Friday, July 20, 2012

Off-Site Team Building with Western International Securities

In order for a company to work, people need to be able to work as a team. Everyone has their role and whether or not it is a direct relationship, what we do within the company effects everyone in the long-run.

This summer, I was invited to the off-site team building day. Half the team went to Chez Cherie in La Canada, CA for a day of cooking and learning. The other half of the team had to hold down the fort. They got to go earlier in the year.

Team Western

We arrived at ten AM and amongst the attendees were the CEO, the Chief Compliance Officer, my friend Michelle from Compliance, and the other intern, Christine.  There were 16 of us in total.

My group with our Tomato Tarte!

We were split into three groups and rotated through stations where we learned how to cook a starter, salad, entree, and dessert. My group, pictured right, consisted of Michelle, Christine, Carolyn, and Don.

Getting domesticated

I learned how to properly slice an onion at the entree station. What a revelation. Let me tell you. I did make a joke that I would be a terrible housewife. I like food and I don't mind cooking. I just REALLY hate cleaning up after myself. (Side note: I bought that cheetah print shirt the day before and it's my new favorite shirt. I LOVE cheetah.)

Around noon, we sat down to eat the fruits of our labor, which were phenomenal by they way. I tried so hard to use my best manners. I only had one moment of silliness when I was eating my salad. I picked up a piece of lettuce that was an awkward size. It wasn't really big enough to cut in half, but it was awkwardly large enough to have to consider how to put it in my mouth. Christine, the other intern, spotted my concetration from across the table and we immeadiately broke into hysterics. I'm glad they like our bubbly personalities or it could've been so awkward.

Upon finishing, the real work began. Nahid Casazza of Aspyrre worked with us for over three hours. We started with introductions, which included challenges that we have overcome that made us who we are. People shared everything from life-threatening diseases to divorces. I shared my story about this year's talent show and how I had to ask for a restart on account of not being able to hear the music. Of course, I then had to get back on stage for a rap battle. (That got a good laugh. Thank goodness.) What I learned was that people are more supportive than we expect and that you have to "get back on the horse," so to speak.

The most beneficial section for me was when we were divided into groups and had to write a draft script for addressing a difficult office conversations. My group had "how to ask for a raise or promotion." As someone preparing to enter the work force, I found the insight of my co-workers very helpful. The draft script was as follows:

I have been with Western for some time and have been able to support not only your goals, but the goals of several departmetns. I have "list accomplishments here" and feel that my record proves my ability to take on more responsibilty. I'd like to be compensated according to the number and rigor of these new responsibilities. Wouldn't you agree?

While I'm not a hug fan of the word "compensated" in that script, I think it is a great way to address the option. Nahid said that the most important thing to remember going into a discussion is to stay emotionally neutral. Be reasonable and if the boss says "no" to your request, stay calm and continue the conversation, inquiring on what you can do to deserve the raise.

The day was really beneficial, especially for an intern and I'm very grateful I was invited to participate.

In other news, IT'S FRIDAY! This weekend, I'm getting my hair cut (get ready for a surprise!) and I'm hanging in Venice Beach with my friend, Audrey.


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