Every Sundog employee goes through a variety of onboarding meetings following their hire. During these meetings, new employees get the opportunity to meet with different Sundog experts to learn about their roles and responsibilities within the company. My intern group was fortunate to meet with a variety of Sundog specialists. Each of these individuals had a strong understanding of their role within the company, while recognizing the impact that their efforts play in the continued success of Sundog.
I was amazed at the passion of each of these individuals, along with their incredible level of knowledge, innovative thinking and technological know-how. Before I proceed, I should note as an undergraduate student, I did not major in manufacturing or anything tech-related. So despite constantly being encouraged to ask questions, I started to think that I wasn’t smart enough to work here. As new programs were introduced, new acronyms explained, and new objectives described, I started to become overwhelmed with my lack of knowledge in the subject. I felt failure on the onset of a task, even though I was fully capable. I now know these ideas are not beyond my abilities. They’re simply ideas and concepts that are ahead of me– they are things that I will master.
In the three months I have been here, I have learned with an open and curious mind, you can be taught anything. Sundog is filled with life-long learners. My colleagues sincerely want you to succeed and will bend over backwards to support you when you are struggling to complete a task or a project. Once you find yourself in a supportive environment, your aptitude for the business increases exponentially, as does your rapid development of new skill sets. Based on my own feelings of inadequacy, I have written down a few key takeaways from my first semester at Sundog.
- “You can be taught skills, but your personality is what seals the deal.”
I’ve learned that I work best while collaborating. When I started posting this blog, I thought it would be best to run it by the “Sundoggers” on my floor. When I used the phrase “Knowing is half the battle,” a lot of colleagues gave me a puzzled look. I explained my self-doubt and the fear that I was letting my co-workers down. Essentially, I felt inadequate for the job and started to question why I was there. That’s when one of my co-workers said, “You can be taught skills, but your personality is what seals the deal.” Other people echoed that they too have had moments of self-doubt. In my mind, this is where being a member of a team really pays off. Today, if I am tasked with a project or a concept that I don’t understand, I don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that I am inadequate. I now look at it as a learning experience and instead of freezing up, I simply reach out to a team member for guidance and assistance. At Sundog, I know there is always going to be a helping hand.
2. Grow through what you go through.
Getting edits or receiving negative feedback from a supervisor or client doesn’t mean you are bad at what you do. Everyone has room to grow. Allow your environment and your circumstances to help you channel that personal growth. Within every edit is an opportunity to not only learn how to improve but how to approach future tasks differently. Instead of beating yourself up and saying “I should have known this before,” I say, “Now I know how to approach this differently the next time.” Some tasks that I have struggled with, I now consider a valuable part of my development. Though it was difficult at the time, the experience helped me learn a new skill. I really believe that the only way we grow is to be forced out of our comfort zone. Although my work at Sundog hasn’t been perfect, along the way I have learned how better to identify areas for improvement and to work closely with my colleagues so that I don’t make the same mistake twice.
I am loving everything about my time here at Sundog. In addition to growing professionally, I feel I am finding out more about myself as a writer, creator and co-worker. I know that one day when I leave the Sundog Tower, I will be able to take all of the lessons that I’ve learned in my time here and apply it to anything life throws at me.