Intern OKC: Helen Palmer

Posted on August 3, 2015

InternOKC is a program built to show interns the benefits of living and working in OKC. Helen Palmer was an intern at Box Talent and participated in the InternOKC program in the summer of 2015. Once she completed the program she looked back at some of the valuable information she learned and put it into a blog post. Read about it here.

InternOKC Kickoff - June 17th

                Coming into the InternOKC program I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that there would be a lot of interns there and that we would have OKC professionals come speak with us but I didn’t expect to feel so encouraged and excited about the future after just the first day. Walking in, I noticed that all the interns seemed to be very sharp. As I started meeting people, their credentials were even more impressive.  I feel honored to be amongst the next wave of leaders, policy makers, and entrepreneurs at this program. It was also nice to have a big group of OKC professionals helping with the event and making us all feel welcomed. The young professionals gave us great advice on to how to get started in the workforce. It was helpful to hear them speak because we will be in their shoes shortly. It was relieving to know that they are comfortable in their positons here in OKC.

                The highlight of the event was getting to hear the founder and CEO of Saxum marketing firm, Renzi Stone, speak about his success. His speech was very inspiring. He originally thought he was going to get into sports since he was a basketball player for the University of Oklahoma. After a while, he realized that, although he loved sports, he didn’t want his career to revolve around sports so he made a career change. He mentioned that fear had a dominating presence in his life during the first eight years of his business. He used that fear to drive him and to make sure that he was always putting his best foot forward. I would love to have my own business one day but the thought is a little scary. Who am I kidding? It is VERY scary. However, to know that the man who founded his own successful marketing firm was scared also is comforting.

Renzi also mentioned that the key to making OKC a place where young people will want to stay is to build the art culture here. He also mentioned that there needs to be more diversity in the corporate world. Hearing him say that gave me the hope that I could find a job that I will love here in OKC.  I am most interested in working in the arts and the media. That is the key to bringing people together. This was definitely a great way to kick off the InternOKC program.

 

InternOKC - June 24th 2015

After the INTERNOKC kickoff event, I was excited to see what the program had in store for us next. There were two separate sessions at this meeting: One session was covering communication with people and the other was covering communication in business. I attended the session about communication in business. This week’s session was very helpful to me. The focus was on social media communication when it comes to business matters. Social media is a huge form of communication for millions all over the world. People use it to start all different types of conversations. It has become this generation’s main source of communication. Therefore, it is very important to know how to use the social media mediums appropriately in your private world and in the professional world.

My social media use started when I was in middle school. My friends and I used to share all about our lives on what was known as Xanga. Xanga led to Myspace where everyone could build their page and personalize it to match who they were at that time. After Myspace came Facebook, then Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, just to name a few of the biggest platforms. Social media has been a huge part of my life growing up. I use it to communicate to my friends and express myself. Over the years, social media has been utilized in the hiring process as well as in the business process to connect with their target audiences. These days, you have to walk the thin line between using your social media for personal and professional use because Big Brother is always watching.

This session, as well as what I have learned while perusing my degree in communications, has helped me to see that is a very powerful communication tool.  The information that you post can instantly be shared to people all over the world. Therefore, we must choose what we discuss wisely. After all, social media is a great platform to promote who you are and your brand, whatever that may be, and to connect with people across the globe. You don’t want them to get the wrong impression.

One of the most important takeaways that I gathered from this session was to never overshare on social media. No one cares about your everyday tasks because, most likely, we all are partaking in similar tasks to get through our days. Another one is to not use social media as a venting tool. If you feel a strong urge to vent on your social media, write down what you want to say and save it until the next day. If you still feel the same, then go ahead and post it. However, never say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in real life. If you post something online, just know that it is out there forever and you may not be able to remove it completely. Thanks to screenshot, no one is safe. Once again, this session was very helpful in explaining the importance of social media and how it could affect you negatively if used without censorship.

 

InternOKC - July 1 #LeadOKC

                I am the type of person who is very laid back. I don’t like to take anything too seriously. This can be a good and a bad thing. In a professional setting, it is important that you are professional and display the proper business etiquette and behavior. That is exactly what this session covered. As a laid back person who doesn’t like to take things seriously, I found this session to be extremely helpful.

                The first speaker liked to think of etiquette as hospitality rather than formality. This helped me change the way I looked at etiquette. I have always thought of etiquette rules as being overly formal and serious. However, thinking of it as hospitality instead really helps me change my thoughts about etiquette because I always want to make people feel comfortable. She explained the basic etiquette guidelines as having respect for others. She emphasized the importance of having a firm handshake and having table manners (something I am still working on J). She also gave some great advice on how to network properly. You should start the conversation off with something social then lead into the business conversation and end with something social again. I found her tips to be very helpful.

