Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland!

With the project all wrapped up, there have been so many takeaways that will be applicable to the remainder of my college and professional career. The three biggest lessons I gained from working with Possehl were perseverance, morale, and critical thinking. As opposed to previous projects I’ve worked on, collaboration with the client was not just an introduction and a conclusion, but a continued conversation as the project progressed. This invited opportunities for corrections and tweaks coming from the client about what they wanted out of the final deliverable. Through this back and forth conversation we had to keep trying and editing in order to perfect the goals of the client, while simultaneously incorporating factors that weren’t brought up by the client, but the group found significant enough to include. Additionally, through an online environment, I learned the importance of team morale through group projects. Incorporating social conversations and bonding opens doors to brainstorm better and learn each other’s project styles. Therefore, the project becomes more creatively diverse through greater morale. Lastly, again due to the continued conversation with client, I was able to strengthen my critical thinking skills by listening to the clients expectations from a futuristic perspective, pinpoint areas I anticipated facing obstacles with down the road and asking questions accordingly.

In response to critical thinking skills, another transferrable skill I attained was the ability to couple questions with solutions. For instance, rather than asking “what kind of competitors are you looking for,” we would brainstorm avenues that we believed would be most beneficial to explore and offer those options to the client, such as “Would you be open to identifying reach clients that have a more international presence? Or would you like us to focus on businesses in a similar stage as your company?” By narrowing my question asking, and pinpointing examples of what I was looking for in an answer, I had much more direction post-meetings that made for more comprehensive deliverables for the final product.

These skills would not be able to be so magnified and retained, had it not been from the expectations from the client, based on Pitt’s established relationship with them over the last several years. A huge strength and asset on this project was the trust and respect we received from the client. They took our considerations seriously, asked for further explanations, and were enthusiastic about our work. This instilled a confidence in our group that we had the capability of providing them with feasible deliverables, especially during throughout the group’s learning curve of researching the industry of digital online solutions. That being said, because of the long relationship between Pitt and Mr. Wachter and vulnerability between the university and its partner was the shifting from one year’s group to the next. I felt as though collaborative introduction from last year’s project to this one would have allowed me to better understand the scope of the relationship.

I look forward to referring to this experience in the long term. The opportunity to gain worldly professional insights from my Oakland apartment, while generating implementable marketing tactics for a growing startup is an experience I am excited to tell future employers about.

My advice for future groups who embark on this project moving forward are to spend some time acquiring background for the project. Read previous groups’ reports, research the company and its history. In order to best help the client, it is crucial to have an understanding of the culture, priorities, and capabilities. Additionally, get to know your group members. This will help with understanding each other’s project styles, as aforementioned. And lastly, set a schedule in stone. Projects can get away from you, so when creating the scope, set a realistic timeline and keep with it throughout the semester.