On October 1st, when I completed my first reflection on The College Decisonator internship, I wasn’t entirely sure what my role on the team would look like. I wasn’t sure what I would gain from the experience, but I was receptive to everything. There are still many unanswered questions and things I don’t know. However, given my experience over the last month, I’m happy to report that I’ve learned so much and grown a lot throughout the process.
As one could imagine, the project has made significant strides over the last month. Everyone has been working diligently, we’ve finalized the MVP, we’ve done extensive research, interviewed professionals, the back-end work has come together, the front-end work is in progress nicely, the testing and commercialization plans are coming together – there are too many accomplishments to name them all. However, it has been an intense learning process with lots of trial and error. When you have several people working on one project, it can be hard to get on the same page. Especially when our work is interdependent, the importance of effective communication cannot be understated. This has been one of the biggest challenges for me. As the Project Manager, I know everyone has a busy schedule. We designate very few hours to meeting with each other virtually, and so much happens outside of our weekly & bi-weekly meetings. The first few meetings seemed overwhelming, all of the ideas and conversations made an hour go by like five minutes. So, I switched up the setup of the meeting, in an effort to find what works best.
Understanding how to be intentional & productive with everyone’s time has been tricky. However, I’ve learned that when everyone is invested in what they’re doing – hard problems can have easy resolutions. Every one is passionate about their respective contributions to the project and every issue has been met with a willingness to solve it. I would also like to think that the communication has always been very transparent. From the beginning, I think we’ve done a great job at saying what needs to be said when it needs to be said. Telling each other when we’re doing good, when we need to be better, what exactly we need from each other, etc has been so helpful. I didn’t understand the importance of this before being a part of this team.
Currently, I am personally working on the beta-testing plan and recording videos for the app. This means I’m doing a lot of external communication with people that we’d like to help with the project. This has been considerably more difficult than internal communication with the sponsors and other interns. Anyone whose help is being enlisted from the outside obviously has a different level of commitment to the project than we do, but I’m optimistic about how it will all come together.
Although there is over a month left in the Internship, it feels like time is flying by. Things are changing rapidly, and I can’t wait to write back with an update. I’m excited to see how everything turns out, and I hope you all are too!