                The next speaker discussed professionalism. His speech was more of a pep talk to me than an informational speech. He left me with some great takeaways. He told us to know that we can succeed. He said to know your strengths and weaknesses and always perform to the best of your abilities. “Good is the enemy of great.” Always take advantage of the opportunities you are given. He said to take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves. He also mentioned the importance of always doing what you said you were going to do. I found his speech to be very inspirational. It was exactly what I needed to hear. Can this session be topped?

 

July 8 -#GrowOKC

This session was a panel discussion where business professionals discussed, go figure, business in Oklahoma City. This was a very impressive panel full of people with a lot of valuable experiences. Each of the panelists was faced with a decision to either stay in OKC or to set their businesses somewhere else. Of course, they decided to stay here in OKC.

The questions were based around their decision to live, work and play in OKC along with questions about their journey to owning a successful business. Each of their answers, though very unique to their individual journeys, had a similar theme to their responses. The reason they chose to stay in OKC is because they can see that the city is growing and developing in ways that we never imagined it would. They each feel a sense of community amongst the business owners where they can form healthy relationships with one another while also still being incredibly competitive with each other.

The person that I was most interested in hearing speak was Desmond Mason, a local artist and owner of Barre3. He was also a basketball player for the OKC Thunder during their first season here. His first love has always been art. When it was time for him to retire from basketball, he knew what his next move would be. The only question was where he would settle down and start his business. After choosing OKC, he and his family settled here and opened his art exhibit along with a fitness center, Barre3. I looked at his website (http://dmasonart.com/) and I found his art to be very interesting and colorful. I love art so I will be visiting his exhibit soon. Just like Renzi stated in the first session, the arts are a huge part of what will get the young people to stay in OKC. It’s nice to see that there are already people who are committed to developing the art culture here in the city. It makes me more excited to potentially stay and make my career moves here in the city.

I also met some really nice people in this session who shared some of my same interests so I snapped a quick usie. Another great session at InternOKC!

 

InternOKC - July 15th #ForwardOKC

Yesterday was the last day at the InternOKC program. Overall, I must say, it was a great experience. Everything was quality from the speakers, to the locations, and I can’t forget to mention the meals. It was nice to attend a program where so many people and businesses around the city were involved. Everyone made me feel welcomed and invited. I gained so much inspiration and motivation from attending this program. I met a few very nice people that I hope to reconnect with in the future. I also got to reconnect with two old classmates. I hope to take with me the advice and wisdom that was shared to me by the speakers throughout the entire program and apply it to my life.

The program concluded with presentations by Lt. Governor Todd Lamb, an Oklahoma City National Memorial representative, and Brian Bergman, Owner and Event Manager Co.Lab & H&8th Night Market. These people are making a difference here in OKC. They and the previous speakers have chosen Oklahoma as the place where they live and grow their businesses and would like us interns to do the same.

The Lt. Governor made his case as to why we should stay here in Oklahoma. He let us know that we were the best and the brightest and that we could push OKC into a full on renaissance by remaining in OKC. I do see a huge benefit in staying here in OKC to build a foundation and grow with the city as opposed to trying to grow in a city that has been developed for years.

A representative for the Oklahoma City National Memorial spoke about the Oklahoma Standard, a concept that really became a way of life in Oklahoma after the bombing in 1995. The community as a whole came together and helped one another. We were all here to lean on one another for help, support and understanding. Twenty years later, as we continue to support our neighbors, we are able to celebrate growth together. It is up to us to provide service and kindness to each other to ensure the growth of our neighbors and our city. I have worked in customer service ever since I started working. I have not yet had the opportunity to travel the country or the world, so I am not quite sure how people are in other areas of the world. However, everyone who I have come in contact with that moved here or are living here temporarily says that we are very friendly people. For me, Oklahoma is home and the people I have met here over my almost twenty-three years of life are like family.

Brian Bergman concluded the program. He, along with many of the previous speakers, has travelled around the world yet chose Oklahoma to be the place he lives permanently. The more he traveled, the more he found himself looking for more reasons to stay here in Oklahoma. As a result of his pursuit to spend more time in Oklahoma, H&8th was developed. H&8th is a food truck festival with live music that occurs in Oklahoma City at the end of each month. This festival started with 50 attendees and is now the biggest food truck attraction in the country with almost 40,000 attendees current date. He pushed the point that Renzi, founder and CEO of Saxum, emphasized at the first session in the program which was, the importance of building the culture of the city. For me, a huge part of the culture lies in the media and the arts. I don’t like to take things so seriously and the arts along with entertainment, such as sports, help people to unwind and not have to take life so seriously for a few moments in time.

Now that the program is over, I will continue to network and grow my resume. I hope to gain valuable experiences and continue to meet people who bring value to my life and who can contribute to making my dreams become realities. This was a great experience!