Hello! I’m Samuella Graham, a 3rd-year student of KNUST. On June 4, 2018, I started an internship at EchoHouse Ghana Limited, and it will go down memory lane as one of my best experiences in my learning and work growth.
My first day there was quite eventful; my emotions sporadically took the better part of me, as I walked late into the compound feeling all lost. I slunk gently through the main entrance into the office building and found the staff busily going about their daily activities. Nothing made me more nervous than being clueless about where to go and what to do. Not finding my way can easily disorient me, and that was exactly the state I found myself in lol!
I looked to my left and followed my gut to attempt opening the door I saw and flung it open, landing straight into a filled conference room. In front of the people stood a guy who signaled me to enter as he continued speaking to the people. It was a room full of new interns and the guy on the floor talking, whom I’ve come to know as Kwesii, the Creative Director, gave us a pep talk for about an hour and a half.
For the first thirty minutes of the conversation, I was completely lost. It was intimidating, yet the feeling was gone once we had a quick introduction and got settled in. On my First day, I learned a lot! And I mean a lot, no exaggerations here.
We were immediately split into two groups and given our first task of the day as interns. Look! My group was super cool; I ended up with my course and roommate Norkor and I straight away knew we were going to kill it with our genius ideas and executions.
Yup! We are cool like that! We felt so free sitting on the woolen carpeted floor racking our brains for ideas. Yeah, I believed in those ideas. I felt they were just the perfect ideas for the task given us. After a couple of hours, we had to do a quick presentation on our findings only to find out that my group did the worse out of the two groups. Is today really my first day at work? I thought to myself as I sat sadly biting my fingernails. Bad habit, I admit.
What I admired about Kwesii was that he didn’t leave us basking in our sorrow. He helped us correct our mistakes, gave us tips on how to go about the work and gave us the second chance to better ourselves, but this time as individual projects.
No doubt, it was an honor for me to have been chosen out of lots to intern at Echo. I believe I am so lucky. I still have a lot of things to be trained on and to learn, and I am very excited that I am able to be involved with so much just in the creative communication department (digIT) and that I am able to get a well-rounded feel of the different area in this department. Not just focusing on one individual task will really open my eyes to what I may want to do, or not want to do, in the future.
With my great sense of creativity, I’ve already gotten myself better than I want to admit. I’ve been surprising myself more and more each day by figuring out what I need do or how to come up with ideas and creatives. Another thing I am still working on is getting used to my 15-minute walk to work every day from American house to the office. While it’s been a struggle to get up earlier than I would have to during the weekends. I’ve found that it’s important to try to find the good in everything and keep a positive attitude. Waking up very early has allowed me to work on my punctuality. It has also allowed me to be more active and less lazy in the mornings.
One thing I am learning is that one must appreciate the time they have in the days in different ways. While I enjoy the flexibility of my days during school (with some days only having one class, or none, for the day), having homework, projects, studying, tests, and group work can be a real time killer and pain. So, while working full time takes up my whole day, it is definitely nice to have my nights free without any homework or studying. I’ve come to realize how quickly time in school flies and how important it is to take advantage of every opportunity that comes along so that you’re not leaving school wishing you would have taken the time to do something that you didn’t.
Working at Echo has really made me appreciate everything that they have to offer. How many people can say they get paid to be taught how to come up with a creative or a pitch? And, how many people in the corporate world can say that they get to be dress in their own style without restrictions? I really am lucky to be in EchoHouse as an intern.
While these are some of my experience, I also believe that you get out of something that you put into it. I am taking advantage of all of the different opportunities that are available to me. I have also tried my hardest to understand and comprehend my department and the tasks that I have been assigned so that I can perform well for the company who gives so much flexibility. Sometimes this means taking the time to research different things on my own time to fully understand something.
I’ve learned that it is okay to ask questions – actually, it is preferred and needed by those around you. While I may feel like a pest, it is always better I asked questions to do right things than to guess and mess something up. I also believe that it’s important to be confident in yourself and give things a shot if you feel like you have something down. Another thing that I really appreciate with my experience here so far is that we as interns are working right alongside the full-time employees, given some of the same responsibilities and tasks that they have. If nothing is a struggle then you are not being challenged enough and you are not growing as professionally or personally as you could. Don’t give up hope if something is not making sense right away. Show up like Echo!