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Four Keys to Success at Keeley Companies: Advice from an Old Intern

By: DJ Corbett

Dear New Intern,

Intern Collage

I’ll start by saying, "Congratulations!" For the next few months, you will not only be part of an

exceptional company, but a member of a wonderful family, filled with talented, friendly, and dedicated individuals. I’ve never seen a group of people have so much fun with each other while being so unbelievably productive. If you are nervous about coming in to an unfamiliar office filled with strangers, I promise that after your first day at Keeley, those nerves will disappear. To help ensure you can hit the ground running, here is some advice based on what I learned through my time as an intern with Keeley Companies.

1. Always say, “Yes.”

When someone invites you to lunch, say yes. When you get asked to help with an event, say yes. When a team member asks if you want to help out with a project they are working on, even if it seems difficult or you have no prior experience, say yes. You’ll always have guidance if things start to get overwhelming and you’ll end up learning countless new and useful skills that you never expected to have by the end of the summer. More importantly, doing this consistently will give you the opportunity to get to know your team better.

2. Go beyond, “What do you do here?”

Make an active effort to get to know your colleagues beyond what work they do for the company, especially other interns and the people on your team. You’ve probably already heard leaders at Keeley Companies talk fondly of the family-oriented culture, but it’s not a marketing ploy, it’s the truth. Everybody I’ve met this summer has been extremely friendly and happy to have a conversation. Being curious about a person’s job within the company is a great conversation starter, but don’t stop there. Get to know that person and intentionally build a relationship. Being able to wake up each morning and look forward to seeing friends around the office will make a profoundly positive impact on your experience as an intern.

3. Act like you have been part of the team for years

Don’t feel uncomfortable asserting yourself or your opinions because you’re new to the team. Join in the banter when everyone is joking around. Speak up when you have ideas, even when your ideas contradict popular opinion. If you want to pursue a new idea or work on a new project, tell your team. They want you to love your experience as a Keeley’n and will make sure you are given plenty of opportunities to pursue your passions and grow. They truly want to hear all of your ideas and opinions. Based on personal experience, following this advice can initially be intimidating. Push through that feeling. If you put yourself out there, I promise it will make all the difference.

4. When it comes time to write your vision, take the process seriously

One of the many reasons Keeley Companies has seen so much success, is the unanimous dedication to a clear and powerful vision, understood and embodied by every Keeley’n. Following in the company’s footsteps, every intern begins their summer by writing their five-year vision. Take this process very seriously. For a week, at the very least, intentionally sit with your thoughts and really figure out your most important hopes and dreams for the future. It took me more than a month to finalize my vision, and it will change over the years, but making this a meaningful exercise will noticeably change the way you think. You’ll begin to live more proactively, without even realizing it, because a powerful vision gives you purpose. Waking up each day with a purpose that excites you will do more than improve your summer with Keeley, it will make you a happier and more successful individual.

There’s more I could say, but I’ll leave you to figure out the rest. I’d be lying if I said there were never days that went by slowly, or bits of work that weren’t all that interesting, but those days and projects were few and far between. So, as cliché as it sounds, do what you can to make the most of your time here. I will confidently assert that, if you take this advice to heart, you’ll do wonderfully here at Keeley Companies. Best of luck, my friend, and enjoy your unforgettable summer as a Keeley’n.

Wishing you the best,

DJ Corbett, Keeley Companies Marketing Intern 2018

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