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From One Intern to Another: Lessons Learned at EMI


Name: Dalton Clifford

University: The University of Alabama

Major: Finance & Accounting, Sales Specialization

Hometown: Mason, OH

Role: Sales Support and Lead Generation. Some Marketing responsibilities



Favorite memory? Company lunches and fun themed celebrations.

Who helped you most? Adam Jolley. He was always encouraging and easy to approach. No matter the question I asked, I knew it’d be answered in depth, directly, and honestly with the goal of helping me learn best.

What EMI value resonated most with you? Work and Life Easier. This resonates with me not only because it’s something I relate with but, it goes to show that EMI truly cares about the work environment and culture provided for its employees; EMI respects and wants everyone to enjoy life outside of work as well. This also applies to EMI’s approach with its clients. I respect a business that has intentions to help others in some way rather than having tunnel vision for profit.

What was your biggest challenge? Learning about the market research industry was the most challenging for me. Gaining a working and in-depth knowledge of the different aspects to it, the needs and core competencies, and different competitive advantages of companies within the industry took a bit more time to learn than I would have thought I’d need. What EMI offers is expertise on the industry so, knowledge of EMI’s network isn’t something that can just be memorized (it takes time and the experience that comes with time before you can gain that understanding).

What perspectives of the professional world have you developed from your experiences at EMI? I realized even more so that I want to work in a business that has a team environment with a positive / encouraging culture, provides positive reinforcement for all levels of success, and isn’t afraid to give criticism (in a positive and encouraging way meant to help rather than discourage).

Did you learn anything you might not have expected to learn? A neat thing I learned I hadn’t expected to, is the sheer amount of opportunities there are in a business to apply yourself to and expand your knowledge from. There is an endless amount of experience to be gained and I hadn’t quite realized how far off the horizon of experience is.



Ask Questions: don’t expect to be told everything you need to know. Ask about everything, even if it’s something you might not think you NEED to know. Who knows what you might learn? Asking questions first (rather than later) will position you to get things right the first time. Attempt to understand why everything works the way it does and find out what makes the good things tick. It’s a great way to learn that’ll place you in a position to best apply yourself and the things you’ve learned – you might even be able to add your own unique spin to things.

Strive to be apart of the team, not apart from the team: work is more fun and much much more rewarding if you’re working alongside co-workers that truly feel like teammates. In the end it’s the business you work in that provides the career, culture, and opportunities you’re passionate about. Any challenges you come across are easier to overcome when you have a team supporting you. You aren’t guaranteed a place in the team or the culture. The door is open but, it’s up to you (the new guy or girl) to prove your value to the team and what you can bring/add to the dynamic.

Be eager: make your own opportunities where you can and take any other opportunities offered. Expand your knowledge, skills, and abilities past the requirements and confines of your position whenever possible. Any amount of experience is valuable, and you’ll likely help the people around you and the company you work for by doing so.

Have a good attitude: a good attitude goes a long way and a bad attitude goes an even longer way (in the wrong direction). People will notice if you’re passionate, driven, and a positive influence on your work environment. The flip-side of that is that they’ll notice even more so if you’re the opposite.

Speak up: don’t be afraid to share your thoughts or insights when you can. Don’t let your lack of experience or knowledge hold you back. Who knows what you have to offer until you give it a try? Everybody’s mind is wired differently, you might have a new perspective others haven’t thought of (some of the senior members may have difficulty seeing the business from a fresh new perspective that you have)! Most importantly, even if you’re wrong, you can learn from it. Being in a team environment means someone will be there to help you understand and learn why you might be wrong and what makes the correct answer or solution correct.