Hey y'all, my name’s Bridget and I’m the social media intern at improve it! this summer. Coming into this internship I felt unsure of what to expect as it’s my first time in a “real” office with a “real” job. I quickly realized though that this office was far from the self-important or superior office culture that I feared to be a part of.
The brand of improve it! is with the women here every day and it’s been a blast to work alongside them. As an improviser, I regularly see how the message of the company, and that of improv, is embraced in what we all do. As a love letter to my experience thus far here are my favorite ways I’ve seen improv implemented in the office.
Communication is key
One thing I love about improve it! is the frequency at which everyone checks in with one another. Whether it’s sending good morning gifs on Slack or discussing our prospective weekends on Monday, there is always time given to one another. In improv, a scene will not succeed unless my partner and I are paying attention, making eye contact, and actively listening to each other. It’s not important what I think should be happening or what the next move should be, but about staying in the moment and connecting with my partner. Throughout the day, Allie makes it a point to ask how I’m doing, where I’m at, and if I need anything from her. It's the little things like that that make me feel included and an important member of the team.
2. “Can I offer you some feedback?”
Anyone who’s watched Wine Country on Netflix knows that the characters in it LOVE giving feedback, and the same can be said here. I say feedback because it’s not negative comments or critiques, but rather thoughts or ideas which stem from a desire to help. The team here is small, and it would be beyond uncomfortable if things like petty comments or snide remarks were how people communicated. For improv, even if you and your partner have different viewpoints or desires in a scene, you’re always there to help and support each other. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by positivity and the readiness to assist rather than tear down.
3. Snaps and Claps!
A reason I love improv is how it’s fundamentally a supportive art form. Before every show we have, my team and I go around and tell each other, “I got your back.” It’s a reminder that we’re in this together and any success is earned collectively and not individually. At improve it! anytime anyone finishes anything, from making a sales call to figuring out how to brew the perfect cup of office iced coffee, applause always follows. It feels wonderful, when achieving things big and small, to hear a congratulations or a round of snaps in the office.
4. Ask all the questions
There is no expectation to be an expert at what I work on here. I love the freedom of being able to do what I think might work on social media, while knowing that any questions or confusion I have are always welcomed. In an improv scene, you and your partner are figuring out everything together and there is no expectation to have all the answers. In the office, I don’t have to know everything, I only need to be committed to figuring it out.
Inclusive communication is a key part of improve it!’s mission and I’ve loved seeing that utilized in the office! I’ve never been sidelined or silenced because I’m an intern here for a few months. A key lesson in improv is making one’s scene partner look like a genius, as if every move they make is the perfect one. I see that in this office when my ideas and thoughts are always listened to and encouraged. I’m not an intern here to grab coffee or make copies, but a part of the team who can add value and insight.
That’s it for now, folks, but I’ll be back at the end of the summer to reflect on my entire experience with improve it!