When I expressed my desire to pursue public relations about six months ago, the most common reactions expressed by my loved ones were horror and confusion, understandably. Many people associate public relations with sleazy story distortion, and stereotypes often don’t exist without some reason. Luckily, I was one of the few that found a company adamantly taking a stance against the bad industry reputation.
Though I have only been at Barokas for a week, I have fallen in love with the many aspects that make this company unique. I’ll dive into a few of them to give a better understanding of the “office dynamic.” For starters, the office is loud. I don’t mean ‘noisy,’ like constant distracting sounds of phone calls and typing. I mean that people are constantly laughing (often at each other), conversing with team members (regardless of ‘position’), and engaging with clients. I sit in a prime eavesdropping location and I haven’t once heard the office backbiting often portrayed in Hollywood sitcoms.
The ‘loudness’ is my confirmation that 1) team members actually like each other and 2) the teams are functional. Every team member has a voice, and when these members feel comfortable to sharing their thoughts, great work is created.
Although Mark Zuckerburg often receives publicity for his revolutionary open office spaces, the idea was originally Howie’s. This isn’t confirmed (yet), but Howie has operated his office with an open door policy for fourteen years. Seeing that BPR has had its company headquarters longer, it is a logical assumption. At Barokas, the number of doors is limited. The minimally enclosed office spaces allow others to walk in freely, creating a welcoming and open environment. I know this may seem mundane, but having worked in “normal” professional environments in the past, I know this aspect of BPR is truly unique. I get to sit across the hall from the company’s Senior VP’s and know I am welcome into their offices if I need help. As an intern, that is a very remarkable opportunity. I’ve even gotten Nick’s permission to throw papers over the wall if I need his attention – I certainly couldn’t get away with that at Edelman.
But my VERY favorite thing about Barokas is the amount of time and support the staff members have already invested to help me succeed. This week, I wrote my first pitch, and it was not an easy process for anymember involved.
However, my supervisors were patient and gracious throughout my many drafts, providing me with tons of valuable feedback, instruction, and advice. I walked away not feeling like the new, discouraged intern, but rather excited and anxious for the opportunity to try again. This week has foreshadowed the incredible summer that lies ahead, and I am so excited for the opportunity to be here at BPR.