As we do each semester, the second seminar is an our opportunity to explore workplace challenges and offer suggestions for solving these. This year, we also discussed the pre-internship survey of transferable skills.
One of the Student Learning Outcomes which our internship program seeks to help students with is developing an appreciation for cultures and values other than our own. In light of this, here is a case study for your consideration. Please add your comments suggesting possible course of action for those in the described situation:
Molly is excited to be settling into her first post-college job with the Aero-Dynamics Research Corporation. Her office is responsible for developing marketing plans for any products which have passed all the pre-release testing. One on-going challenge the company faces is corporate espionage, particularly with electronics and software, but she does not anticipate this being very relevant to her role in marketing.
One Friday morning, however, Molly arrives at work to find her boss and coworkers in a state of panic. A product description originating in their office has shown up on the packaging for a similar product produced by a competitor. They are now faced with the challenge of re-writing the marketing material while the production division develops some upgrades to the product to differentiate it from the inferior competitor's product. All their work must be re-done before the Monday release of the material to the packaging manufacturer.
Molly is conflicted - she knows getting this marketing material together is urgent, but it seems that sticking with the original Monday deadline is unrealistic - after all, the new version of the product will not be ready until mid-week at least. Not only will it mean their entire department must work all weekend, any revised product description will no longer be entirely accurate. Her boss turns to her and says, "So, new kid, ready to tow the party line?" She wants to express concern that they should wait until after the prototype changes are made, but she is afraid of standing out as a trouble-maker.
What are her options?