Every year, we bring in local college students to study and learn more about the exciting world of process automation. But what may be even more important are these five things we learned from our interns this summer.
1. Learn to Adapt
In this age of technology, most everything changes at a rapid pace. Here one day and gone the next, sometimes situations change before we can even wrap our heads around them. While we had a packed schedule of learning prepared for our interns, including customer trainings and tradeshow appearances, we had to adapt to the current environment, which of course was disrupted by COVID-19. Many of our August training sessions and meetings were postponed or switched to an online format and our interns were extremely well-able to adapt to an environment that could change on any given week. In today’s world, it’s important to know how to stand firmly in your position while being flexible enough to bend to the needs of the people around you.
2. Communication is Key
Transcend the cliché and truly become connected to the people around you. Whether trying to learn from others, or willing to teach those around you, it’s important to put yourself out there, take a risk, and see what you can gain when you open yourself up for collaborating with other people. The best way to get the help you need is to ask for it from someone that is capable and has the means to assist you. Beyond growing with someone by teaching one another new things, communication is also crucial for team synergy. You have to express your needs and concerns so the people around you will know how to accommodate any shortcomings or assist in areas where you’re already stretched too thin.
3. See Things from another Perspective
When trying to solve a common goal with a team, it’s important to gather perspective from everyone involved instead of going off your own intuition and perception alone. You may be the subject expert in one area of focus while only having novice skills in other areas, so it’s important to pause and listen to the people around you and allow others a chance to teach you something new as well. A good manager knows that insight comes from all levels in a network and is not only willing to hear it, but openly welcomes feedback from superiors and subordinates alike.
4. Never Stop Learning
As we learn about the world and all the things it in, we begin to realize how little we actually know. This is especially true in small and niche industries where it’s easy to think you’ve see and heard everything. But when you close yourself off to new ideas, you quickly miss out seeing the full picture. Innovation and progress come from constant improvement, which is only possible when industry leaders are open to making these positive changes.
5. Have Fun
As we get caught up in routine, and live by our appointments and schedules, it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing all this in the first place. Our actions become muscle memory and we switch to autopilot, losing passion for our work and losing sight of our goals. There’s nothing wrong with hard work, but quality of work can suffer when we’re focused more on completing the work than on the process of completing the work. Take breaks, check in with family, meditate, do whatever it takes to give yourself a few minutes each day to clear your mind of everything that stresses you out and remind yourself of the things that matter the most.