InternCorner: Team Building and Relationships in the Workplace
We sat down with a few of our amazing summer interns to discuss the role that team building and relationship development has played in their internships so far, and how they believe it may effect their future career paths. Check out some of their answers below!
Elena Juarez, EyeMed Sales Ops Intern
Cassidy Thomas, Sunglass Hut Marketing Intern
John Riedel, Internal Audit Intern
Madeline Meinhardt, Target Optical Product Intern
What were your favorite events this summer?
John: The mentor program [for the interns] is definitely my favorite program. It really puts going into the “the real world” into perspective. I really like that I can speak to someone that is totally unbiased in his or her opinions. It really gives me some peace of mind knowing that the steps we are taking right now as interns are the correct ones.
Cassidy: My favorite events this summer have been the Immersion Meetings Krysta Kluska has organized for the Sunglass Hut interns. We get the opportunity to meet with each department throughout Sunglass Hut to learn their role in the brand, main responsibilities and major projects they are working on.
Madeline: I have really enjoyed all the events and meetings that campus recruiting organizes for us to learn about the company. They have helped me understand the different departments and services at Luxottica, as well as meet and connect with professionals in the company. One of my favorite events was the Italian 101 class. I had a lot of fun learning about the Italian heritage of our company.
Elena: My favorite events so far this summer have been our weekly scavenger hunts. Initially it seemed it would be a good way to get to know Luxottica and have fun. It seemed pretty simple taking a selfie in your small group and highlight the keyword of the week but somewhere between week one and two it quickly turned into something very competitive. I love waiting to see what creative pictures the other teams have created.
How has the team building events fostered creativity and work relationships?
John: The team building events give us a chance to get to know each other without having to go through the awkward small talk situations. The initial event at our orientation where we described each of the four Luxottica characteristics was great. It allowed us to throw ideas at each other in a relaxed setting where the goal was to get to know each other and the company. It also gave us each a chance to be a leader.
Cassidy: Team building events have definitely fostered creativity and work relationships. While these events allow us get to know one another, they also create an environment conductive to learning and developing both personal and professional skills. We gain different perspectives and help build one another’s summer projects. Personally, I held a focus group with some of the interns to gain additional ideas and concepts for my summer project.
Madeline: Working well with others is essential in any function at Luxottica. The interns currently have an ongoing scavenger hunt throughout the summer that gives us the opportunity to get to know each other and work creatively together each week. It requires communication, collaboration, imaginative ideas, and teamwork to be successful each week. Practicing these skills on a regular basis gives us a great foundation and understanding of how working relationships and collaboration works in a professional setting.
Elena: With the scavenger hunt we saw everyone’s creative side come out. Like any work environment there are always going to be different ideas given and we have to hear and respect everyone’s idea. You never know the craziest one might be the best one. Compromising and also being able to contribute helps create a dynamic team.
People often say that Luxottica is a relationship-based company. How do you see that while interning here?
John: I can easily see that Luxottica is a company based on relationships. It’s super easy to get to know people in the company because all you have to do is ask! From my experience, I’ve found that most people want to talk to interns about their careers and how they got there.
Cassidy: This is my second summer at Luxottica and the main reason I decided to come back again was because of the people that work here. Working with people that are so passionate about their work and genuinely love what they do energizes me and makes me excited to come to work every day. My coworkers make me feel like a priority, not just an intern that is here for the summer. They care about my progress and the work I’m doing and will gladly set aside as much time as needed for me to be successful. The people here have become more than just coworkers, they’ve become some of my best friends… (sappy I know, but very true).
Madeline: Many people that I have been able to connect with and meet at Luxottica have explained that their history with the company is diverse. Many people have worked in various roles, at different levels, and within different brands. The key to their success and promotion was having relationships with others throughout the company. Being a familiar face to others in the company that know of new opportunities aids in the success of growth within the company.
Elena: For sure, as interns we were encouraged to build relationships with basically anyone. During our different workshops our presenters are always willing to have one-on-one conversations with us about anything. You see genuine care that comes in these relationships; I personally have met with Anisha Jindal, Xavier Alum and current brand marketing manager for Pearle Vision. I can say that our brief conversation has given me a lot to think about in both my professional and personal life. Going into my senior year hearing their experiences and advice means so much to me.