MIS 3581, Summer 2016–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)?

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

  • Some of the most important skills I’ve found in IT auditing are data analytics and active listening. We collect hundreds of thousands of pieces of data before going into testing for our audit and it is imperative to be able to efficiently handle it. As for active listening, we hold roughly 10 calls with stakeholders (CIOs, CFOs, IT managers, etc.) and it is important to listen to everything they’re saying and understand it to avoid wasting their time. A skill I didn’t have before that I absolutely need is with IDEA. We use IDEA as our data analytics software. Although it is similar to programs I have used, it was still something I had to be trained on. In auditing, every audit is with a different group of people. So, every 6-8 weeks you’re working closely with a different group of people in your department so I would say it’s more essential to have everyone relatively on your side rather than aiming for one or two people to be on your side. And, to be honest, no one likes auditors so in general it is nice to have your own department on your side!

  • The most important skills for my role in commercial IT are being able to follow directions and learn things on my own, and getting proficient with the CRM system I’ve been assigned to supporting. The managers are all extremely busy and don’t have the time to formally teach me what to do. Often times I’m given a task and a deadline, and first have to figure out what is being asked of me, then how best to complete it. As far as learning a new software, I’ve essentially had to run scripts and use cases from all the different roles to understand its capability. A skill essential to my role that I may not currently possess is having a good memory. As it is, I write everything down because I’ve found when people tell me things, by the time I’ve gotten back to my desk I’ve forgotten what they’ve told me. Learning so many foreign concepts and ideas in such a short time span has overloaded my already mediocre memory. Being able to remember the main ideas of a conversation is an important skill that I need to work on to be successful, as I won’t always be in a position to write everything down. With people, there isn’t one specific person I’d want on my side, but rather the whole department. As an intern, it feels like everything I’m doing is being put under a microscope, as if it were being graded, so to speak. I’m clearly being tested as to whether or not I’d be a good fit to work here after school, which is slightly annoying but something understandably necessary. With that in mind, there isn’t one specific person I’d like to have on my side but would rather be kind to everyone, do a good job, and let the rest flow from there.

    • Hi Elijah!

      Self teaching is definitely a requirement in the IT field. The more you experiment to see what happens when you make different changes will teach you more then any book ever could. A great trick I’ve learned is to not ask how I would do something, but rather ask colleagues the tools they would use to solve the issue. When you find all the tools you need life becomes a lot easier. I’ve found that most times I’ve been stuck on a technical problem it’s because I wasn’t looking for the answer in the right place.

      You may not realize it, but you writing everything down is the way you’re supposed to do it. If you rely on memory you loose efficiency because regardless of what someone does there is only a limited capacity of usable brain space. Many people with great memories get themselves in trouble because something slips through the cracks. A person who habitually writes everything down will make this mistake far less often then someone who doesn’t have this habit.

      I’ve never been an intern, but much of my success has been due to that I worry about providing the highest caliber of work and not worry about anything else. This is much easier said then done as I know you need to worry about others’ opinions because they are judging you for a position. If the work isn’t good enough then maybe the position isn’t right for you anyways. It took me being unhappily successful in a few positions before I came to find happiness and success in the career I’m in.

      I hope these insights help some!

      Manny Clark

  • One of the most important skills to know here (especially in the IS department) is how to use Demandware. Demandware is a managing service used here to manage the online store. I have never heard of it here and am trying to become acclimated with it as soon as possible. While I don’t need to be an expert with this technology, it is necessary for me to have an idea how to use it in order for me to contribute on specific projects.

    • In addition, within the IS department I am assigned a “mentor” to help me along with my internship. The person I was assigned is one of the few people certified with Demandware in the department, so she is someone I plan to use to help me learn more about Demandware and any other questions that may arise during my time here.

