This week the firm I’m interning at hired a new full-time employee to join the team. Watching a new colleague enter the office after going through the process of being new to everything as an intern myself has given me the opportunity to see many different ways in which leadership functions in the office. With the small space that our office space has, it has been particularly interesting to observe how where someone’s desk is place relates to their position within the firm.
Currently, all of the interns sit in the center of the “bullpen” at a long table. As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, the two partners of the firm have two nice, large corner offices and the three senior associates have slightly smaller private offices. The five associates sit at open air desks in the bullpen, and the newest of those five has to have a desk that faces away from everyone else towards a wall. As people move on to more senior positions, it seems as though their desk position changes along with them. With no desks left, us interns were wondering where the newest hire would fit among this entire organizational structure. Our question was answered on his first day: he sat at the bullpen intern table alongside us until they could figure out a new desk to place him at. It seemed to me that with his placement with the other interns, in his first week he ended up doing some work typically done by the interns such as making phone calls. This could also be attributed to the fact that he has to become more acquainted with the projects and clients of the office before he moves on to bigger projects of his own.
Additionally, with the newest hire entering the office I was able to observe how the leadership dynamics shifted in the office. While one of the partners was still out of town traveling, the other partner came in much more this week to introduce the newest hire to the office. Also, I don’t normally hear a lot from the three senior associates in the office however this week they were frequently in the “bullpen” area to show the new associate the ropes of the office and give him more tasks to do, and therefore they were giving the interns more tasks to do directly as opposed to the associates giving us tasks. It will be intriguing moving forward to see how the organizational structure will continue to alter leadership patterns.