment season for full-time job.

  1. Everyone comes into office very motivated

  2. Nice to everyone and offer help to other colleagues

  3. Tight-Knit Community

  4. Have fun but work hard


 

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