The fans spin in sync, a whirring sound accompanying the path of the blades through the air. The sound of typing often punctuates this ever-present whirring. The A/C turns on behind me, a cool burst of air rushing towards my corner, sending goosebumps up my arms. I am tasked with another piece of writing, my last piece for Cookson Communications. My Swan Song. My last ode to the office. A masterpiece to top all masterpieces. Daunting.
A dartboard hangs on the wall in the conference room. Dia, who is the senior director of communications and client engagement and my supervisor at Cookson, mentioned on my first day of internship that the dartboard was there in case anyone needed a break, needed to blow off some steam. I have never seen the dartboard used. Maybe you are thinking to yourself, “what a waste of a good dartboard.” I disagree. The use of the dartboard, or the lack thereof, is the perfect representation of some of the best qualities of Cookson Communications. The employees at Cookson show not only a sense of amity but also signs of genuine affection towards each other. People here don’t need to throw darts to blow off steam, they can just talk, vent and laugh with each other. If any frustration arises, people turn to each other for help, whether that is to find a solution or just someone to empathize with. Staff meetings are punctuated with witty additions, a healthy balance of hard work and ease of mind.
A community has been built, founded on mutual respect, legitimate cohesiveness and the fusion of great ideas. No dartboard necessary.
Enter me. A curly haired, sweater-clad, 19-year-old.
One aspect about me, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, I have no idea what I am doing. I have never been in an office, never had a desk, I wear the same pair of Sperry shoes every day. The people at Cookson, without hesitation, made me feel welcome, the sense of community, infectious. Dia assigned me projects which played to my strengths and tailored my experience to not only be one of learning but also to help solidify my own belief in those strengths. I can walk out of the building on my last day thinking, “Hey, maybe I do kind of know what I am doing.”
Early on in my internship, I was curious how a company of Cookson’s size can cover so many areas of expertise. We write, we manage, we market, we brand, we create, we design, we organize, all with a minimal amount of hiccups along the way. I understand now that it all traces back to the community established. While there may only be nine employees, each person brings something to the table. Everyone has carved out their own chunk of Cookson Communications, and each person strives to excel in their own respect. It is an anomaly of a balance, that of independence and teamwork, however, it works here. This is an understanding which I will take with me from Cookson, the knowledge that I can be as great as I wish to be, however, to truly succeed I must rely on the greatness of those around me.
Oh, and also, I will probably steal that dartboard. No one is using it anyway.
Kevin Serrano is a summer 2018 communications intern with Cookson Communications.