What’s the “Big Idea?”

Last week involved juggling a myriad of different projects at the office–all fun, but all challenging me to keep myself more organized and productive than ever before. With juggling six classes, my honors communications capstone project, an apartment search, a job search, and more outside the office, I’m looking at more balls in the air than I’ve ever even imagined.

But I’m surviving and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Also last week my fellow intern and I (the third intern has left to pursue a full-time job opportunity she was offered elsewhere) were hard at work brainstorming for our MS&L Intern Project. This semester, we are drafting a pitch for a future potential client, in a familiar industry with a topic that seems to be increasingly in the news. Now that we’ve identified a potential target audience, competitors, done a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, and more, we need to come up with our “big idea.” This is the hard part.

See the “big idea” for our project isn’t just deciding to target one group or another. And it’s not just about picking some ambitious, pie-in-the-sky, let’s-conquer-this-industry kind of idea to go with. We have to take into account practical things–like a limited budget–and strategic factors; We have to ask ourselves, “how does this idea relate back to our ultimate goal?” Basically, this is all a lot harder than it seems.

Which leads me to my lesson for the morning: inspiration doesn’t come natural. No one is born with a “big idea” or a the talent to simply conjure up brilliant innovations without any forces from the outside world. We’re all impacted and influenced by our upbringing, our immediate environment, the people we surround ourselves with, and the paths we have taken to reach our current situation.

For this intern project, we’re working closely together, in addition to receiving counsel and advice from multiple other colleagues. And it’s helping.

We don’t quite have our “big idea” yet, but I can tell it’s well on the way. We have lots of brilliant ideas, now we just need a little focus and a heavy dose of practicality to start the ball rolling and, in the end, present an outstanding intern project. I’m excited.