Do you remember your first internship, or first experience in a professional environment?
Just thinking back on that day probably invokes some anxious feelings – you had no idea what or where you were walking into. Now imagine that experience as your 14-year-old self! Most high school students, especially freshmen, aren’t thinking beyond their day-to-day juggle of pop quizzes, practices and locker combinations, let alone how to relate and adjust to the working world.
But this is the exact challenge Detroit Cristo Rey High School Freshmen Julius stepped up to bat for during the 2019-2020 school year. Once a week, every week, Julius has been joining ImageSoft’s Business Development team at our Headquarter Office for a full day of extra support. Just like our staff, Julius underwent the entire onboarding experience, met with executives and upper management and even had lunch with our CEO Dave Hawkins. He’s sat in on meetings, navigated our sales database and voted in our annual Chili Cook-Off. Wrapping up his first quarter with Sales and Marketing, Julius will start taking on Customer Care assignments after the first of the year.
Before leaving business development, we asked Julius to honestly summarize his first quarter experience with ImageSoft, and he had this to say:
“My first day at ImageSoft was terrifying. I put a smile on my face but, on the inside, I was screaming. I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it or if the people there were going to be nice. Being in my first year of high school and already going to work in an office building was intimidating. To add on how nervous I was, imagine going to work at a place where everyone has experience and a degree. Not to mention the fact that these are adults now working with a teenager. I would’ve never thought a teenager that is just entering high school would have the privilege to experience what work is like in an office building. I thought that everyone was going to be super strict and mean. I thought that my supervisor was going to be heavy on my workload. I also thought that everyone who works at ImageSoft would be super stressed and hate their jobs. To my surprise, I had met some very nice people on my first day. Even though I was shy, I was nice and respectful, and the staff was the same back to me. After a month had passed, I felt very comfortable working at ImageSoft and meeting more of the staff – everyone is always nice to me and I don’t ever feel negative vibes or like I don’t belong here. Even the people I don’t know or haven’t met make me feel welcome.
There are also several things that I’ve learned working here, especially in the process of marketing and sales, and the different roles that people have. Helping find contacts and cleaning up existing accounts has taught me a lot. I’ve also learned some new shortcuts for Excel, which has helped me with school. I’ve shadowed a few meetings and saw how everyone helps and corrects each other respectfully. No one seemed like they were better than anyone else – they all knew what the goal was and that bringing each other down was not going to help. I take that as an example on how projects in my school should be done – it shouldn’t be people getting upset with each other or telling people how they should do something. I also like their strategy of listening to and considering everyone’s ideas. The projects I’ve worked on are interesting and give me general ideas of what job roles are available. When I met with the leaders of ImageSoft, I was excited to learn how they do what they do. Every meeting has taught me something new and I will use the skills I’ve learned here to do better both personally and professionally. This experience isn’t only teaching me about sales and marketing, but also about how to navigate business websites and how the system of a computer works. My team has been extremely kind and helpful at showing me how a company operates and what they do, and also how they contribute to ImageSoft. Overall, ImageSoft is very laid back, the work environment is good and clean, and everyone always seems so happy with their job. Not one person has been rude or short with me because I’m not as experienced as them. I really appreciate how patient people are when I do something wrong or if I have questions. I enjoy coming to work for ImageSoft and, maybe if sales and marketing is what my future job will be, I’ll be somewhat experienced and know what I’ll be getting myself into.”
After reading that, can you believe Julius is only a freshman?
While we were happy to hear he’s learned some helpful skillsets and enjoyed his time with ImageSoft, the truth is we’ve learned just as much from him. You see, with our commitment to innovation comes a passion for and responsibility to uphold continuous education. Whether it’s hosting a few interns or challenging our current staff with new opportunities, our innovative culture means providing the resources our staff and interns need to build their own idea of a purposeful career.
As our CEO Dave Hawkins said in our recent “Best and Brightest” press release, ““We have a couple departmental directors who started here as interns several years ago. To be able to grow with our staff and have them now leading our best practices and corporate values is a unique, positively influencing experience that we will continue encouraging.” Only hoping our efforts will encourage others to pay the support and education forward, we were humbly surprised to receive Best and Brightest’s elite award for “Employee Education and Development.” It was a good gauge for acknowledging “hey, we’re doing something right!”
Eager to Intern?
Bookmark our “Careers” webpage to keep an eye on our most recent intern opportunities.