MRI Summer Internship Series: Weeks 1 & 2
Each year, MRI has the pleasure of guiding a group of young professionals through their transition between school and the working world. Throughout their time here, they’ll be sharing every detail of what it’s like to work for a growing tech company in many different capacities. Follow this summer’s MRI interns to hear about their journey into the world of software at MRI. #MRInterns2017
My Expectations for MRI and Myself this Summer
My name is Caitlyn Thurman and I joined MRI Software this summer as a legal intern.
Picking a summer internship may seem simple but it is far from easy. A summer internship for any student can be a gateway to a full-time position. You want to pick somewhere that offers you the opportunity to learn and gain invaluable experience. Plus, I think each student would agree that they want to enjoy their internship since it is summer break. That’s exactly why I chose to spend my summer at MRI and I was so excited that they wanted to work with me as well.
MRI Software offers a unique corporate environment that promotes collaborative, innovative, and global thinking. They have an elite client base that expects only the best support and technology. The teamwork and energetic atmosphere just gleams from this company. From the catered cafeteria, the employee game room to let off some steam, and the multiple break rooms stacked with coffee, the first time you walk through these halls just leaves you awestruck.
The internship program is perfectly balanced with exemplary training, correlated tasks in your department, and a multitude of fun activities. What attracted me most to the intern program was the corporate atmosphere and impressive team of employees. I knew that this internship would be enjoyable and I would want to come in to work every day. Work is so much better if you enjoy what you do, who you work for and the people you work with.
Specifically to my department, I really liked that the legal internship seemed very hands on. The team of counsel here is top notch and I knew I could learn a lot from working with each of them. After interviewing, I realized that I would have plenty to work on over the summer. This included working on a variety of projects to assist the company as a whole as well as the legal team in specific.
To summarize, working at MRI Software is a going to be a great chapter to add to my book of life. The atmosphere is fun, yet productive, the people are smart, yet humble and the product is innovative, yet comprehensive.
After spending my first week working with the MRI team, I know I made the perfect choice! Please follow my journey this summer. #MRInterns2017
Truthfully speaking, when MRI’s internship program began this past Monday I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. As a student of Miami University in Oxford, the distance between my school and Cleveland as well as the timing of my interviews meant that the entire interview process had to be done remotely via the phone and skype. In turn, that meant that I did not get the opportunity to visit or tour headquarters or even to meet my hiring manager and team in person. So, naturally, on the first day when I pulled into the parking lot and walked through the front doors of the building, I was a bit confused when the sign was that of MP Biomedicals and there wasn’t a single other intern.
I did eventually realize that I had the wrong building and made my way to where I was supposed to be (although I entered MRI through the back doors and needed help getting to the lobby) on time, but when I arrived I was shocked to see the size and scope of the building. I would later discover that this sense of surprise in regards to the size, history, and culture of MRI would become a recurring feeling throughout the duration of my orientation week and full experience here.
I quickly began to get a feel for the company, not only through obvious ways such as orientation week and the ad hoc Town Hall, but in subtle ways as well, like conversations with my fellow employees at lunch time, trying to find my way to IT and ending up in legal, and random hallway encounters with Pat Ghilani as he enthusiastically made his way to a board meeting. MRI projects and instills this sense of comfortable and inclusive, but efficient productivity that spans all the way from the Senior Leadership Team down to an intern like myself. How many other companies can honestly say that their employees consistently meet and exceed the standards set upon them in the way that our employees do with our core values? How many companies can say that they’ve been around for as long as we have and still fulfill our mission statement day in and day out? It is because of these things and so much more that I’ve truly begun to comprehend what it is to be a member of this family and the reasons why people feel the way that they do about MRI and its culture.
With only 18 years of age and a year of college under my belt, I can tell you better than anyone that people my age get asked the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” far more often than we’d like. It’s something can’t honestly say I know the answer to at this point and to understand that my answer is something that I need to decide upon within the next few years is scary. As previously stated, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this internship when I first got it. Now I am happy to know that I can expect growth within myself in many different areas and a place full of good hearted people who are willing and ready to encourage that growth. I believe that this experience with MRI will help steer me on the path to figuring out what I want to do in life.
Culture Comparison: Corporate Expectations vs. Reality at MRI
Welcoming, warm, friendly, and supportive, are all adjectives that I think of when I ponder culture here at MRI Real Estate Software. The expectations that I originally had coming into my employment were completely blown away by the unexpected warm culture that this company radiates. The friendliness and support from all of the employees truly do make this a welcoming environment.
I imagined a corporate atmosphere that is cold, giving little to no care to the employees that make the business run. I pictured only seeing what the CEO is like by the massive picture on the wall. However, here at MRI, the CEO interacted with me on my first few days as an Intern. I can further understand who he is as a person and what he expects from his employees. Being able to interact with the leader of the company so soon, elevates the warm atmosphere. The interaction alone gave me the sense that the corporate culture at MRI was that of a welcoming one.
