So far, 2021 has been a whirlwind year filled with exceptional personal growth and development. My experience interning through the Global Business Institute (GBI) this semester has been one of the biggest contributors to that. I owe so much of who I am now to Kaizntree, the company in which I interned, and to Marcos, my supervisor there.
In the blog post I wrote before beginning my work at Kaizntree, I explained that I wanted to take part in GBI for a number of reasons. These included increasing my global competency, increasing my communication skills, learning about their software, learning more strategies regarding how to work through problems, and wanting to make a difference. Three months and 240 working hours later, I am fully confident in saying that I have fully achieved every single one of these.
In terms of increasing my global competency and communication skills, I think it was very interesting to be able to see the differences and similarities between American and Australian ways of communication and working and to try to figure out how to adapt them to fit my personal styles. From my experience, Australians are more relaxed about their work, which was something I had to adjust to as I am used to managers and coworkers being consistently stressed over work. This goes hand in hand with how I received and gave feedback too. It was never extremely blunt, but was enough to give direction, which I feel as though really benefitted my creative abilities. Going forward, I believe that I will enter international contexts with a much more open mind about how to communicate with those around me.
My next areas of improvement were learning about the Kaizntree software and problem-solving. I chose to pair these two together because one is actually a result of the other. As I became familiarized with the platform, my supervisor gave me the chance to give a prospective customer a demo of our software, which showed that he believed I was pretty capable of explaining the platform. This was a particularly intimidating task as it was the closest I had ever come to a sales role before and it is not every day that I get to step way out of my comfort zone. This is where the problem-solving aspect came in to play too. During demos, you never know what a customer might say or what questions they may ask, so it is important to always be on your feet and to be able to play to your strengths, which was something I quickly learned. My first demo was a struggle, but as time went on, I became more and more comfortable with talking to clients and even started to build solid relationships with them. I also got to work on my problem-solving skills by trying to strategize what solicitation tactics were working (or not working) for prospective customers and to figure out how to improve them. Running a startup takes a lot of critical thinking to figure out what will make your business stand out from the competition and I am happy to say I was a part of helping Kazintree to do that.
That leads me into my next and final initial goal, which was to make a difference. As I just mentioned, when working for a startup, there is a ton of room for both success and failure, so it is critical to choose your steps wisely. When I first began, our company was struggling to gain traction, so I am happy to say that I was able to help Kaizntree gain recognition and to bring in new users to the platform. Just to touch on some of my main tasks that I helped bring to fruition to make this happen was the creation and launching of a Google Ads campaign, social media post designing with Canva, and a website rework on Wix.
This was truly an experience that I will never forget and will always be grateful for myself. I see myself applying all of the hard and soft skills that I learned throughout this internship in whichever field I end up going into, so I am thankful that Kaizntree was the organization that was able to give me the exposure to them and to help me grow so much.
I think a few of my classmates in the GBI class put it best when they used the metaphor of driving a car to describe this experience. It is something that takes practice and may seem confusing or overwhelming at first, so you have to brake a lot, but in the end, you are confident enough to fully put your foot on the gas. And once you’ve been driving for a while, it is something you will never forget.