Written by: Wes Lin
Ask me that question, and I will have absolutely no answer for you. This is the wrap-up of my 10 weeks here, and it feels like I started yesterday! Is it because I’ve been having fun? You bet!
This experience has broadened my horizons more than I had thought possible. Although I’ve had experience in HR previously, and other professional work experience in general, this time I have spent at OCLC has been incredible, eye-opening and phenomenal and a whole bunch of other adjectives I could use from the thesarus that would sound a little too SAT/GRE-ish.
I think the number one thing that I will be taking away from this experience is the incredible amount of latitude I’ve been afforded and trusted with. Sure, I have accountability for my actions, but at the end of the day, if I make a misstep in the eyes of another department or my own, it’s their VP or Director that will be coming down on my managers’ necks, not mine. For, I am but the lowly intern that can be seen roaming the halls between my cube and the cafeteria seeking coffee (aka life, glorious glorious life) and with my sleeves rolled up (always ready to work.)
I shouldn’t be so self-effacing by calling myself the lowly intern. I truly believe that I have made an impact on the organization over the weeks I have been here. People may not always remember my name (remember, people who have been here 5 years are still considered new considering our average 17.5 year tenure), but they may remember me as the “Generational Differences guy” because of the presentation I did to a training class. Or as the “40th Anniversary mastermind” because of the event I have been coordinating with all the different departments. Maybe I’ll be remembered as “the Atrium guy”, because of my fondness for soaking in some Vitamin D and sunshine in our Atrium while I brainstorm ways to revamp our mentoring program, ideas for our Diversity Book and Movie Lists, or ways for us to prepare for the onslaught of Millennials that will be joining the OCLC ranks in the next few years. Or maybe I’ll be remembered as “Wes Lin”, not solely as the HR intern, and people will wonder where I am when I don’t show up for work on the morning of 8/29.
Regardless of those tags, my managers trusted me enough to take a project of my own creation and run with it. Or they believed in me and my capabilities enough to let me handle a project that required real effort, work and thought, because of the way it impacts the organization and department. However the latitude was presented, I used it and appreciated it and made sure that I was doing good work that reflects on them, me and Fisher.
To continue on with the idea of the Atrium, I always keep this proverb near and dear to my heart, because no matter how small the action, you are leaving a part of yourself everywhere you are and with everyone you’ve interacted with.
“When eating fruit, remember the person who planted the tree.”
I’d like to think that I planted some trees here at OCLC, and that they will bear fruit. Maybe not immediately, maybe not for a long time, but the seeds I scattered will take root eventually and I’ll have left a part of me and created a legacy for myself at OCLC. It may not seem as grandiose to other people, my perception of it may be too small to what other people think, but I know at least in my own mind, that I accomplished something and I have left the organization as many gifts as they bestowed upon me.
Thank you, OCLC. You truly are a great place to work.
PS – shortly after writing this blog post, I had my internship extended to the end of the year!