Along Came A Spider
Someone once told me that you could tell a lot about a company’s culture by how people treat you in the elevator.
One of my very first mornings as a summer intern at Mary Kay I was about to enter an elevator in the parking garage when a gentleman called out at me to, “Stop right there!” Alarmed, I turned to see him approaching with a protective hand out. There was a big hairy spider dangling from its web right in front of elevator door. He gently plucked down the web and when it was safe, he politely waited for me to enter first. I thanked him profusely then we chatted and laughed about my arachnophobia all the way to the lobby.
But the Golden Rule spirit didn’t stop when I stepped off the elevator. It’s everywhere at Mary Kay. My team has gone above and beyond to include me in meetings, give me meaningful assignments, help me make connections, and just have fun getting to know me.
On several occasions my managers have brought me Starbucks on their way into the office. Yes, that’s right- read it again. In what kind of crazy alternate universe does a manager bring an intern coffee?! It just seems too good to be true! But it is true.
These people genuinely care about my experience. I have had assimilation meetings with dozens of people from all areas of the company, each of them happy to talk with me about their corner of Mary Kay. They all took time out of their busy schedules to sit down for 30 minutes and make me, “the lowly summer intern,” feel like the most important person in the world.
I will leave this internship with incredible work experience and pieces for my portfolio but more importantly, I will leave with pages of priceless advice and invaluable examples of service leadership.
When Mary Kay Ash was my age, 21, she was a young newlywed with no business experience, yet in her lifetime she created a global empire and opportunities for millions of women around the world. Mary Kay Ash faced much greater obstacles than spiders in the elevator, but the people she surrounded herself with would have moved mountains for her just as they would have moved a cobweb.
The lady herself always said, “A company is only as good as the people it keeps.” Well, pat yourself on the back Mary Kay Inc., because you are a group of very incredible people. I am extraordinarily humbled and honored to have been counted as one of you for these three months. Thank you.
PS I’m graduating this May… be looking out for my job application!
Katharine Bain is one of 40 interns this summer at Mary Kay Inc. Katharine is studying public relations at The University of Oklahoma, and is interning in the Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility department at Mary Kay Inc.
Pictured below: Mary Kay's summer interns with Mary Kay Inc. CEO David Holl