By the time you reach your senior year of college, many students have already had several jobs or internships. Whether these positions were to help pay the bills or to better prepare you for your career, you woke up and went to work. It’s no secret that not all work experiences are created equal. There are the jobs you love and then there are the ones you hate. Bosses, coworkers, environment, philosophy, values and more can all play into the distinction between the good, the bad and the ugly. So, why go to work?
This spring, I received the opportunity to intern within the Employee Communication & Engagement Department of Warner Bros. Entertainment, on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, California. My team describes their role in the company quite simply: it is their job to ensure everyone within Warner Bros. and its associated properties loves where they work. It may seem like a small task, but one needs proper perspective. On any given day, Warner Bros. houses 5,000-10,000 employees, depending on shooting schedules and slates. Subdivisions such as DC Comics, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Theatrical, Ellen, Conan and many more entities all operate on the lot–some with active international offices as well. Therefore, the challenge becomes uniting these often independent subsidiaries and promoting workplace satisfaction across the board.
As we learn in Business & Professional Communication, a company’s internal audiences–including employees and executives–are often the organization’s most valuable advocates. Culture plays a large role in differentiating between the place people work and the place people love to work, a place they love so much that they share their positive opinions with perspective employees, friends and family. Job titles will vary slightly between organizations, but culture is a characteristic that is completely unique. It encompasses both the social and psychological environments of the job that determine their attitude toward coming to work. Everyone has different elements of culture they value most; however, it was my department’s job to try our best to appeal to them all.
In Employee Communication & Engagement, we work to created and maintain a widespread feeling of community throughout all branches of Warner Bros. by means of employee events, initiatives, blog content, intranet resources and more. In short, we create culture. Guided by corporate itineraries, company values and brand engagement, department brainstorm sessions and meetings centered on what we could bring to the workplace that would increase employees’ excitement and interest in the company. While tasks varied day to day, I was often sharing and managing employee giveaways, editing corporate talking points on topics such as internal mobility and flexible work arrangements, staffing lot-wide events like the State of the Studio and advanced screenings of Warner Bros. content, assisting in preparations for employee service recognition awards and more.
Warner Bros. provided me with a valuable window into the world of internal communication and public relations, both avenues of my academics, and experience in tailoring messages for internal audiences on local and international scales. The opportunity to work within and contribute toward a highly engaging, community-focused culture was truly transformational. It opened my mind to additional career opportunities and, perhaps more importantly, the type of environment I want to work within.
So, why go to work? As a soon to be college graduate, I encourage you to ask yourself that question when evaluating career opportunities. Look at what you will get out of a job beyond a paycheck. After all, if you’re going to get up each day and drive to work, it might as well be somewhere you love.