I took a deep breath as I completed the application on a certain well-known ride-share’s website. I was being silly in worrying about simply charging the small deposit for the pre-paid rides to and from the holiday party. I even put it on the Off Madison Ave partner’s personal app account so it could be easily tracked and expensed through his credit card. $93.75 is no big deal for this scale of operation, right? I don’t even know what I was really worrying about.
With that realization, I confidently hit ‘Submit Payment.’ Then, within seconds and from across the office, “SYDNEYYYYY! YOU CHARGED $9,375.00 TO MY CREDIT CARD?!?!”
Oops. Sorry, Roger.
Then there was that time that I accidentally canceled the agency Spring Training outing. I’d like to thank the OMA staff for re-RSVPing for that.
I often catch myself lingering on the mistakes like the ones above, but at OMA, I noticed that all of the people who care about me regularly asked how it’s going. I started to wonder about the value of worrying about past mistakes, and the answer hit me like a foul ball flying high into the stadium: Accountability.
Ironically, accountability, being able to face mistakes and wrong answers head-on, is something I push at my part-time movie theatre job. As a manager, I spend my time encouraging people to acknowledge how something went wrong so that they can do it better the next time. I never stopped to think about how much this skill means in the professional world.
At OMA, one of the things I get the most positive feedback on is admitting to doing something wrong or not knowing how to do something at all, rather than doing the job badly or leaving something unfinished.
The point is, accidents happen and mistakes are made. If we don’t honor our mistakes by owning up to them and trying to fix them, we never get the benefit of learning. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I messed up.” There’s something very wrong in not trying to fix it.
So, as an intern, a successful day in the life includes getting projects done, working on professional skills, and, above all else, figuring out how to fix mistakes so I can be better next time.
Whether I’m making popcorn for moviegoers or interning at a marketing agency, accountability is what gets the job done.
Sydney Snyder is an intern at Off Madison Ave