Making a long-term impact in a short-term role

katyHi, my name is Katy and I graduated from Oklahoma State University (Go Pokes!) in May 2014. Prior to graduation, I spent the summer of 2013 interning at Williams in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I joined as a full-time rotational employee in the Tulsa office right after graduation and have since moved to Houston for my second and third rotations.

One of the biggest questions that was presented to me as an intern and rotational employee is how to make a long-term impact in the short amount of time that I would be placed in each role. It can be easy to slip into a temporary mindset and focus on surface level tasks that can be completed in a brief time frame, but I firmly believe that true learning and lasting contribution occurs below the surface level.

Getting in the mindset to have a continuing effect in an assigned role begins with setting goals that clearly define both short-term and long-term priorities. Once in that mindset, I have found that it is important for me to intentionally look for opportunities to make meaningful contributions and put myself in position to take advantage of those opportunities. Communication with management as well as team members is key to establishing that position. This communication primarily comes in the form of asking questions, asking for frequent feedback and not being afraid to ask for more responsibility.

From my experience, the most important element in making a long-term impact in a role is the follow through. This is the element that does not end at the same time as the rotation/internship/etc. Keeping communication going with the stakeholders of past projects has allowed me to not only see my work in action, but learn from the experience in order to apply it to future roles.

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