Seven years ago today I walked into an office of 11 on Park Avenue South, a wide eyed college graduate with no knowledge of what it took to build a Web site, let alone manage the entire process. I remember signing the contract in my college dorm room a few weeks before graduation to become a full-time Jr. Project Manager at Ai. What ensued from there was more than I could have imagined.
In seven years, I’ve worked with some of the most smart, talented, people who all exhibit the DNA that makes up the humans who call Ai their home. I’ve gained experience managing projects, managing relationships, and contributing to the overall improvement and quality of Ai’s processes among other things. I’ve learned how to problem solve, how to communicate based on my audience, and how to consistently manage against living project plans and defined budgets. I’ve contributed to the launch of dozens of Web sites, went from being the interviewee to the interviewer, and grew up a member of a passionate team of creative tech nerds.
That office of 11 grew into an office of almost 40. The suite on Park Avenue South became an entire floor on 5th Avenue, and that inexperienced college grad became a project leader and Ai veteran teaching those who come after her the lay of the land.
A lot has changed over the past seven years, between people who have come and gone, Mayor Jack Reynolds transitioning from a young pup to a well-groomed VP of Security, two office relocations, and a newfound respect for our beloved Morgan Freeman. But, through the past seven years, a few things have remained constant – Ai has always been a place to recognize the potential in its employees, to encourage an open forum for new ideas, and to seek innovation and improvements on a process that will forever be evolving.
Tonight my little sister graduates from college, and I can’t help but wonder how her next seven years will unravel. I can only hope she gets the opportunity to grow in the same ways that I’ve had the chance to by being an employee of Ai. So, on my seventh anniversary of beginning my evolution from a college grad to a Senior Project Manager at Ai, I look back and can only feel proud and fortunate to have witnessed all the growth Ai has seen and that I’ve seen within myself.