Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Contributing Anyway I Could

As my last blog read, My company had a huge client presentation in Philadelphia last Friday and as expected; interns weren’t able to attend. Although I was not presenting I wanted to share some tips I did to stay involved and engaged in a successful presentation!

1. Ask tons of questions!
Since I wasn’t presenting and haven’t been working on this presentation as long as the other staff has, I found myself being unengaged simply because I was confused and needed to be caught up to speed with a lot of information. After finding comfort in addressing what I didn’t know and seeking answers, I was able to contribute to conversions and help add some information to slides. My supervisors were happy to see my curiosity and interest in their work and allowed me to sit in on a lot more meetings and conversations dealing with the final presentation too!

2. Offer some suggestions!
Once I found comfort in asking questions, I then used my outside perspective to contribute some knowledgeable suggestions I thought could enhance the presentation and offer a different approach. I played devil’s advocate for some of the ideas that were already “finalized” to spark conversations that the presenters may have encountered during their time in Philadelphia. Eventually I was asked for my opinion occasionally during meetings and client calls.

3.Offer a helping hand!
Although you may think you can’t do much, you can. I asked to help out on the physical presentation document in any way, shape or form. At first I wasn’t called upon to contribute, but after some persistence and diligence I demonstrated during meetings, I was asked to make a few slides. Although making these slides may not seem like a huge deal, these slides were given to our client, Pfizer, and other agencies who attended the conference as well. I contributed to the project by being proactive and seeking work.

4.Get in contact with some if not all of the presenters
Since my direct supervisor didn’t always have things for me to work on, I reached out to the other two staff members who were presenting as well and asked if they needed any help with anything. There answers were no, but it was good to hear that they were thankful I had offered. Reaching out to these employees definitely showed my investment and interest in the project as I continued to seek out work to do. Although they didn’t need my assistance this time around, they now knew who they can call upon when a moment does arise and they do need some help!

5. Follow Up!
Before and after the presentation I reached out to my supervisor. Before, I just reached out to wish her luck the night before and before I knew it I was asked to read over the final presentation document with “fresh eyes” to see if I could find any errors. I was happy to be given the opportunity to work on the project one last time before it was presented. After the presentation, I followed up and asked how it went. My supervisor shared with me the good and the bad making me feel completely part of the team. I was then given a small task in response to one of the clients feedback that I am currently working on now!

Although you may feel as though you may have nothing to do, there’s always something to do! Being engaged, asking questions and being proactive goes a long way with making connections and being invited to sit in on new meetings or even take on new projects!