Article by Anthony, a graduate student in the MAAA program at SPEA. During the previous academic year Anthony served as a Graduate Assistant at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and will work at Cardinal Stage Company in the Fall. He is currently interning with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra in Denver, CO.
It’s been 6 weeks of working at the Colorado Symphony. I’ve done very intern-y things such as populating spreadsheets to save others time, stuffed envelopes for donor mailings…actually the whole team did this at one point, and we made it a competition, which I handily won. (Not sure if my bosses/coworkers have read the blog, so I’ll just make my bold claims and move on.)
As a small update as to traveling around the state, I made it back to Rocky Mountain National Park and took more photos. I’ll include a selection of those here as well. This state is disgustingly gorgeous.
My main idea for this post is a small discussion on corporate culture. In our first semester in the MAAA program (which I do pronounce like a bleating goat) we take an organizational behavior class, last year and this upcoming year taught by our beloved Mr. Wilkerson. In it we spent a not insignificant time on discussing corporate culture in both the for-profit business world and the non-profit world that many of us MAAA (goats) students will spend our time in. In addition to the lessons learned in class I wanted to share some of my own experiences with the Colorado Symphony’s corporate culture, and other organizations and businesses I’ve worked at.
6-8 hours a day, some weekends, work retreats, and other job interactions pretty much force you to either become friends with your coworkers or let the drudgery wear on. A recent blog post I saw (admittedly on Facebook, though it pains me) exposed how the people who get promotions, land great jobs through recommendations, and keep great contacts through networking are more than just hard workers, they are also the employee who go get drinks after work/concerts/events, go to lunch with the person who forgot their lunch, and can crack and take a joke. Again, this was a blog posted on Facebook, but there is some truth to be taken away. It was admitted to me that one primary concern for when I started was how I’d fit into the culture of the office, which is very Colorado-West Coast and a far cry from the more Puritan-natured “work will set you free” that I grew up in and are dominant on the Atlantic seaboard.
The Colorado Symphony office wears jeans on Friday and has a “bring your dog to work day” (there’s ca. 25 photos on the our Facebook page). This isn’t to imply work doesn’t get done, tons of work is expected and churned out, but adapting to the culture and integrating into it ensures that everyone is productive until a break happens (like a solid hour playing with puppies in the studio room.)
I’ve worked in some pretty disparate places in several states across the country, and even at the more traditional work environments I noticed that being friendly, meeting people outside of work, and generally enjoying (or fakin’ ‘till ya make it happen) at least the work environment if not the job itself makes the day go smoother. It also makes people productive and keeps esprit de corps. The point overall is that regardless of the position, a key to success is building a friendship with your coworkers and be willing to step out of a comfort zone to spend some quality time with them, even if you did pack a lunch.
P.S. I just remembered that Nick’s English Hut in B-town has a satyr/goat man/buffalo-ish mascot wearing an IU sweater. And I believe, though may be totally wrong, that was an actual design for an IU mascot, because what’s a hoosier? The MAAA program should adopt such a mascot. Let’s get on this Dr. Rushton.