As a third-year marketing student, I know that meaningful internships are a vital part of growth into the “real world.” As much as I have learned in the classroom, from teachers, or from a textbook, it can’t compare to the experiences I’ve had working in various settings. I have been extremely fortunate to work in many different cultures and be a part of several different teams. Through the years I have worked in construction, industry retail, sports marketing, and now the marketing world at KEEN. With each of these opportunities came extremely different cultures. When I first stepped in the door at KEEN I felt a part of a tight-knit team. With such a positive aura about the office it was certainly contagious. This is something throughout my years as a part of the work force, I have never experienced before.
These are a few of the traits I find myself experiencing at KEEN and how I can relate them to my life and experiences:
Being a part of a successful team
For me this was relatable to my experience in the hockey world. I have played competitive hockey since the age of five, and now play in the NCAA for the University of New Hampshire where I am also completing my degree. The bond that is made between teammates is something special, and I have made some of my best friends through the sport I have dedicated my life to. Immediately when being introduced to the team at KEEN I had the same feeling that I was a part of something similar.
For a hockey team to be successful, there must be a sense of willingness to buy into a bigger goal. This couldn’t be more applicable to the KEEN team. I feel a true sense of community and willingness to help others achieve their goals. When one is a part of such a positive culture so contagious, it brings out the best in people and creates a more enjoyable and exciting place to work!
Having the best people
To relate the concept of having the best people, I would once again reference being a part of a hockey team. One team may have 20 superstars who have extreme individual talent, but if they are not genuine people with good intentions they will go nowhere. On the other hand if you find yourself with 20 people who are dedicated to each others success and have a common goal, you have a much better chance of success. Now I am not claiming we do not have superstars here at KEEN because it is clear this team is full of them, all bringing different and special qualities to the table. The difference is that no one is above helping another, or collaborating ideas for different projects. For example, as part of the process of moving into a new and exciting space, everyone at KEEN sat down together, criss-cross applesauce style in a park, and helped decide in what style they should celebrate such a big step in the growing vision for this company. There was no top-down feeling to such a meeting, where everyone was told what this should be. It was a collaboration of everyone’s thoughts and ideas, with several laughs along the way. This is one of many examples of how at KEEN, I have been fortunate to meet and work alongside some amazing people.
The importance of a positive culture
Once again the best way I can describe to you some of my experiences with different cultures is through hockey. I couldn’t begin to count how many different teams I have been a part of, but each brings a different culture. Through the good and bad I have been able to narrow down some of the key differences between a positive and negative experience. One key trait I have already touched upon was that of having great people with a common goal. At KEEN this is very clear, and even on my first day, it was communicated very clearly to me that the end goal of our work is to create meaningful and effective solutions for clients. This is a quality that creates purpose and direction for the KEEN team which through my experience, is an extremely important characteristic. From what I have learned throughout the years, is that without trust, there will be no progress. Here at KEEN there isn’t somebody looking over your shoulder every minute making sure your day begins at exactly 9 or you don’t leave a second before 5. A level of trust is ingrained within the culture. Everyone around you is counting on the fact you will do your work, and put in your time. This in itself creates accountability through the trust of your peers.
A good leader/leaders
I hope you aren’t sick of my hockey analogies yet, because I have one last thought for you. Leadership is something every team, regardless if it’s a sport or a corporate environment, that can change the outcome of their goals. Of course on a team there is always a coach, who guides culture, and sets the tone for the rest of the team to follow. In my experience, with a direct message and guidance from leadership, the direction of a team falls upon peers. Whether it be a captain, or others in a leadership role, these people are responsible to hold each other accountable and lead by a positive example. Along with goals set by a coach or leader, if accountability is held throughout, success will follow. This couldn’t be more true for the KEEN team. As an intern joining the team I had a lot to learn about how things worked within the company. The leadership helped make their ideologies and philosophies crystal clear for me to understand. Direction and purpose is communicated and ingrained within the team. The leadership team within KEEN brings a sense of accountability, with such a positive spin. A positive culture, which I spoke about earlier, stems from leadership. When leaders create a positive environment the ability for all individuals within the team to perform at their best dramatically increases.
In conclusion I can say that the people and culture here at KEEN make the biggest difference, making it so much more than just a place to work. It creates a strong team and family to collaborate with, to create something truly special, driving meaningful relationships and results for clients, community and everyone around us.
With everything else put aside, this summer, as an intern for KEEN I have found myself in an amazing position. As I told you earlier, an internship for a university student in their later years at school is something that can change your career path for better or worse. To be a part of such a fun, outgoing and flat-out awesome team at KEEN will be extremely exciting and a great opportunity to learn. I look forward to applying my marketing and management degree to further relationships with clients and their projects.
Interested in learning more about KEEN and the awesome work we do? Check out our portfolio! KEEN is also hiring so check out our careers section and learn how to become a real life keener.