Dwellworks Blog

Intern Insights | Week 12

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Tell us about your favorite memory while interning here at Dwellworks, and what you learned from it.

By Erika DiCresce | Cleveland, OH
My favorite memory from this internship was working with the other interns on the group project. It really showed me how much better a project can be when you collaborate with others. It also helped us bond as a group and learn to communicate with each other better. I will definitely look for more team-based opportunities throughout my future career.

By Eleni Nikolakis | Cleveland, OH
My favorite Dwellworks memory was when I finally felt that I have “paid my dues”, followed through for my teammates and for myself. This was when I came back during week 9 of the 12 week internship program from being sick for over a week! I felt like I was letting my Dwellworks teammates and myself down and I knew I couldn’t control when I would get better. My mother, Irene, reminded me how strong of a woman I am and she encouraged me to, “Get back in there, and do your best, that’s all you can do.”
I came back in week nine at Dwellworks with a more positive outlook and clear focus on what I’ve put my mind to. The intern group presentation was nicely coming together which fulfilled my group commitment. Now, I had to work on the commitment to myself – be confident in my content and skills to get through the presentation with success and make my HR team (Shana Zollar, Matt Polomsky and Jessica Shook) proud. After the presentation, I received several compliments about my communication skills and received positive feedback from my team.
At this point, I feel accomplished, more confident in myself, and am glad I matured through life to know it’s so important to stick to my commitments – there’s no better feeling than overcoming a challenge and proving to others and yourself that you have the confidence, positive attitude, perseverance, and drive to succeed in spite of obstacles. I learned that I like working with respectful teammates who believe in the power of teamwork, encouragement, and that I’m smarter and more capable than I thought I was. Now, approaching my senior year, I will remember my favorite Dwellworks memory when working on group projects and seeking full time job opportunities. I will be respectful and always thank my peers at school for everyone’s contributions and team efforts. While looking for my first full time job, I will be sure to ask companies how their culture supports teamwork and what they do to have fun.

By Sarah Matos | Cleveland, OH
I really enjoyed the Cultural Competencies training presentation that Dean Foster provided for all of the interns. I love learning about other cultures and interacting with people from other countries, so I found his presentation very helpful and pleasant. I learned how to better tailor my communication style when working and interacting with people in our international office locations. I think it is great that Dwellworks provided this training for us and also that this company values the importance of understanding other cultures.

By Stephanie Peppler | Detroit, MI
Although I’ve worked on countless group projects in school, working on my group project at Dwellworks was an entirely different experience. Prior to our presentation day, I had only met and worked with one of our group members in person. Four of our group members were in Ohio and one in Mexico. Without having a single in-person meeting as a complete group, we had to create our entire presentation through phone conferences and emails. Nevertheless, we collected research and came up with some great ideas for our project. Once our brainstorming and research was complete, we decided to split our project into seven different sections. Subsequently, each group member was solely responsible for creating their assigned section. However, what seemed like a practical idea at the time, turned out to be a big mistake.
Several of us became sick or injured in the weeks leading up to the presentation. Just when one of our group members would return, another one would be absent from work and have to miss a meeting. Consequently, we encountered some major issues when we tried putting all of the sections together. Our presentation lacked cohesiveness and much of the information was repetitive, while other key components had been left out entirely. Furthermore, when our practice presentation day finally arrived, two of our team members were absent. As we struggled to get through the slides, we realized we’d made a big mistake. Each member only knew how to present their individual section and when it came time to present our absent teammates’ sections we had no idea what to say. Our practice run had been semi-disastrous.
We realized then that we hadn’t really been working as a team. Afterwards, we all agreed that we needed to pull it together and work collaboratively on the presentation. To truly be a team we needed to be able to have each other’s backs and know every other part of the presentation just as well as we knew our own. As we slowly went through each slide together, we were able to eliminate repetitive information and highlight key ideas; our presentation gradually started to become cohesive. Finally, when it came time to present, we didn’t sound like seven strangers all attempting to talk about their own topic; but rather seven unique voices coming together to explain one collaborative idea.