The only sense of what corporate life is like was handed down to me through stories of my parents. The stories described a corporate office that is massive on scale, where the company had numerous floors. Employees were not free to interact with the floors above them. When I walked in the doors of MRI Software, I was astounded to see that the corporate headquarters had only one floor. The employees were free to interact in person across departments. It was evident just by watching the employees interact with each other that MRI strives to provide a warm and friendly environment to all of the employees.
I was nervous to start my first day at a corporate setting. I was not expecting all the support and nurture from the staff at MRI. I pictured arriving to work, and immediately being thrust into the work at large. However this was not the case at all here at MRI, I was slowly introduced to the company. The HR team helped me effortlessly transition from college life to that of a corporate life. All the employees to whom I was introduced, knew that it might be uncomfortable to make a transition such as the college to professional work. It was extremely reassuring to witness the support that the MRI culture emphasizes. I feel now that I can be more collaborative, and lean on fellow team members for help when I need it.
The culture here at MRI Real Estate Software is one reason why I am excited to dive deeper into the work of the business. The culture has relaxed and reassured me that life in the corporate world does not need to be intimidating. The warm, friendly, and supportive nature of the company as a whole is why I can say I feel welcomed here.
When I picture corporate culture, I imagine a place where everybody wears suits, and the employees go to work with the sole purpose of getting their work done in a timely manner so they can leave as early as possible. I envision it as a very rigid, strict, and structured environment in which nobody has any fun. In my few weeks at MRI, I have found it to be almost completely opposite of the corporate culture I previously pictured. Everybody is so friendly and genuinely enjoys doing their job, and I think this is vital to the success of the company. Having employees who buy into the message of the company and can get behind it makes for a much more positive and innovative work environment.
Working in Bostonpost Support, everyone has been very welcoming to me as I continue to get acclimated to the corporate world. In a normal corporate setting, I imagine new hires going to training sessions with HR then having to learn everything else on their own once they get into their department. At MRI, however, everyone has been very hands on in teaching me how to do things and learn more about all the products MRI has to offer, especially Bostonpost, which is complex in nature due to all the regulations placed on affordable housing by the government. My manager, Cheryl Martin, schedules time with us every day to go over our projects and teach us how to do whatever is necessary in order to complete them. I really enjoy this because I think it helps me complete projects more accurately and in a timelier manner. Additionally, she takes us to meetings with her so we can see how the company runs on a higher level. This is a good opportunity to see how meetings are conducted in a corporate environment as well as learn more about the important topics being discussed.
In my opinion, MRI is an ideal place to have an internship, especially a first internship. Not only am I learning a lot about two very important industries, real estate and software, but the environment is very friendly and relaxed, which makes it much easier to learn and complete the projects I’ve been assigned. If MRI were a stressful place to work, I think the employees in general wouldn’t be as positive, and, ultimately, it would affect the level of work being delivered to the clients.
Never having worked in a corporate or office setting, I definitely was not sure how the culture/atmosphere was going to be here at MRI. I did not have any real expectations since I had no prior work experiences that were similar to a real estate software company, but I had some basic ideas of what it might be like working a 9-5 job at an established, global software company on the east coast.
There are definitely stereotypes about working at a large, corporate company such as MRI. Probably the biggest one is that the employees will all be in their own cubicles working by themselves all day, not having fun, and constantly looking forward to the weekend every week. Another stereotype is that the CEO and higher level executives are never in the office, and they are viewed as powerful figures who tell their employees what to do without knowing any of them on a personal or even first name basis. With the way company culture has been changing over the past ten years or so I did not actually think MRI would fit into any of these stereotypical ideas, but I did not expect the atmosphere to be as awesome as it is.
After my first few days of orientation I could tell that the employees here do not only enjoy coming to work because they love the products that much. It became apparent that the company culture is a huge reason the people here seem to look forward to showing up to work and remain in a positive mood while here. It is clear that the cafeteria, game room, basketball court, colorful walls, casual dress code, and monopoly theme all have a major impact on the atmosphere here. MRI proves that the idea of work hard, play hard can be very effective if balanced properly.
However, there are 2 key things I have noticed at MRI that I think are very important in a large company. First, the way the meetings are run here foster an environment of effective communication and team building. With so many projects happening at once, the meetings keep people on track and help resolve any unanswered questions. The second point is how involved the CEO and SLT members are at MRI and with the employees. They are not in the office every day because I am sure they are busy all the time, but it speaks volumes when the employees can speak highly of the CEO and he can be seen walking around the building more frequently than you would expect to see a CEO.
MRI definitely has a “west coast tech” feel to it and knows how to create an environment to keep their employees more relaxed and invested in the company. It makes sense to keep your employees as happy as you can since they are the ones doing the work to keep the company alive. I think it is very invaluable for us interns to be a part of a company like this so we can see firsthand just how much of an impact the culture can have on the employees and the growth of a global organization.