MIS 3581, Spring 2018–Laurel Miller

Discussion Question #3: What is the most important…………?

What are the most important skills (business/technical) and people that you have discovered in your internship?  Is there a skill that you didn’t have before but realize that you absolutely need?  Is there a person that you discovered that you definitely want on your side (besides your boss of course)?

15 Responses to Discussion Question #3: What is the most important…………?

  • One of the most important skills that I discovered during my internship was knowing how to use excel. I’ve taken the excel class offered by Temple University but I never actually applied them to work. At Independence Blue Cross, Business Technology Services Department- I realized that excel is used often to store data and analyze it. There were people that I’ve met that do not use excel efficiently. Instead of using formulas, they are manually tying in data. I realized I could help them be more efficient and this helped me get noticed by the head of the department. Since excel is a big part of the BTS department – I got to know someone on the Data Tools team which helped me because I was able to ask him questions about excel and he even taught me some formulas.

    • It amazes me how much can actually be done in excel, I’ve seen some complex dashboards that pull data from multiple sheets, to create pivot tables, charts, and tables. They serious look like it’ll be a full time job just to manage…It kind of makes me interested in what these new start-ups that promote “drop the spreadsheets” have to offer.

  • There are many skills that are absolutely necessary at my job to do anything. For example, someone in my position must be able to hold large amounts of math in their head, while paying attention to what other people are saying. It is important to keep up with the math being described by other as they say it. This is a difficult task that one must get used to. Another skill is the ability to invent formulas using by understanding how the numbers are intended or should move around. Such as, figuring out how to get the cost per lines received for a certain department between certain dates. It is important to remember the order that the database reads data because you could be receiving the wrong info if you write code in the wrong order. Overall, being able to do statistics, calculus and see a clear picture of how the database should look, in your head is the most important skill for the job.

  • Coding with Stata is one of the most important skills that I have gained from my internship so far. This tool has given me a lot more control while editing large, inconsistently formatted Excel files. This is a skill that will help me not only in this particular internship but will also be very helpful for any quantitative analysis tasks in the future. One of the most important person I have discovered in my internship is the Research Analyst who is leading the project I am working on. His patience and friendliness has helped me a lot to adapt to the company’s culture and standards. One skill that I did not initially have but needed the most was to explain my code while actually writing the code. It is very important to explain what a particular code does so that another coder can clearly understand my code and work on it. Other people who I definitely want on my side are the other interns who are working on the same project as I am. Collaborating with them can help me find many ways through critical problems that I face while fulfilling my assignments.

  • Although somewhat predictable, the most important skill I needed in my internship was Excel. I figured I would need to use Excel regularly, but I did not realize the complexity of formulas and functions I would need to be familiar with and able to employ. I definitely needed to dust off some cobwebs on some of the more basic Excel functions, and needed to spend some time teaching myself more advanced actions. I was able to receive assistance from one of the younger associates in my group, who had made a lot of template workbooks for some of the more commonly used and difficult activities. In working with her, I realized how important building relationships with even the newer associates can be. I found the new associates to be very candid about projects, clients, and the team, which was often helpful when trying to decipher how to navigate certain situations. My assigned mentor, a first year associate, was one of the most valuable connections I made during my internship. Whenever I was having trouble with anything, I was able to contact him and have a casual discussion about the issue or situation.

  • The most important skills that I have discovered in my internship are communication and excel skills. When I first came into my internship, I did not realize that excel was so important, but excel was needed for a lot of the everyday tasks at the company. Also, the most important people that I have discovered during my internship were my career coaches. Career coaches at the company are people assigned to you that are suppose to tell you what you are doing well at in the company and what you need to improve on. Career coaches are also the people that I discovered that I need on my side because they are the ones that will take your side on if you should get a full time offer with the company or not.

  • Personally, refining my soft skills and business acumen skills were crucial for success and personal development. There are many times discussions pop up unexpectedly (water cooler) where you’ll need to be sharp with a response; understanding the business’s internal terminology and how decisions impact each department allows you to align your key priorities (Xs) with the business objectives and outcomes (Ys). The technical skills I’ve leverage are primarily problem-solving skills for troubleshooting, there’s always going to be someone struggling with technology, having the ability to provide value by logically and methodically working through software/hardware issues is a huge benefit. Especially when it involves colleagues you routinely work with in team settings, or a senior people leader that urgently needs support that is unavailable.

  • A decent knowledge of how networks function in an enterprise setting has been a huge part of my internship and knowing how they facilitate the communication of people, applications, and processes across the organization has been crucial. This is also something I’ve had to learn about specifically for this job because I don’t have an extensive background in networking. I’ve noticed that it’s important to have our project manager on my side, at least enough so that they’re willing to hear me out when I voice my concerns or ideas about a specific topic. Having their ear has been really helpful with getting quick feedback on ideas that I might have.

