Learning to work in an alternative situation than anticipated, helped teach me the importance of flexibility in a professional environment.
When I found out COVID-19 had unexpectedly become so rampant that our trip to Brazil had to be cancelled, I felt disappointment. Disappointment in not being able to explore a new country, disappointment in not being able to meet our consulting company face to face, and disappointment in not having this unique experience and way to travel. So, I wallowed in my disappointment for a day, and then our team got to work talking to the client and figuring out the best path forward.
Reaching out to the client provided reassurance that all of us are going through the same frustration and provided a new opportunity for learning through virtual communication. Our team has been lucky with our client and the ability to maintain very open flows of communication and feedback. We were able to present our findings and received constructive and helpful feedback on both format and content. While it may have been more natural to converse, present, and receive feedback in person, having the video conferencing that we had been using to communicate all semester allowed for a more collaborative environment for our presentation. The advice, both structural and content related, helped me to learn how to better present work that I had done and ensure that I am meeting clients’ needs.
Working across cultural and country lines has also proved to be an excellent learning experience as well. Hearing about Carnival, the work day, and differences in work culture helped to paint a clearer picture of day to day life in Brazil. Reading about the rich culture and different climate helped to create a vision of purpose and community for people in Brazil. I do intend to visit and hopefully meet in person with our client once this craziness is over in order to experience the country and learn more from a new connection.
Learning to work in an alternative situation than anticipated, helped teach me the importance of flexibility in a professional environment. Being able to maintain the integrity of our presentation and relationship with the client through challenging circumstances strengthened our credibility as consultants. Though not the experience and growth that I expected to gain from this class, it is one that I will be able to use for adaptation in an ever evolving and changing world.