Week 1: Organizational Culture
It’s good to be back at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. As it is my second year with VCIC, I am serving as a Senior Intern this summer. In this role, I will assist VCIC with research, facilitation, program design, as well as supervise another college intern and Partnership for the Future inter. Since last summer, there are quite a few new faces in the office, yet the organizational structure and culture has remained the same.
Apart of the reason why I have loved my time with VCIC, is that it is a small close-knit office. With only 11 members in the office, communication is both formal and informal. As a second-year intern, the trust me to get my work done in a timely manner. Another aspect of VCIC’s work culture that I love, is that they never micromanage. When the give me an assignment or task, they give it to me with full confidence that I will complete it to the best of my ability. The assumption that work will get done, is essential to the trust everyone has in the office. It provides as space where you can ask questions, get feedback but make the assignment yours and unique to you.
VCIC has a rich history, which informs several of its functions and the way it is led. We are led by CEO Jonathan Zur, an alum of Richmond. Many people do not think about it – but our identities matter. Especially in the workplace. Jonathan is a cis-gender white male, and he understands and recognizes the privilege he has. He uses this understanding which allows him to be very intentional about the way he interacts with everyone in the office, as well as the people we work with in the community.
There is a clear balance of power and the organizational hierarchy does not matter when it comes to the work they all do. The chart seems to just be used in a formal sense, just to keep track of which staff members report to others. As mentioned before, VCIC is a very collaborative environment. In my time here, I have always felt comfortable asking questions, asking for advice, giving my input, etc. I may be an intern on paper, but my VCIC staff makes me feel just as important as they are!