Lessons Learnt During My Internship With Michael

4 minute

Before I go on and on about why the one month I spent in the office of Michael E. Mitscher will go down as the best time I've ever had in my life, I want to introduce Michael and the team. I want to list down a few things I learned as I worked with this dynamic team for the best 30 days of my life, most of it passed down directly from Michael.

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From left: Jamey Loux, Emma, Jill, Alex and Michael

  1. Network like your life depends on it: Many people you encounter are approachable, but they are waiting for you to take the first step. Do not miss this chance.

At a networking event, everyone is there for the same purpose: networking. So why not greet with a couple of strangers within the room? Why not tell them what you’re working on and learn what they are doing so as to ascertain if you'll be of help to each other? When you do this repeatedly you increase your chances to meet someone interesting. With practice, talking to others becomes comfortable; and that there’s nothing to be scared of at the end.

2. Find what you're really passionate about and let the culture drive down: I also learned that a corporation must be driven by values, they're the guiding principles for how work should be done or which decisions to require . They’ll not only drive your actions but also the actions of your team.

Michael once told me that his first employees must embrace the values of the corporate . Thus, his employees wouldn’t have to be told exactly what to try  and the way to try to do it. albeit the startup fails, the team will learn from this experience and therefore the values they shared will help them to stay going. 

3. Go out of your comfort zone to get rid of your pre-conceived notions: When you go away from everything you know, you make your own experience and go over your prejudices.

When I arrived in Oklahoma, I went out of my comfort zone. I had never visited the United States and the culture was different to the culture I am exposed to. Lots of things were new to me. When you’re as far from everything familiar, well you better be humble, because you’ll learn a lot.

4. Be Transparent: You have to be transparent with your customers, your co-workers and yourself if you want to succeed both in your business and in life. The three steps to crisis management: 1)Find the problem 2) Acknowledge the problem 3) Always try to go further than just solving his problem.

5. It's all about sharing: Give without counting to others and you’ll receive much more. Michael resonated with the fact that leadership is all about sharing. The leader is not the one that only tells the others what to do, he’s the one that empowers them to become great leaders too. He has to teach and help them to develop their capabilities.

With the professional advice, came the fun filled days, almost immediately. It would be a long list if I were to thank Michael and the team for having made me feel so welcomed, however short the stay was.

I'd still tell you that Emma would be the first one to help you with warm clothes, because you did not think Oklahoma would get that cold (-5 degrees on most of the days), Jill would be the first one to try your Indian cooking (even when it is spicy, even for Indian standards), Alex would try all the sodas that were available and tell you which one you could try, Jamie would be the perfect food partner who'd eat a level 4 Thai Green curry with you, his eyes watering throughout and Michael would be the father figure who'd help you grow, while making sure you gain at-least 10 pounds when you leave Oklahoma.

I was fortunate enough to be a part of this amazing family at the office of Michael E. Mitscher.

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Signing off,

Puja Arti


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