Leadership in Prague

This past week at my internship has been so busy! Starting on Monday, my coworker who handles the community management for Bata left for a two-week vacation, so that meant I was supposed to handle everything until she came back. I had to learn how to handle all the different parts and how to interact with customers on the Facebook and Instagram pages. Basically, I am now responsible for answering all the direct messages on Facebook and Instagram and all the comments on both platforms. Luckily, we have all of these pre-written messages for the commonly asked questions, which I can use most of the time. The hard part comes when the message is in another language, which happens very often since it’s a global company, and I have to google translate it and try to figure out what the person is actually asking. There have also been a few messages where the person was asking for information that I had no idea how to get them, so I had to talk to Aubri and the client to figure out what to do. I also have to go through all the tagged posts and about 10 different hashtags related to Bata on Instagram and like and/or comment on all the pictures that the company approves of. This was really tricky at first, because I had to keep referring back to the guidebook to see if the post was okay to like and if it was good enough to comment on. I am also supposed to comment on all photos posted by an influencer, especially one that we partner with, but I don’t have all of those people memorized, so if a post had a lot of likes or looked like it was better quality, I had to check and see if the user was someone we worked with. Monday was the hardest day for the community management, because not only was this the first time I was doing this, it was also the first day after a three day weekend, so there was a lot of messages and posts backed up that took an extra-long time to weed through.

Besides the community management, we were also swamped because we had our photoshoot for August this week, which had so many different photo sets that we had to split it into two days. I actually didn’t even go to either photoshoot this time because Aubri was required to go and there was too much work to be done at the office, but the fact that I was doing this work with very few people physically available to answer my questions made everything harder. On Wednesday, we gave the presentation for the Shoe Care video concepts, which was a few weeks in the making. That was part of the reason I had to stay in the office during the photoshoot, because there was still some last-minute things that needed to be done with the presentation. It actually went very well, which we were all very relieved about. The clients seemed to like the concepts we presented and said they would think about the cost estimates for each one and give us their decision soon. We still haven’t heard back from them regarding the videos, so hopefully we’ll get a solid answer soon. I was also especially relieved that this presentation went well, because this was the first time I presented the client with real research and work that I had done, rather than the small things I had done in the past. I had to explain how I came up with the shoe care topics, through three different avenues of research, and explain why these topics were the best to create videos about. They seemed to receive it well, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

I would say that my leadership style before this internship was very explanatory. I would give very detailed instructions because I was always afraid that the person I was delegating to would misunderstand and do the wrong thing. I also used to have a pretty difficult time delegating tasks because I am very much a perfectionist and would often prefer to just do the task myself so that I know it will come out right. Before coming to Prague, I definitely had been making progress on this front, but being here has somewhat changed my view of delegation. When my bosses give me tasks at work, they are not overly detailed explanations and they don’t look over my shoulder the entire time to make sure I am doing the task correctly. Most of the time, they give me very vague tasks that sometimes I have to ask more questions about, but often I can just roll with and decide how I want the end result to look. They also don’t even check-up on me until they expect me to be done the project; they have given me a lot of freedom and trust which I appreciate. Seeing how they lead, I am forced to change my opinions about delegation. I now would feel more comfortable giving a little freedom to the people I am leading, to let them figure out what they want the task to be and trust that they will have it nicely completed by the deadline. Though I know this may be hard for me to adapt to, I know that the people I am delegating to will appreciate it because I know that I appreciate it at my internship.