A Team of… Six?

At Addison Group, their Learning and Development team is still relatively new. As I spoke with my supervisor on my first day, she explained that their team is currently consists of six employees but they are in the process of expansion. Additionally, this is their first time hiring an intern to join their team. My supervisor explained that there would be a learning curve for both of us in order to figure out how to best utilize my time there.

As the day went on, I began to meet with other members of the team who also outlined goals they had for me for the summer. I realized that I was not just working under my supervisor, but helping with projects across all team members. Suddenly, the “team of six” expanded. I was having phone calls with remote team members and individuals who manage their five acquisitions across the country. While only six people sit in the Chicago office on a regular basis, I learned that their team consisted of more than six employees.

Once I learned more about the roles that each individual plays in the company, I began to better understand the leader/follower dynamics within the team. Each one of these team members are given a lot of individual responsibility. Ultimately, they each report to the VP of People Strategy, but there seems to be a lot of trust among the team members to work effectively on their own. This is something that really excited me about the team. I am able to work under different positions to learn more about what each person does to contribute to the overall mission of the company.

Each individual that I spoke with was extremely welcoming and receptive. They each wanted to hear what MY goals were and what I wanted to learn over the course of the internship. The company is filled with young employees who were easy to relate to. They all told me that they had been in my position not too long ago and were determined to give me a valuable experience. The communication is rather informal at this organization and most spoke with me about what my long term career goals are. In particular, one woman works as the liaison between Addison Group and one of their acquisitions, a large consulting firm primary based on the West Coast. When she heard about my interest in consulting, she immediately offered to let me sit in on every phone call she has with their consulting team. In a similar fashion, each member of the team has already given me great opportunities to learn more about the business and it seems that they truly care about my own professional development.

While I was expecting a team of six, I ended up with an entire network of individuals, each of whom contribute something a little different to the team. Each individual works on completely different projects yet they have a system of informal communication that seems to really work. I am excited to observe this dynamic as the weeks go on and better understand the advantages and disadvantages of working in this kind of environment.

One thought on “A Team of… Six?

  • July 30, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Wow, sounds like a really engaging, wonderful environment in which to work and more importantly, learn. So given what you describe, work – for you – is directed by various individuals; would be interesting to learn, as you continue, if the VP of People Strategy directs work to all those that are enlisting you with interesting opportunities or if it is decentralized for them as well. From what you describe, seems that those not in senior leadership roles (e.g. VPs) can influence others and serve as leaders (certainly to you as an intern it would seem). Will be interesting to see if that holds true for those individuals outside of the way in which they work with you.

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