Last night, I went to my first baseball game of the season, full of double plays, diving catches and even a grand slam. No, this wasn’t a Nationals game, or even a Norfolk Tides game, my local minor league team, but instead a Little League All-Star game as full of metaphor as it was of hot dogs and humidity. I never thought I would feel a sense of connection with these boys, but as I watched them run onto the field, I seemed to know exactly what they were feeling. Interns like myself share the same professional space as these little ball players. We are motivated, eager—sometimes tripping over our own feet in that eagerness—but wanting to learn and ready to put our training into play. With great coaches, we have a chance to learn some fundamentals that will create a strong foundation when we head up to the big leagues:
- Don’t leave the base early: When writing an email or document, it is imperative to double check spelling, grammar and punctuation. Don’t send anything to anyone until you’ve ensured there are no mistakes. This even includes simple email responses, as small mistakes create unprofessional results. If the writing you’re working on is of a higher importance, it isn’t a bad idea to have someone proofread your work before finalizing it. This is not only a reflection of your work, but also of your commitment to your team.
- Pay attention to the pitch count: It is critical to see the big picture, and understand its importance. While you might have a deadline approaching, you must be aware of the needs of your team, and prioritize other projects ahead of your own depending on what is needed.
- Always call a fly ball: People are busy, and often don’t have the time to constantly check in with everyone else’s work load. If a task is assigned or completed, let your team or project manager know with a simple email.
- Don’t strike out looking: Never miss an opportunity because you are too scared to ask questions or do something wrong. Interns are here to learn, but it’s understood that mistakes will be made. Another at bat will come, but don’t take it personally if you’re asked to sit on the bench for a while. Watching others with more experience is often a learning lesson in and of itself.
- Hustle as soon as you step on the field: If you’re being asked to do a task, it needs to get done well and in a timely manner. You might not see it as vital, but refer back to Fundamental #2; you should recognize that setting up a conference call or printing an agenda helps your team more than you might realize. Each and every task a team member completes plays a significant role in winning.
My few weeks here at PadillaCRT have taught me more than I ever expected. I have traveled to different offices, pitched the media, completed client research, met our CEO Lynn Casey and most importantly worked with true “All-Stars.”