The Surprising Thing I Learned When My Manager Went on Vacation for a Week

Ayowole Ogunleye
The Surprising Thing I Learned When My Manager Went on Vacation for a Week
Sponsored by, OppenheimerFunds

Recently, we teamed up with three former OppenheimerFunds interns who shared what it’s like to work for the global asset management firm. Today’s post is from Ayowole Ogunleye who graduated from Colorado School of Mines with a degree in Petroleum Engineering. This summer, Ayowole was an intern on the Robotics Processing Automation team in OppenheimerFunds’ Denver office. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.

I wish I realized earlier on in my internship that my voice could be heard. I’ve had other internships at companies where interns were not taken too seriously. Because of this, when I started working at OppenheimerFunds, I would talk to my manager before I did anything (even send an email) to make sure I wasn’t crossing boundaries.

Then, my manager went away for a week. I had to step up and speak up to get things done—without asking for approval. When my manager returned, he was impressed with my work and encouraged me to let my voice be heard. I told him about my initial fears and he helped me realize that I shouldn’t let them hold me back from being productive.

That wasn’t the only thing I learned during my internship. I also took away valuable lessons about leadership, collaboration and the value of transparency—and the basics of applying robotics processing automation!

At Oppenheimer, collaboration is everywhere. We have several meetings over conference calls to make sure everyone is involved and can ask questions, no matter where they are. We also have stand-up meetings to give updates on current processes and keep each other accountable.

And even though I was not a leader of a team, I learned a great deal from my manager and other senior colleagues. One aspect of leadership I’ll take with me is the importance of demonstrating humility by providing perspective, not judgment. I’ve seen this in action on my team and I will definitely bring it with me wherever I go next.

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