When you read in the news that 22 year olds are ending their lives due to high work stress and work-life imbalance, it really makes me wonder what is the cost of building a career in the dazzling world of corporate? Is giving your heart and soul to corporate really worth it? Does corporate really have a heart?
YES! It does. And I am blessed to be a part of it.
As summer comes to a close and with it so does my internship, I reflect on all that I have gained from this fabulous experience. I distinctly remember the day I walked into Brookfield Place for my interview with the Marketing Director, Patrick O’Herron, himself. I was enchanted by the all-white “Brookfield look”. People walked around me in high heels and dress suits. It was hard to focus with the gorgeous view of the Hudson demanding all my attention. I was escorted to the glass room where I tried to gather my thoughts and calm the butterflies fluttering in my stomach. The next thing I see is Patrick walking in with an iced coffee in one hand, and his famous green folder in the other. The next half hour passed by as though I was conversing with an old friend. That was the moment I knew that this is where I belonged. I had felt the heartbeat of Corporate America.
The past three months, I have seen the corporate culture at Brookfield, been a part of a collaborative team at Arts Brookfield, and felt the passion in each employee to build a better environment for the entire company.
The first thing that made me feel the warmth at Brookfield, other than the obvious welcoming nature of everyone there, was the fact that most people had been a part of the company for a long span of time. When you see ambitious individuals wanting to be a long-standing part of a corporation it tells you a lot about its culture. The CEO, Ric Clark’s vision has been to facilitate growth, open communication, and a synergistic atmosphere. I could feel the passion in his words as we spoke with him over our weekly Wednesday lunches, a highlight of this internship program. Where else do you see young interns getting the opportunity to interact with executives of a billion dollar corporation?
Coming back to my statement of saying that corporate does have a heart, arises from the vision and mission of Arts Brookfield. Arts Brookfield is an initiative of Brookfield to give back to the community that it is a part of, invigorate public spaces by filling them with art, love, and life! Every year thousands of free events are hosted at Brookfield properties world-wide, giving the local community an opportunity to bring a work-life balance to their lives, relish the places they work at, enjoy and de-stress with friends, co-workers, and family.
Music, artwork, theatre, you name it they have it. Working closely on the end to end marketing cycle for many such events over the summer, I’ve seen and felt the zeal with which each team member strives to make any event a success, not for the department, but for all our attendees.
In this day and age, where time is money, and there are no free lunches, Arts Brookfield is a model which every corporate should look to for inspiration. It is that story of the corporate world, which pioneers to create the ideal 21st century workplace, one which invokes creativity and engagement within communities.
Being a part of Arts Brookfield, and the larger Brookfield parent, has set the bar high up for my expectations from Corporate America. I expect that every company should make the effort to embrace new members, foster growth and communication, bring down the walls of hierarchy, humanize itself and be more than just a corporate.
I have felt a sense of belonging to Arts Brookfield since the first week of my internship. I have put my heart and soul into all the work that I have done in this duration. Pick up any study for what millennials need to thrive at a workplace and Brookfield will prove to be a benchmark for it.
And although I knew my internship would last only the summer or 2015, I have built a connection that will last me a lifetime. Heart enough? I would say so!