Week 8 – Global Competency and Expectations

Before coming to San Francisco and working for the venture capital firm, I have never thought about what contributed to successful employees. When I was studying at Pitt, I spent most of my time on my courses and assignment. Struggling for a high GPA is the main point of my academic career. Therefore, I used to think that working is almost the same as studying. Finishing tasks on time is the goal and the only thing that measures employees’ performance. After working for seven weeks, I realize my previous opinion is correct but more totally correct. Finishing jobs on time is just the prerequisite. Even in the workplace, I still have numerous things to learn to become a more successful employee.

When I just came to A-Force Ventures, I had no idea what venture capital is. I spent a lot of time searching online, chatting with colleagues and learning everything relevant to this industry. I collected information as much as possible. This industry is similar to a new world that I was not introduced to before. I had to put considerable effort into every aspect so that I could keep up with the progress of the whole time. This is the first time that I truly understood that working is learning. I appreciate that I got enough skills in learning during the three years at Pitt. I know how to learn by myself when other people are busy with their own jobs. I also understand how to ask others for help to solve some difficult problems efficiently. Therefore, the ability to learn is the first characteristic that contributes to a successful employee.

After I stayed in the company for two weeks, I could finish some relatively simple tasks by myself. I researched other venture funds, reviewed pitch decks and evaluated startups. Even though I had gained knowledge and was able to handle these tasks, I had to cooperate with the whole team. Since I was new here and other employees had been experienced, I could not work as efficiently as they did. To keep up with the pace of the whole team, I actively communicated with others so that I could learn from their experiences and got some helpful advice. Since my supervisor was pretty busy with meetings and phone calls, he did not have a lot of time explaining everything clearly to me. To avoid misunderstanding the tasks, I used to confirm with my colleagues. When I met some problems and challenges that I could not solve by myself, I also turned to my teammates. With communication, I worked much more efficiently with the team. Therefore, communication and cooperation also lead to a successful employee.

As a new intern, I was not assigned many tasks. In the beginning, I could not get used to a long time in the office. I could not concentrate on working for eight hours every day. Thus, after I finished my job, I spent my spare time on other things to get entertainment a little bit. However, I realized that everyone was extremely busy with their tasks, and sometimes they also need to work overtime. I wanted to learn more things and skills, so I told them I was willing to help. Even though I had fulfilled my responsibilities and duties, I think a good employee should always motivate himself or herself to help more and achieve more.

Last but not least, time management is also an essential part of success in the workplace. Working schedule in San Francisco is different from my previous experiences. The schedule is very flexible as long as employees can finish their tasks. Even though this convenience is embraced by many people, some employees who lack self-control and have procrastination do not benefit from this advantage. Inefficient public transportation and frequent traffic jams also put more pressure on time management. Therefore, time management is very crucial. How to finish the job within a shorter time but with the satisfying quality should always be the topic of employees’ minds.

After working for seven weeks, I learned so many things that I could not gain from the classroom. I was introduced to an industry that I rarely knew anything before. Besides this, I realized what is important in the workplace. The new knowledge and skills made me a better employee, but I still have a long way to go. I look forward to enjoying my last week in A-Force Ventures and contribute as much as possible.