Friday, May 9, 2008

The Boardroom

A heavy metal door, equipped with a key pad for entry, blocked me from entering the boardroom. How was I supposed to get inside? With the meeting minutes away and no tools to aid me to gain access such as a blow torch, crow bar, I was left helpless...or so I thought. With just minutes to go, the secret code was punched in by a member of the office, crisis averted.

When I started my volunteering I thought I would spend the majority of my time at a desk, on the computer doing hours upon hours of data entry. This is still the case. However, everyday presents new and exciting challenges so although it is essentially the same task, volunteering remains a fun and fulfilling experience.

An experience which got a lift this pas week, because in addition to my regular duties, I had the opportunity to sit in on a office meeting, in the boardroom. Not only was I sitting in on the meeting, but I had the responsibility of presenting the hours of data entry that I had complied in a report. So here I was, in the boardroom, sitting in a puffy leather chair, anxiously waiting my chance to speak to the other members of the office.

On the agenda, the presentation of my report was the third item. As I patiently waited to get called upon, I observed the discussion of the four others in the boardroom, members of the communication team at the sport association.

Aside from the occasional personal small talk, they were all business when discussing the items on the agenda. There was a fair bit of PR jargon, good thing I had kept up on my terminology through the year, nestled in between an easy going, professional business talk. Basically they talked like normal people but sprinkled in a little PR terms.

So after the two first items on the agenda quickly breezed by, if you could call over an hour spent on two items, I was up.

I opened simply with explaining what my role is and what I had been doing. This can be summed up as analyzing media outlets across Canada, looking at articles in newspapers, magazines, blogs and other publications that mention the sport association, with the help of some pretty cool technology of course. Then I would classify the article as having a positive, neutral or negative tone.

After I determine what kind of tone the article is, I rate it on five criteria, defined by the sport association, and see if the article has any of these five criteria. Once I have gathered all this information it gets put into the report, which leads me to its explanation in the boardroom to the rest of my co-workers.

As it turned out, explaining what I do to you turned out to be really not that nerve wracking. In fact, when I continued on with the actual presentation of the report, I felt even more relaxed. Relaxed enough to speak to everyone else in the room with confidence, something that I wasn't expecting in the beginning of this.

The boardroom at first glance seemed like an impossible situation for me to overcome. Being thrust in a professional meeting as an volunteering intern, I was intimidated for sure. However with a relaxed attitude and confidence in my abilities, I was able to come out in one piece. Perhaps the access code to the boardroom could be coming to me sooner than I think...


Anonymous said...

Nicely written. I'm glad you're enjoying your internship.