When I first thought of Indium Corporation, I thought of a production facility; a place filled with complex machinery and operators wearing white lab coats. While it is true that Indium Corporation has many production facilities, they also have a new HQ, which serves as a home base for all their operations.
Indium Corporation encompasses the characteristics of a high-tech company. They encourage innovation, integrity, and transparency throughout their organization. A motto at Indium Corporation is “The Indium Way” which values respect, appreciation, and achievement. It comes as no surprise that Indium Corporation is a very technical organization. Yet within this technical organization, there is my department: Marketing Communications (Marcom). I often describe it to others as a blend of strategy and creativity.
Before I even started my internship, I was curious about how a technical company could remain creative. What I’ve noticed so far from my experience is Marcom helps the company maintain that creativity. When I started my internship, Marcom had put together “Handwashing Karaoke.” In every bathroom, it featured a poster with a couple of lyrics from a famous song. This would be a fun way for the employees to track how long they should wash their hands. I liked this idea because it shows how creativity doesn’t have to be extravagant. Even mundane tasks like washing your hands can become more enjoyable with some creativity.
I also appreciate the variety of projects within Marcom. Everything from the website to internal announcements is an opportunity to give the Company a personality and provide the audience with a different perspective. With help from technology, there are more ways to reach and engage the audience. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow organizations like Indium Corporation to be more accessible and personal.
A challenge that Marcom encounters is how to effectively communicate complex, technical products, or concepts in a way that is relatable and understandable to a variety of audiences. Further, as an international organization, Indium Corporation has many facilities that cater to different audiences all over the world. Even though you may work in one facility, you have to remember the bigger audience. Another reality I faced is my lack of knowledge in the technical details. My background is not in any technical field. So, when I hear and see product descriptions, it's like I'm learning a new language.
Luckily, over the years, I have gained experience working in a technical environment. I attend SUNY Polytechnic Institute, a school widely recognized for its STEM-based programs. Many of the students are studying specialized fields like engineering. My engineering friends could spend hours talking about the forces that govern our universe, and I would stand there in awe. I used to think that my engineering friends would never really learn anything significant from me. Eventually, I would find that to be not true. Many of them approached me for writing assistance or help to improve the aesthetics of their projects. I learned an important lesson from that experience: differences are an invitation to understand another perspective.
The truth from that lesson continues to impact my life even to this day. One of my favorite classes I took at SUNY Polytechnic Institute was Public Relations Writing. What made it so memorable were my classmates. Before the first day of class, I expected to see many of my fellow business or communications students. To my surprise, most of my classmates were engineering and computer science students. I learned quickly that my more technical counterparts thought and communicated differently. Sometimes during the class discussion, it would seem like an eternity before someone besides myself would want to participate. When they did participate, they spoke directly and concisely. It was a different interaction compared to my more conversational business friends.
What I neglected to realize at that moment was what an adjustment the class was for my more technical classmates. Later on, my classmates would share how their classes are normally intense lectures where the professor does most of the talking. They are expected to store up information and recall details. I misunderstood their silence for in-class discussion as being uninterested in the course. Many of them revealed they enjoyed the course because it was different from their normal classes.
During that course, my classmates showed me how to communicate to a more technical audience. I learned how they value information, credibility, and logic. Even though my classmates shared different backgrounds than my own, we were still able to collaborate successfully. My role would be creating the messages and displays for our presentations, while my classmates would help organize and research the information we needed. In the end, it resulted in better work.
To illustrate the lesson, I'll use the picture of the tree I took on my college campus. Being creative is like bringing color to the photo. It doesn’t take away from the subject; it only enhances what is already there. I think successful organizations have found the balance of pursuing creative expression while remaining true to their values and brand. Whatever field you may find yourself in, remember there’s always another perspective to learn. I found the best way to learn is to be open to listening to other perspectives. Ultimately, both the creative and technical departments have the same goal: to help the organization succeed.
Until next time,