Blog Archive

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Intern Conference - Day 2

Written by David Riley
Assurance Intern
Baltimore, MD

After breakfast on Day 2, all of the interns gathered into the St. Charles Amphitheatre to listen to members of the McGladrey Leadership Team.  C.E. Andrews, President of RSM McGladrey, along with five other leaders from the company, introduced themselves to us and opened up the floor for questions.  From this, we were given advice to follow throughout our internship, our career, and our personal life as well.  Joe Adams, the Managing Partner and CEO of McGladrey & Pullen, told us “the more we give, the more we will get back.”  He said it is important for us to take advantage of this opportunity and learn by asking questions.  C.E. Andrews added that having a good mentor and being a good mentor will help us frame our career.  The team was very enthusiastic and excited about our internship class and wanted to make sure that throughout our experience with McGladrey, we build and maintain relationships.  These relationships will support us and help us grow.  This was my favorite event of the day since we were able to ask questions and hear advice and personal stories directly from the leaders of the company.

Once we had finished talking to the leadership team, the interns broke up into three groups to attend three different workshops.  The first workshop that my group attended was about branding.  Jennifer Busse and Jay Olson told us that the difference between a person’s brand and their image is that an image can be faked, but a brand cannot.  We also learned what steps should be taken to build our own brand.  These steps include knowing yourself, being consistent, accepting failure and learning from it, speaking up, and developing a training plan.  As an activity, we had to write down three traits that we believed the person to our right possessed.  Later on in the workshop, we compared these traits to the traits that each person wrote down for themselves.  The presenters left us to think about our plan for the future and the actions we need to take to create and maintain our personal brand.

In between the first and second workshop, we had the chance to meet back up with the rest of the interns for lunch.  At lunch, everyone talked about how much they enjoyed the workshop they had been to, and were excited to go to the next two.  The second workshop that my group attended was about communication.  Ken Bansemer and Kim McLaughlin began the presentation by outlining McGladrey’s core competencies and what they meant to us as interns.  They focused the presentation and activities on listening and informing skills.  It was interesting to learn that you can listen too much.  It is good to listen, but it is just as important to be a part of the conversation and add input.  To demonstrate the importance of these two skills, we performed two activites at our tables.  The first activity was reverse Pictionary where two people looked at a picture and described to a third person how to draw the picture.  The other activity was called bureaucracy, and demonstrated the difficulty that a team encounters when not everyone in the team can be heard.  These activities truly made us aware of how effective communicating skills can benefit a team as a whole.

The third and final workshop that my group went to was the Bottom Line Simulation Introduction.  This presentation was run by Jen Poklemba, Karin Gilmartin, and BJ Snelling who gave us interns the opportunity to learn about the simulation that we will be involved in on the third day.  This simulation will require creativity as we will be acting as partners for a firm that we create.  We have the chance to choose what we would like to name our firm, which industry to focus on, and which line of business is our firm’s expertise.  Once we were briefed on the simulation, we had the chance to get to know our team through two activities.  The lesson to be learned from the first activity was that a client may give us more information than we need, but we need to be able to sort through it to find the relevant information.  Also, the activity was good practice communicating within our teams quickly and efficiently.  The second activity was time based and challenged us to think on our feet.  These activities provided us with a great opportunity to get to know our team and be better prepared for the third day.

After the workshops, we had John Blumberg present to the whole intern class about the Kolbe Index and our results from our questionnaire.  This seemed to be the most anticipated event.  Before John gave us our results, he made sure we understood what the results were about and what they meant.  He added that there are three parts to our minds, and that the Kolbe Index only focuses on the Conative part, or the “doing” part.  Before handing out our individual results, he sent three interns out of the room.  He showed us their scores and he made predictions about how these three would act when working together.  When they came back into the room and had to complete the task John asked of them, they confirmed most of his predictions which made for a good laugh.  He ended his presentation by giving us a packet with our results and what the results mean to us.  This activity and presentation helped to define our strengths and taught us that an effective team will have a mixture of people with different wants and needs. 

The eventful day came to an end as we were allowed a break to eat dinner and relax before our evening event started.  For the evening event, we played a variety of casino games.  Music was playing and the games included everything from blackjack to roulette.  At the end, we turned in our chip winnings for tickets to be entered into a raffle that will be drawn tomorrow.

It was a busy, but very informative and inspiring second day.  The speakers kept the presentations interesting and made sure to keep everyone engaged.  As interns, we learned how we can be effective both inside and outside of McGladrey.  We are the faces and future of McGladrey and a day like today is essential to understanding the true importance of that.

No comments: