By McKenzy Lilliock, Human Resources Fellow
As I approach my graduation from Alvernia University, I cannot help but think how unbelievably thankful I am for all the experiences the O’Pake Institute has given me. Before beginning my experience with the O’Pake Institute, I was living in a very linear professional environment. I found myself leaning towards industries I was comfortable working in and not branching outside of my comfort zone.
I had minimal experience leading meetings, working with external clients, and connecting my passions to my work. Once I began working at O’Pake, all of that changed for me. I started working in an entrepreneur-filled industry, which I had never tapped into before, allowing me to work on professional projects internally within an organization and externally with other clients. Being allowed to work with external clients has opened a whole new world of industries I would never have seen myself getting into if it weren’t for O’Pake. I have worked with non-profits, healthcare, and recycling companies that I certainly never would have heard of, let alone worked with, if it weren’t for this role.
Working with these clients has built confidence in myself that I never knew I had. The belief that I have found in myself is the most valuable asset I will take away from this experience. Being comfortable in my skin to work one on one with a client to assess what they need and get that job done is not an easy task. I have built up enough confidence in myself to realize that I have worked hard to earn my education and my role in this organization, and it is time that I share my knowledge with those who need it. I now feel confident planning and running meetings, creating agendas, hosting Zoom meetings, touring facilities, and reporting back to my supervisors. Inside these projects, I have found myself creating processes and procedures, job descriptions, organizational charts, conducting research, developing standard operating procedures, and tapping into content development. All these details I have provided to my clients benefit them in some way and build their company up.
I will never be able to thank the O’Pake Institute enough for allowing me to incorporate my passion for social media into my role as well. Over the past couple of years, social media has become a passion of mine. I have always had an eye for aesthetics, color schemes, photography angles, and designs. Those details have always been second nature to me. I incorporated them into my own personal social media pages and personal photography throughout my life and have had so much fun on my own time. When O’Pake trusted a Human Resources Fellow to assist on the External Communications Committee to help run the O’Pake Institute social media, I was elated. Putting trust in someone who only loves social media as a passion was a massive leap of faith, so for that, I am forever grateful.
Ever since that day, I have created social media content for O’Pake’s Instagram, Linked In, and Facebook. I have also spent time writing blog posts and planning out the content calendar for our platforms. I have even taken it a step farther in giving our Instagram a facelift with Instagram highlights and a new biography. The ECC has been such a fun journey; it does not even feel like a job. I will forever be grateful that O’Pake took a chance with me as a human resource Fellow to help run social media because I have had the time of my life, and I hope to continue a role like this in my future.
I have become confident in myself and my work, I have become more independent, and I have stepped outside of my comfort zone ever since I started my journey with the O’Pake Institute. I have flourished into a whole new being in such a short amount of time, thanks to the guidance and mentors in this organization.
I cannot wait to continue my journey with O’Pake as a Graduate Assistant after graduation. My growth here is not done yet.