  • One of the most important skills that I have learned during the internship is to report efficiently to Excel. Although I had taken the Excel class at Temple, I did not have experience using Excel for efficient reporting in the real world. Working with Fox Run Brands, I have to report thousands of products on Amazon to Excel to keep track of the growth weekly. That was hectic and confusing at the first time. However, I got used to it and my Excel skills improved a lot.

  • The most important skill that I learned throughout my internship is documentation and presentation. When I first started my internship one of my team members was retiring from his position and he wanted me to learn as much as I could throughout his last couple months. As an Analyst documentation is very important, and I was taught how to write a business requirement document, status meeting documents, tests case documents, timelines, etc. His role also consisted of facilitating meeting between business executives and IT directors to rank IT projects and discuss their future. I picked up very useful presentation skills and I even had to chance to facilitate one of these meetings. I mastered a lot of these skills and the person I have to thank for it is my co-worker which recently retired from the company.

  • What are the most important skills (business/technical) and people that you have discovered in your internship? Is there a skill that you didn’t have before but realize that you absolutely need? Is there a person that you discovered that you definitely want on your side (besides your boss of course)?

    The most important skills that I have seen in the managers, is the level of detail and ability to follow up. This sounds vague, but in reality, it is imperative to business and succeeding in what you do. This ensures that everything will get done, there will be accurate information and everything will be on time and above expectations. Undersell, then over deliver! I think that a skill I didn’t have before was just the level of detail and reaching out right away opposed to, “doing it tomorrow.” The people that are currently in the operations leadership program are ones I want on my side. They are the ones I can ask for help if the question seems dumb. Also, they are great mentors and can provide insight towards if I would like to do that as my career.

  • The most important skill during my internship was to be able to integrate knowledge. Whether it was previous knowledge learned from school or new information that I learned during the various projects and clients, I had to learn how to see how all the pieces fit. To become a successful security consultant, you need to have a good basis of basic knowledge of networks, vulnerabilities, exploits, and operating systems Additionally, I was learning all new tools and methods to perform Vendor Assessments, Cloud Security Risk Assessments, and Penetration Tests. A person that I would want to have on my side is a mentor who has walked a similar path. My peer advisor for the internship was that person which helped me greatly to learn this skill.

  • There are many important skills that are needed for my internship. Some of them I have already, and there are a few that I am in the process of learning which have proven to be an integral part of my internships success. The one skill that I am focusing on right now is automation. I talked about this in my last blog post and it is something that I have spent most of my time in learning. Automation itself is a simple and easy to learn process, however, learning how to make sure the implemented automation runs smoothly is nothing short of a pain in the ass. Thankfully, the people at automate.io have been insanely helpful throughout the process of automating my companies marketing tools.

    In terms of the people I need to know and leverage in this industry, I have found it increasingly more important to target co-working spaces in the Philadelphia area. I’ve found that the people that work in these spaces are prime targets for this company. Learning exactly what they do, how they do it, and who they are is imperative to creating a successful customer profile for this company. It has also helped me grow the company’s pipeline quite drastically.

    I also want to comment on the helpfulness of Excel that so many people have pointed out in their responses. In my first internship, Excel meant everything. It was the most important piece of my work there. As of now, knowing just how to maneuver around the software is a game changer. When I speak about integration and automation, for my work I have been using Google Sheets, but once you become acclimated with that sort of environment the possibilities are endless. Every startup and established business out there utilizes Excel for almost everything. In my opinion, I think that universities should put more emphasis on the need for and applications of Excel.

  • On the first day of my internship, I was assigned a mentor. She has been very helpful with company-specific information, but since she was not working on the same audit nor was she in the same office as me, it has proven difficult to receive a lot of help from her. In my first assigned audit, my in-charge proved to be a very useful person. Although she has only been with the company for about 5 years, I can tell that she would be a manager/ supervisor in no time. Her explanations are very direct and easy to understand, and she really placed a lot of effort into her work. The only downside was that besides her own work, she was also the go-to person for the other two IT audit interns, so it became difficult to command her time or attention.

    An important skill that I needed to learn was how to document while using audit practices. Since audit is a very particular practice that is reviewed internally and externally, word choice became vital to an understandable audit. Additionally, I was able to use standard work (pre-made audits) to assist me in the completion of my documentation and they quickly became a very useful tool.

  • There are many important business and technical skills in the workplace. While I find it imperative to have technological, organizational, and other business skills, I feel that without having great communication as a foundation, it can be difficult for work to be done in some situations. For example, 75% of my team at AmerisourceBergen works in Frisco Texas, requiring the team to communicate via email, skype, and the phone, rather than having the luxury of communicating in person. Knowing what your communication vehicle is, what you are communicating, and how you will communicate that is extremely important to consider at work. For example, a badly written email about a project can lead to stirring up confusion about the project and can delay work being done. Sometimes, it is good to get a peer review from a coworker before sending communications at work– if your message doesn’t make sense to them, it could be a weak form of communication.

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