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OLC Student Community Coordinator

Elizabeth and coworker smiling beside each other
One lesson I quickly learned is that if the process for a project doesn’t include at least one step where you send it to someone who’s not in your own department, then your new first step needs to be finding out where to add those steps

Depending on the size of the company you work for, you may or may not become acquainted with the never-ending process of acquiring approvals. Having only worked for small companies before now, I was unfamiliar with the potential rounds and rounds of approval requirements. At previous jobs content approvals came from one – maybe two people; if at all. Now, however, things work a little different. Approvals can come from any number of a dozen people, and there’s always a chance that the cry will go out that something will have a lot of important eyes on it, and therefore requires an even higher level of approvals, which means sending emails to intimidating higher ups you’re fairly certain will rip it to shreds.

One lesson I quickly learned is that if the process for a project doesn’t include at least one step where you send it to someone who’s not in your own department, then your new first step needs to be finding out where to add those steps. Otherwise you may send out an e-newsletter that one of the VPs sees over the weekend and results in 18 emails in your inbox on a Sunday morning…

ANYWAY, the point here is that process is everything. Even if you’ve done an almost identical project at another job, do not just assume the process will work the same way everywhere.

That said, these numerous approval requirements aren’t there because everyone is pretty sure that you’d screw it up otherwise, although it may feel like that sometimes. They’re there to act as a safety net for everyone involved.  Something that you view as a fairly innocent statement could have ramifications you’d have no way of knowing about (ie: maybe the company is in a legal dispute, or high-level relations with a partner on are shaky grounds, maybe someone way above you in the hierarchy has some personal beef with a certain expression) there’s a million little things that have nothing to do with your work that could back around and suddenly be your problem. So when you think of it like that, doesn’t it sound a whole lot easier to just send a few extra emails before something can’t get undone?

So what is something you had to make a mistake at during your Co-op term before truly appreciating its importance?

Enjoyed this? Read more of the Diary of a Marketing Co-op series.

Beyond the Blog

  • Check out the Communications Co-op Blog, Communique, for more stories like Elizabeth's!

OLC Student Community Coordinator
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Sep 9, 2012

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