The first day I came into work at BNA, I had no idea what to expect. Coming from a background as a camp counselor, I was inexperienced working in an office setting. While I was fairly confident in my abilities to do whatever was asked of me, I was slightly nervous. This was my first “real” job. However my nerves quickly subsided as I was immediately greeted with cordiality and assistance from everybody in the office, who all sought to make me feel as comfortable as possible. Within only a few days I felt at home, and within a few weeks I felt like I was a true part of the team. I was even affectionately given the nickname “grilled chicken” (now just GC) due to my penchant for bringing in grilled chicken for lunch.
This isn’t to say I was never put outside of my comfort zone. I am thankful during the course of my internship, I was consistently challenged and trusted to take on responsibilities in multiple areas. I assisted in research, called potential candidates, helped draft emails to clients, and even wrote a blog for the first time!
BNA truly does live by its motto of “extreme service”. I found this to not only be true in the amount of care each candidate and client receive, but also in the amount of help I personally received. Whether it was the coaching I received before making my first calls, or the career advice I obtained, I always felt everybody truly cared and wanted me to succeed. BNA manages to be a fun, positive, and sometimes (often) crazy work environment, while at the same time remaining productive and focused on the goals at hand. I was consistently blown away by the amount of dedication and passion was given to each candidate and client. Everybody here genuinely wants to help people find the perfectly suited job. At the same time, everybody is constantly looking out for and respecting each other.
During my three months here at BNA, I learned many lessons I will take with me back to school, and for my career beyond. Some were basic, like what it’s like to commute to the city and work in an office. I improved my communication skills, and gained a new appreciation for the importance of a “REAL” phone conversation. I learned the ins and outs of the recruiting industry and gained a better understanding of the career trajectory I will potentially take after graduation. Perhaps the most important lesson I learned is nothing worth achieving is easy. When I started searching for candidates and making calls, I was coming up short. I wasn’t finding the right candidates and my attitude about it was admittedly apathetic. It wasn’t until I received an impassioned lecture from my manager, where he explained to me if I wanted to achieve anything worth achieving, it would require hard work. You can get by in life if you don’t challenge yourself, but if you want to go above and beyond you must be willing to go out of your comfort zone and take chances.
I figured at the start of the summer this internship would simply be something to keep me occupied for the summer, and give me something to do during the week. I could not have been more wrong. I will greatly miss the team here at BNA. It was a privilege to work at a company that not only values production and profits, but values teamwork, camaraderie, fun, and most of all extreme service.
By: Andrew Shlafmitz