Blog_071916.jpgIn just a few weeks I will be making my way back to college for “band camp” as a member of the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band Colorguard. I have been marching for five years, but this summer is unique because I am currently interning at Orgwide while I anxiously wait for the annual hot and sweaty summer camp to begin. Most people have a distinct image in mind when they hear the term “band camp.” I have heard it all – positive, negative, questionable, or even stereotypical from the movies where marching band members are always representations of nerdy kids. Being in a 300+ person major college marching band has taught me a lot about how to be a great performer, but it has also taught me how to be successful as a summer intern here at Orgwide.

Effective Communication - Communication is an integral part of being on any team. It’s a conversation, sharing information, or building a relationship – communication is critical. On the field, there are plenty of times when I have wanted to keep my mouth shut. I didn’t want to correct another member or I didn’t want to ask for help. You see, while necessary, communication is not all that natural for most of us. When I notice something wrong, I must speak up for the betterment of the group. I struggle with communicating mostly because I try to do most things all on my own. Marching band has taught me it is OK to ask for help, like the time when I couldn’t nail the ending of a routine until I asked for assistance. Now, I know that it is okay to need guidance and to ask for a help from others. These communication skills have helped me at work, where I am now comfortable connecting with my coworkers, building relationships, and seeking the counsel of those more experienced than I am.

Be Prepared - Preparedness is a skill I am most passionate about. I believe that if I am not prepared, there is little to no chance I am going to succeed. When we are on the field learning our drill (marching from spot to spot) everyone must be prepared and have their coordinates on our charts highlighted and marked. If I spend one second too long trying to find my place on the field, it is already too late and the band is moving on to the next spot. Nothing stresses me out more than falling behind! The way to prevent falling behind is simply to spend time on your preparation. In marching band, that means spending an hour before rehearsal practicing by myself. At work, it means sitting down a few minutes at the end of the day to prioritize and be sure I have everything I need for the next day. Before I leave for work each morning, I double check to make sure I have all my materials, and when I get to Orgwide I set up and look at my plan for the day so I can best utilize my time.

Discipline isn’t only when you get in trouble - The very first lesson I learned in marching band was discipline. We live by the mantra; “If you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late.” Discipline is critically important because it encompasses so many other things. Marching band has taught me that discipline means practicing for 12 hours a day when it’s 100 degrees outside even when you don’t want to…and coming back the next day to do it again. When I’m working, it’s not near as grueling, so I have a much easier time staying focused and meeting my deadlines. When I am given the task, regardless of how difficult, I can say, “I will do it!” simply from the work ethic that has been instilled in me. In the office, discipline means getting your work done to the best of your ability on time for the betterment of your coworkers. Orgwide is like a finely tuned machine and every person is an integral gear that rotates in conjunction with the other team members. To have discipline is first acknowledging what must be done – and then doing it.

Here at Orgwide, I am a walking testimony of how marching band can shape a person’s life and provide them with the tools necessary to ultimately be successful in any position. I have become comfortable asking for help, I come ready for the day, and find the strength within myself to do my best in every task I’m assigned. Marching band has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life and the concepts it has taught me can be used by just about anyone. Hard work pays off, especially when you’re performing next to your closest friends in front of 102,455 fans! Just remember while you’re at work in your job - you’re performing just like we do in the UT marching band. 

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