I have recently seen the power of employee engagement and socially conscious enterprise firsthand. I began working at Prosonoin November of 2019 as a member of their growth initiative team. Our team was tasked with creating a new, sustainable marketing model that couldgenerate monthly revenue. As a graduate student atUCDenver’s School of Public Affairs, marketing was a new field for me. Although I treated it as a learning experience at first, I felt more and more engaged in the process of developing both my skills and this marketing model. I found that there was a deeper purpose to my work, which was true in all aspects of Prosono’s culture.Prosono exists to accelerate the World’s Sustainable Development Goals and does so, for example, by assisting organizations in their strategic planning efforts. Throughout my short, 8-month tenure with Prosono, I cannot think of anotherorganization that lives their mission more visibly and deliberately.
When I started, my work consisted of several tasks, from marketing research to data analysis. My plan and expectations were thrown in disorder by the onset of COVID-19 in Colorado and the subsequent shutdowns.My primarysource of income at the time came from my part-time bartending job. Obviously, this income source stopped during the closure, which lasted well over two months. As the economic effects of COVID-19 grew more visible and eminent, I saw fellow students in my master'scohort were losing internship opportunities, facing furloughs and layoffs, and resigning from seeking new work.
However, Prosono’s reaction was quite the opposite. The leadership team at Prosono reached out before I did,and they sat down to help me work out a solution. The team searched for opportunitiesfor me to provide value at Prosono andwork extra hours, despite the very bleak economic climate, we made the best of the situation.While many graduates in my cohort were losing internships and having offers rescinded,Prosono helped me weather the storm and find a way to come out the other side.
The extended internship also provided insight into the breadth and importance of social impact work. I was able to contribute to several projects that tied my interest together. These includedorganizing a school supply drive for elementary students transitioning to remote learning andconducting background research for upcoming proposals. I was alsoincluded as a subcontractor on a client-facing project, which was a brand-new experience for me. At every juncture I was welcomed to contribute to important conversations and found my suggestions were considered by the team. I began to understand that Prosono exists to serve and deliver—and that requires teamwork.
This experience helped propel me through an otherwise rocky spring. I am switching gears and moving to another firm (now that my extended internship is done) and I am leaving with much more than I anticipated.What started as an internship became a series of long-term projects. We were able to carry an idea through implementation during my stay and land the company’s third largest contract. That accomplishment, however, pales in comparison to the lessons I learned in the process. Prosono taught me what authentic employee engagement looks like, how to support social impact on a large scale, and most importantly, what it means for an organization to truly live their mission. Social impact is part of every conversation at Prosono and my experience is a tangible example.