Intern Insider: The Essential Ingredient for Success…Teamwork!

Intern Insider: The Essential Ingredient for Success…Teamwork!

Welcome to this month’s Intern Insider, where we will discuss the theme of working within collaborative settings through the lens of seasoned interns’ experiences. Throughout this issue, we’ll explore various aspects of cultivating a successful environment through teamwork, drawing insights on the skills and qualities essential for effective collaboration. We’ll examine real-life examples of projects where the contribution of each team member was crucial for success, while also addressing potential areas of conflict that can arise within a team setting. Lastly, we’ll reflect on how thriving in a collaborative environment not only impacted interns’ professional growth but has also influenced their personal development, shaping them into well-rounded individuals prepared to confidently navigate any team setting.


The Importance of Teamwork

In an intern setting, teamwork is essential for fostering collaboration and individual growth. By working together, interns learn to utilize their diverse skills and perspectives while developing crucial soft skills like communication and problem-solving. Collaboration also creates a supportive environment where interns can learn from each other and collectively overcome challenges. Ultimately, teamwork not only contributes to achieving shared objectives but also lays the groundwork for their own development as effective collaborators and future leaders in the workforce.


Drawing from the insights of interns immersed in collaborative environments, they view such experiences as pivotal for their professional growth. Megan Fix, a Marketing and PR Intern at RELI Group, underscores this sentiment: “One’s personal growth and success do not come unless you are surrounded by an encouraging, supportive and collaborative team. The individuals surrounding you play a crucial role in your achievements and personal development.” In her role, Megan has witnessed firsthand how the dynamics within a team can shape individual success, fostering an environment where each member can flourish.


Reflecting on personal experiences, how has working in a collaborative team influenced your professional development? Former intern, and now full-time employee, Grace Jackson offers her perspective on why collaboration is so important for professional growth: “Teamwork is paramount in achieving success in any environment. By combining unique skill sets and focusing on collaborative efforts, teams can achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently than a team that is disconnected.” Grace emphasizes the importance of harmony within a team, highlighting how cohesive efforts can yield superior outcomes. In her view, collaboration fosters an environment where individuals can leverage their strengths collectively, propelling both personal and organizational growth.


Effectiveness in Teamwork

In some cases, teamwork can be viewed as complicated or a barrier to achieving effective communication. However, when finding a team that works efficiently together, it becomes crucial to rely on one another for feedback and discussion. Especially as companies continue to start moving towards remote work like RELI Group, it is more important now than ever to have effective communication and collaboration skills.


In certain scenarios, a collaborative environment becomes imperative. Megan illustrates this point, recounting moments when she found herself tasked with a graphic design project without a clear starting point. Fortunately, her team at RELI Group always steps in to brainstorm ideas collectively. “Listening to everyone’s perspectives sparks creativity within me,” she reminisces. Are you prioritizing group efforts within your team dynamic? Embracing mutual reliance fosters effectiveness within the company. Developing these skills internally not only enhances your team’s capabilities but also ensures versatility in client interactions.


What does effective collaboration look like in high-level team meetings? Grace emphasizes that these gatherings should not only touch upon but actively require creativity, brainstorming, communication, time management, organization, problem-solving and feedback. Without a sense of collaboration during these sessions, the team may struggle to efficiently plan and allocate social content tasks. The key takeaway from this section is the importance of actively considering how you can contribute to support your fellow team members. Remember, you’re all part of the same team, working together towards a shared goal.


Skills Essential for Teamwork

If you’ve just landed your first internship and feel uncertain about the essential teamwork skills beyond your academic background, don’t worry, we have all been there. Engaging effectively in a team setting is a skill that can be developed through various soft skills. Grace and Megan, for example, have highlighted several skills they’ve cultivated, allowing them to contribute meaningfully to team discussions. Mastering the art of giving and receiving feedback, active listening, and maintaining an open mindset are vital. Initially, striking the balance between respect and honesty might seem challenging, but it’s a journey that ultimately fosters stronger relationships and yields better outcomes.


Here are some additional soft skills that could prove beneficial on your journey:

  • Be adaptable and flexible, while understanding that things come up suddenly and organizational priorities shift. Having a foundation of strong communication skills in a collaborative environment will help you navigate unexpected changes in tasks.
  • Problem-solving and conflict resolution skills are essential when working in a team, as they enable members to navigate disagreements constructively, find consensus, and collaboratively address challenges to achieve shared goals effectively.
  • Accountability and collaboration are invaluable when working in a team, as they promote clarity of roles, foster open communication and ensure collective commitment to achieving goals.
  • Becoming a leader and showcasing your expertise can be beneficial when working in a team, as it empowers you to inspire others, provide guidance, and contribute specialized knowledge to drive the team towards success.


