Intern Blog

Navigating the Team Culture

Jul 03, 2019

Category: The Ohio State University

The team culture at Cohen & Company is undoubtedly what I have enjoyed most during my internship. I have been on numerous teams throughout my life and whether it is in sports, in the classroom, or the board room, several things remain consistent that result in success: hard work, communication, and knowing your spot. All three are undoubtedly intertwined and each slightly less straightforward than the last.

From my first day at the firm, I could see that those around me were going to work just as hard as I would something that made me feel connected and belonging from the start. Hard work seems to be contagious especially within groups. Every day you want to “keep the ball moving” more and more towards the end goal of delivering Cohen & Company Quality work over to the client and not let your teammates down. Somehow even with this emphasis on hard work it seems that the firm has found a way to alleviate the stress that is usually associated with it. I think that when everyone is working hard and has trust in each other, stress seems to disappear because of the trust you have from those around you. That when you pass the ball (or PowerPoint stack), you know it’s going to in the right hands.

Communication is more complicated than hard work as I have learned, that unlike sports, there is much more of a balance when it comes to communication at work. While when in doubt, it is always better to overcommunicate, there is a difference between good communication and bad communication. The way one communicates and when is vital. Putting in extra effort to look up questions you might be able to find instead of asking before looking can truly show your work ethic. Furthermore, if you are unable to find an answer, make sure you write down your research and what information you have been able to find, as well as what your hypothesis is regarding your question. Lastly, showing visibility into your schedule and availability allows others to better communicate with you and the whole team.

The last and most difficult thing on a team is knowing your spot. Especially as an intern or new hire in a large company. While I may want to be partner or manage a team, there is a lot that stands between me and that position from where I currently stand. There are experiences I need to have and skills I need to learn. Yet, Cohen & Company has given me more opportunities and real responsibilities than I could have imagined would be cast upon an intern. As a result, I have taken great pride in owning my work no matter how small it is. Knowing that on a large project, my spot on it may be just 1/100th of the total info. But to add value to the team, you need to know that info as well as anyone, even if it is just going to come up once, its your job on the team to own it.

Throughout my internship I have been able to add value to Cohen & Company and undoubtedly the firm has been able to add value to me. I have learned what it means to be a part of the team and how to add value to that team. We have had many “wins” this summer and hope to continue to tally “wins” in the future!