By Emma Gallagher | Cleveland, OH
My favorite part of the internship program was the group project. This allowed us interns to work closely together and form relationships beyond just the “hello” in the hallway. I was able to learn about my fellow interns talents through their willingness to take on roles and head up certain research topics. We all became very close in the end and I am forever thankful for the people I was paired with!

By Therese Clancy | Cleveland, OH
My favorite part about this internship was working with my team. I am thankful to have worked with some of the most kind, caring, and outgoing people in the office. The marketing department has taught me how important it is to work on a team you truly enjoy. We all worked as one, cohesive team. One aspect of our team I particularly enjoyed was our Monday-morning catch up meetings. Together, we talked about what was accomplished last week and what our priorities will be for the days to come. Not only did this keep our team organized from the open communication, but it made Mondays go by a little faster.

By Michael Epright, Marisa Forstyk, Tim Ludlow, and Erika DiCresce | Cleveland, OH
“One of the greatest qualities of friendship is to understand and to be understood.” –Lucious A. Seneca
Although this idea tends to act as roots for the foundation of our search for friends, not everyone takes a step back to observe the impact it has on us. Humans have a natural desire to bond with the life around them and compare shared similarities with others, but maybe the effects of these actions are what we really search for. Looking back on our internship at Dwellworks, we, the Residential Services interns, have had the opportunity to work closely with each other, helping us to directly understand some irreplaceable pieces that come with working here.
When we think of work, some instantly gravitate towards a place where processes dominate our time – not only are we carrying them out each day, but as we zoom out on the entire work force, the job we do might just be a piece of the process on the company’s scale. This thought is certainly real for the purpose of its existence and acts as the inevitable framework for every company. It is important that we emphasize the word “framework” and focus more on what we can paint between these frames.
Everyone carries different assets and values when searching for a job and we try to accentuate these to the prospective companies that interest us; though this is simply an entry point. This is an entry point into a culture that we perceive a specific workplace to have. We could make similar salaries elsewhere but we scope in on the places selling a lifestyle that we would like to take part in.
For us interns, some of the hardest questions to answer face to face or on an application is “What career are you pursing” or “Where would you like to work proceeding graduation”? In other words, we are being asked what type of procedural process we would prefer. The real question does not revolve around what we do but how we do it and Dwellworks helped us formulate an answer.
As the four of us in Residential Services look back on what we will take away from Dwellworks, the aspect we hold closest is the importance of the people around us. We want to understand our peers just as we want them to understand us. All of us carry goals as well as their obstacles to work each day and human nature presents us with a need to interact upon these; furthermore, with those who genuinely care.
In our time here at Dwellworks, our leaders and co-workers have helped us through struggles, new experiences and achieve goals. They have helped us prepare for obstacles in the future but also growing as an individual. Each of us carries a level of confidence and experience that we could only acquire within the frames of Dwellworks.

What was your biggest take-away from this internship?

By Colleen Mullen | Detroit, MI
I was finding it difficult to land on one grand take-away from this experience. As an intern class and individually we have learned and accomplished so much this summer. We honed our teamwork and presentation skills with our group project. We discovered department and career specific hacks that will surely provide us with a leg up when it comes to job hunting down the road. We received invaluable training on customer service, cultural competencies, keeping organized, project management, and more. We sharpened some of those soft skills that others our age might let fall by the wayside. All of these are amazing take-aways that I am incredibly grateful for. However, in the spirit of our intern projects, I am going to have to speak like a tried and true millennial when answering this question. Drum roll please.
The biggest, greatest, most important take-away from this internship is:
It is, in fact, possible to find a job that you genuinely enjoy. You can have fun every single day. You can feel like your work is meaningful. You can work with people you actually want to be around. You can have freedom and flexibility, while still being productive and reaching goals. You can be picky and find a career and a company whose culture aligns with your own. Yes work can be stressful. And yes there are always going to be menial tasks that need to be completed. But if I have learned one thing over the last 12 weeks at Dwellworks, it’s that you can be happy at work, and should be.


To read an update on this outstanding intern class, click here

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