Hello again! As promised, now that my internship is ending, I am ready to share my final blog post!
Looking back on the Digital Risk Legal Internship, I can’t help but think back to my first day when my mom texted me inquiring how it was going. I replied in one word: “Intense”. Yes, that first day was like a high-speed rail of introductions, tours, getting badge access and training. Yet, amidst the excitement, our trainers (called Learning Enthusiasts) assured us that while Digital Risk is full of hustle and bustle, there is plenty of emphasis placed on the value of D-Riskers and on the value of fun. And while every day thereafter could easily be described as intense, we never ceased having fun.
In a recent discussion with VP of Client Services Leo Loomie, Leo explained that his role could not be performed successfully without maintaining the mindset that “having fun” is integral to all roles in the mortgage industry. As a client services executive, Leo builds and nurtures client relationships through strong communication and delivery of high quality results. His approach is the perfect representation of the company’s commitment to its people and to making the journey fun.
Just prior to our time with Leo, VP of the Project Management Office Kim Lanham presented a fun and enlightening session on business etiquette and dining practices. Did you know that you should comment on a person’s business card before tucking it into your purse or wallet? Ever heard of the acronym BBTTSS? It reminds you to coordinate your boots with your belt, your tie with your trousers, and your socks with your shirt. When dining at an event, should you drink from the glass on the right or the glass on the left? You could always take my former strategy and leave the move (or mistake) to someone else… Keep reading and I’ll tell you the answer.
Throughout the internship, we had weekly opportunities to learn from experts via the Executive Series, sit-downs with executive-level D-Riskers sharing insight from a perspective typically beyond the legal field, and through Lunch n’ Learns, sessions with legal department team members on a particular legal area or hot topic. Other Executive Series presenters included VP of Administration Operations Dena Jalbert, EVP of Operations Dave Lucchino, SVP of Risk Management Eric Randolph and Chief Legal Officer Debbie Hoffman. I have never been afforded such accessibility to meet a wide range of accomplished professionals, pick their brains, and basically, for lack of a better expression, hang out for a bit.
We have been pretty creative ourselves with integrating fun into work. Many of the interns purchased Nerf guns to defend our office from an alleged invasion from the marketing department. Little did they know how committed we were to the cause. Seriously. One intern, Jamey Anderson, purchased the biggest Nerf gun that I have ever seen. Ultimately, after scaring off the marketing department, we settled on an invasion of the finance department. It was a blast! Pun intended.
There have been plenty of other bonding experiences. For example, one day, eight of the interns took a trip to West Orlando to paint a home with Habitat for Humanity. While we determined that none of us are going to be the next Picasso and that none of us necessarily enjoy 95-degree heat, those minor details did not hinder the laughs or the satisfaction of a job well done. I heard some fascinating stories and learned more about my fellow interns than on any other occasion.
Five years from now, I may not remember the exact details of the RESPA Regulation that I outlined for a compliance matrix. I will, however, remember the great people that I met through this opportunity. I will remember all of the fun memories and group bonding. I will hopefully remember to grab the glass on my right and NOT on my left. I know I will remember the smile we brought to the homeowner’s face after painting (definitely worth all of our sweat and labor that day).
That’s a lot to take away from a brief summer stint. I don’t think that it quite stops there either. I am looking forward to carrying many of these relationships beyond the scope of this internship. I may have even found a few lifelong friends along the way.