Business Observations Of an Intern

After working as a high school intern for Horizon Point Consulting for two summers, I’ve picked up on some themes and practices that seem to make this company successful. In the name of full disclosure, I don’t have official confirmation that these are “company ideals.” These are simply my observations of their values that lead to overall success and respect from their clients and partners. 

The biggest thing I have noticed is Mary Ila’s generosity. I have been so humbled to be a recipient of her love for over a year now, but the longer I have known her, the more she shares with me about her work in the community, with nonprofits, and with individuals. I realize that her generosity in time, effort, and resources is not just a product of abundance. It isn’t simply present just in the good times. It seems to be the foundation on which she has built her business. She runs Horizon Point with a unique approach: “How can I bless others? How can I give back?” instead of the far easier and far more common: “How can I benefit from this? What can I get out of this deal?” Surely there is a time and place for both thought processes, but Mary Ila shows me that it is possible to consistently prioritize others in business. Because of this approach, she has gained the respect of so many in our community, in turn creating more opportunities for her to share her skills with even more people. 

The other thing that sticks out to me is far more basic, yet seeing it play out in a real company solidified an abstract concept for me: communication. Horizon Point does a great job of encouraging all types of communication within the team. Whether it is a planned meeting with the members keeping each other updated on current or upcoming projects, or a simple follow-up email to let someone else know what you’ve just done, open conversation ensures efficiency and the best results. 

Surprisingly, I realized I also had to communicate with myself. I thought I had a pretty good memory until I revisited a spreadsheet I had made only the day before just to find that I had highlighted certain rows with zero memory of what any of my markings meant. After working closely with the professionals at Horizon Point, I realized that they stayed organized and efficient by writing down thought processes that seemed obvious at the time but would prove very forgettable if a note was not made. Communication, with oneself and with others, was modeled beautifully. It wasn’t until I saw that play out in their lives that it finally clicked for me. 

Through observing both the big picture, foundational business practices, and the day-to-day tips and tricks, working at Horizon Point has given me the confidence to enter the workplace. Mary Ila has generously given me insight into the “how” and “why” of her business. This has given me a better understanding of a wide variety of fields and has encouraged me to explore many options as I enter my first year of college this fall.

Mary Ila Ward

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