During my internship, I was situated at Alwaleed Ind Group Company. The company is involved with boats construction, selling full kitchen sets and aluminum to prominent companies. Through the period, I learnt a lot based on the activities that I undertook and the people around me. I operated in the organization for four weeks where I worked at different departments during the time. This included the marketing, sales, human resource department and as a secretary.
First Week: Secretary
During my first week, I was posted to the secretary unit. Here, I had an obligation to stay in the office, but I did not have a lot to do during the first day. This was triggered by the fact that I did not comprehend the things that were going on in the organization. I went through a training process where I learnt various aspects that were required of me. The day went well and gathered numerous ideas regarding the job. During the second day, I was given the audacity to answer calls that were coming through. Most of the calls were from clients that were making various enquiries. I was aware of what to do since I had watched my trainer the previous day very keenly. I was also equipped with knowledge of the questions that are frequently asked. They were quite a number, so I had to grasp some since they seemed to be related in a way. After the third day, my duties had increased. I was now compiling documents and presenting them to the relevant departments and supervisors. At the beginning, I had some form of laxity, but during the fourth day I was executing all the tasks with ease.
Among the things that I learnt during the time is that one cannot grasp everything at once. We all need some interval to adapt to the new environment before we can execute the duties accorded to us appropriately. The aspect of diversity at the workplace makes it even more difficult for this process. This is because the people involved have different ways of doing things, beliefs and ideas. Understanding people as they are, and not taking into account their shortcomings is vital for success when working in a diverse workplace. I also learnt that clients are extremely happy when they are communicating with an individual that truly understands what they want. This means a person with clear knowledge of what the company if offering and how it operates. Consumers are more likely to purchase from the organization when they are met by such occurrences.
A general feeling that I developed is that the secretary work is not as easy as I used to think. Initially, I had the notion that they would just sit there and answer calls. I came to realize there is more to that since one needs to be sober in every move that they make. Any mistake committed by the secretary might jeopardize other departments due to the compilations needed. All the reports need to be accurate and up to date at all times.
The opportunity that I had as a secretary was reporting to my manager. He was quite charming and encouraging on many facets. He would provide tips on how to lead a successful career path. It was his believe that hard work and discipline was paramount for success. This transpired through his activities since he was occasionally the last person to leave the workplace. I also had the opportunity of meeting with people that had different ideas from mine. To me it was like a learning adventure. They were more experienced since they had been in the organization for some time. This meant their advice would be particularly beneficial in enhancing my career.
Second Week: Marketing Department
During the second week, I was posted at the marketing department. Here, the activities were quite different compared to what I was doing as a secretary. Among the activities that I was allocated was the production of promotional materials. These included designing promotional materials and writes like catalogs, direct mail pieces, brochures and advertising materials for various media outlets. The materials were already designed by the relevant parties, and our work was to sort them out. Some of the materials were entirely in-house while others were from hired professional copywriters and designers. I was involved in setting up booths and conferences for a trade show that was planned in the course of the week. I had been posted to the department at a time when there was a lot to do. Another duty that was allocated to me was that of monetizing social media. To the company, this was a remarkably sensitive platform and everything needed to go in the right direction. Emergence of any erroneous wordings would not be tolerated.
I developed a feeling that the marketing department is pivotal in the organization’s operations. This is because it focused more on consumers who are the sole purpose for its existence. It is through this wing that all needs and wants of the consumers were collected. Relevant bodies would work on the specifications and modify certain aspects based on how the consumers wanted. The department was also tasked with monitoring competition. There were agents appointed to look on how the competitors are faring and the techniques being used. This acted as a counter measure to any move that they opted to take.
The general working environment was demanding. Interactions between employees were aimed at passing information. There was a lot that one could learn from the other party since there existed differences in ideology. Such occurrences are expected in any diverse workforce. Among the opportunities that I had, was learning of the responsibilities of the marketing department. I came to learn that understanding the Return on Investment as a marketer was hugely valuable. This is because it stipulated the nature of investments that the company ought to execute. Anything that does not fall within the desired bracket is abandoned no matter how good it might seem.
However, there was a limitation based on the time that I executed these tasks. Being in that department for one week was not enough since there are a lot of things to learn. Some aspects usually come along as an individual operates in the organization for some time. Most of the marketing aspects are not clear and need exposure and experience for one to get fully acquainted. The systems are complex and need a relevant time period to assess all the critical areas. It is a department that I would have wished to stay a little longer since I felt was a lot to learn.