Take proactive steps to stay ahead of the curve by incorporating these skills into your toolkit and embracing new approaches to situations. By doing so, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate challenges and contribute meaningfully to your team’s success.


Challenges and Conflicts in Teamwork

Conflict is a natural occurrence within any team setting, stemming from the diverse opinions and approaches of its members. As professionals, it’s required upon us to address these conflicts proactively, employing strategies such as open communication and the expression of emotions relevant to the issue at hand. Conflicts may arise from various sources, including feelings of overwhelm or excessive workload. Grace underscores this point in her interview, noting instances where team members felt overloaded, potentially leading to conflict. However, by acknowledging and empathizing with these concerns, the team was able to respect each member’s capacity and reallocate tasks accordingly.


“Supporting a teammate shouldn’t be seen as a burden, but rather as an act of mutual understanding and cooperation.” – Grace Jackson


Ensuring Value within a Team

In any team setting, it’s vital to prioritize ensuring that every member feels valued and heard during group discussions. Everyone desires recognition for their ideas and seeks the opportunity to make an impact with their work. If you’re unsure about whether you or your peers feel valued, don’t hesitate to ask the question, “Do you feel valued and heard?”


Both Megan and Grace emphasize the importance of fostering inclusion within their teams. They note that being an active listener is just as crucial as sharing ideas. Establishing an inclusive environment where every contribution is welcomed and respected is essential. Implementing clear guidelines for participation and employing techniques like “round robin” are great ways to promote feedback to ensure everyone’s input is acknowledged. Let’s work together to promote inclusivity and ensure that diverse perspectives are valued and heard in team meetings.


Growing Professionally through Teamwork

Exploring how working within a team setting contributes to professional growth is pivotal – perhaps the most critical aspect of individual career advancement. As mentioned above, collaborating within a team provides a platform to refine indispensable skills. These include enhancing communication, collaboration, problem-solving and adaptability—all vital components nurtured through teamwork.


Furthermore, involvement in a team environment can serve as a steppingstone for honing leadership skills, even for interns. Echoing this sentiment, Grace emphasizes her own growth in leadership goals. She points out, “I’ve also extensively grown in my goals of leadership. I’ve not only grown as a leader through having opportunities to take on various team responsibilities, but I’ve also learned that everyone on the team is a leader in their own way.”


Acknowledging and seizing leadership opportunities within a team environment cultivates personal development and enhances the team’s collective strength. Megan approves of this sentiment as she reflects on her experience: “I have been able to witness and be a part of a healthy and productive team dynamic. This team has shown me the power of teamwork and I could not be more grateful!” These interns’ testimonies underscore the transformative potential of fostering a collaborative culture within teams. When team members are empowered to leverage their individual strengths towards shared goals, it not only drives personal growth but also fortifies the team’s cohesion and effectiveness.


Pause for a moment and consider your team as an opportunity for growth. Are you actively striving to develop together towards a common objective?


Let’s explore a few strategies to kickstart your journey of developing and enhancing teamwork as an intern, drawing insights from CJ Currie, a Training Specialist at RELI Group:

  • Start by identifying employees in the company who are willing to offer assistance and schedule regular touch base sessions, whether biweekly or monthly.
  • Continue to cultivate connections both within your team and beyond, gathering insights relevant to your team’s shared objectives.
  • Seek out tips and techniques to excel in professional meetings, striving to surpass expectations.
  • Adopt the practice of taking thorough notes during every meeting and actively listening to others, as valuable insights can arise unexpectedly.


Reflecting on Teamwork

After reflecting on working in a team environment as an intern, our team at RELI Group would like to leave you with this today. By actively engaging with colleagues, seeking guidance from mentors and embracing leadership opportunities, interns develop essential skills like communication, collaboration, problem-solving and adaptability. Through teamwork, interns not only contribute to shared goals but also foster a sense of belonging within the team. Approaching each interaction with an open mind and a willingness to learn enables interns to propel their careers forward. As they navigate challenges and successes, interns lay the groundwork for future success and make meaningful contributions to their organizations.


Join RELI Group interns for growth, collaboration and meaningful contributions. Apply now!