Third Week: Human Resource Department
On the third week, I got the privilege to work in the human resource department. This department was extremely sensitive hence I was not awarded a holistic duty. The things that I did only entailed helping the individuals that were concerned with them. Among the duties that I got involved with included designing of the job description and job analysis in areas where there were vacancies. Job analysis entailed collection of information regarding the responsibilities, necessary skills and duties in a particular department. My duty was to write the statements that were being brought forward by the relevant bodies. During the fourth day of the week, I was also involved in a performance appraisal process. The management was assessing the employees that needed to be recognized based on their performance, and I was involved in the process. My duty was the analysis of the clock in and clock out time. I recognized that employees used to arrive at the work station at different time intervals and the same case happened during the clock out time.
Working at this unit made me develop a feeling that this department was special. Human resource department appeared to be the backbone of all the operations in the organization. This is because all the activities that were being executed were under the control of the employees placed on different stations. Failure from employees would have resulted to complete failure of the other resources involved. The management had a duty to ensure that a conducive working environment was provided at all times. There needed to be a motivation so as enhance performance which would bring favorable results as the end product.
Among the working experiences that I gathered from the department is the necessity of embracing diversity management in the organization. This can be achieved through establishing strategic human resource management. Failure to address diversity in the best way possible might bring about conflicting attitudes in the workplace. This might work as a great impediment to achieving the company’s objectives. I also learnt of the power of performance appraisal. During my interactions with other employees, I came to learn that performance appraisal boosts employees’ motivational aspects. The essence of recognition brings the feeling of belonging to the workplace community. Since every employee wants to be recognized, the general performance of the organization improves.
However, there were several limitations along the way while operating in this department. The interaction was not freely since the supervision was high. Talking of irrelevant issues was prohibited hence negating the ability to access as much information as possible regarding the department. The appraisal process used by the organization was also not clear. As I was doing my assessment on the issue, I noted that employees were being treated differently for the appraisal process. Only the management understood how it worked. On my side,I did not have a lot of time to work in this department. As a result I did not comprehend clearly as to how the task was executed.
Fourth week: Sales Department
My fourth week in the organization was the most enticing. The sales department acts as the final destination of the products being derived from the organization. In Alwaleed Ind Group Company, this is where value creation for the products is emphasized. It helps in retaining consumers since it brings about the essence of loyalty. My duty in this department was on communication issues. The department must link with other departments for efficiency to be enhanced. Among the departments that were involved was marketing and manufacturing. I was posted to work on the linkage between marketing and the sales department.
The decision to appoint me on that role was based on the idea that I had worked in the marketing department before. During this time, I had established positive relations with the people around there. I also had some knowledge on how the systems used to work in that department. The communication involved was trying to identify consumer base through the chain created by the marketing department. Positive relationships of these departments ensured that all the production was on schedule, and no delays would arise. The company used Just in Time systems for the kitchen sets produced. This was aimed at reducing the holding cost that comes with inventory. However, failure from one department would render the whole process void. This was among the reasons why cooperation was deemed to be of paramount importance.
The feeling that I developed while working at this department was the power of working in partnership. Everything seemed to flow in the right direction since everyone had a part to play. No one was obliged to execute a full task by himself or herself. This brought the feeling of belonging to every employee. It worked as a motivation since they all had a goal to fulfill. I came to realize that sidelining some of the employees based on their status in the organization could work as a negative impact. When one is secure about his position in the company, they will always work to enhance that the organization remains operational as a going concern for a long time.
The interactions at the workplace were positive. On the task that I was assigned, we were four of us. We all had our differences based on our backgrounds and age. This meant that our way of reasoning was quite different. Nonetheless, this did not deter us from executing the desired tasks. The aspect was enabled by the fact that we all embraced the differences that existed and no one was viewed to be superior compared to the others. Alwaleed Ind Group Company had a culture that enabled this co-existence.
I had an opportunity of examining how a supply chain works in reality. It is not as simple as it is displayed on most literature that I have come across. There are some shortcomings that need to be checked, for efficiency to prevail. All members involved should execute the allocated duties without any failure. Shortcomings from party might derail the whole process.
Nieuwenhuizen, C., and Barney Erasmus. Business management for entrepreneurs. Cape Town: Juta, 2009. Print.