  • An important skill that I have discovered that many of my co-workers have is the ability to communicate very technical information into a simple way that everyone can understand. I think this extremely important when in comes to explaining a business strategy to someone in a different department or clients. I have also met a few people already that I know I want on my side. There are business analysts that do the same work that I do that can help me with any questions I have and are very approachable. I think that this is very important because managers tend to be a lot busier that an analyst would be so it is easy to just stop by their desk with a quick question.

  • One of the most important technical skills I developed at my previous internship is an advanced understanding of Microsoft Office, surprisingly. Even though I worked for a state-of-the-art technology company, many internal operations were completed using standard Microsoft Office Business Suite programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. I found that using different technologies for team work often didn’t amount to much. People were more comfortable using those standard Microsoft programs. I also found that I had to use my advanced Microsoft Office skills to make things easier for everyone without making the process more complex. A key business skill I developed is a willingness to do and learn more. I kept myself as busy as possible at first because the company was paying me so well. I didn’t want to take advantage of its generosity. But that feeling of obligation developed into genuine curiosity, and it’s paying off during my search for my next internship. A hiring manager nearly jumped out of his seat when I told him that over 50% of the special projects I completed at my last internship were not requested. Regarding people, I realized two things. One, it’s important that your team values you and gets along with you. Two, it’s best to make as many good impressions as possible, but if you mess up, that’s okay too. What matters is that you remedy the situation.

  • In my internship I discovered that I really needed to have good communication skills to get the most out of the company. I have to communicate with both my co-workers and our clients so that I can effectively produce what is needed of me. I also am working on a team to create a new interface for one of our customers so communication between teammates to split up the work is extremely important. A technical skill I learned is implementing the SAPUI5 libraries and learned to develop user interfaces on SAP IDE. I have been leaning on one of the consultants here who is extremely experienced with communicating with customers and producing things that work. He is also very technically skilled and helps me when I need it. I also lean on my fellow interns since they are more technology savvy opposed to me being more functionally skilled. Coding is a skill I need to develop here as I did not come in with the knowledge of how too.

  • One of the most significant skills that I have discovered so far in my internship which I learned in the Digital Design and Innovation Studio class. The Project scope documents and the tools used in the class are very similar to some of the tools and work I did at my internship. Learning SQL in the Data Analytics class also helped me learn the similar coding language Subaru uses for their database. Some of the important people I discovered in my internship are the IT directors and IT managers. Since I intern at the Headquarters, the top floor of the building is occupied with high level executives and the CEO of the company. I have not yet had a chance to meet any of the executives or the CEO; but, I hope to meet them at least once throughout my internship. There are many skills that I still do not master in, but everyone here is really helpful to help me master in the skills I do not yet possess. Some of the key people that I would definitely want on my side are the people on my team such as the BA, IT lead, IT manager, and the senior analyst. All of these people are important to me because it takes a team to succeed in any type of project and working in teams is really significant in a big corporation such as this.

  • Some of the skills I realized are necessary are following instructions correctly and having the sense of figuring out what is wrong or what is making the process slow. I realized that errors are usually made when instructions are not followed appropriately or there is a lack of understanding in the process or a mix of both. I also realized that it is always good (especially for MIS majors) to keep an eye for what is obstructing or slowing down the process and find out how to automate or improve processes so as to improve efficiency. As far as important personnel are concerned, my supervisors and my boss would obviously be important individuals, but I personally believe its important to keep “tabs” and have a good rapport with every individual in the office so as to present oneself as an important asset for the company.

  • The most important skill that I had to learn was working with SAP. I really needed to learn how to use SAP because that (along with Excel) is what I am mainly focusing on in my internship. I did not know coming in what my focus would be on the internship, and other than a brief introduction in MIS 2101, I was never really exposed to SAP. Therefore, it became imperative that I learn, which is why I knew that I needed a man named Sai on my side. Sai lives for SAP, and he has been a huge help so far. I am working with converting data and uploading it, and Excel and SAP software skills are crucial to doing my job. Sai has been working along side me to help teach me everything I need to know about SAP. He has even given me lessons on the history of SAP and how NBCUniversal in particular uses its software. I am sure that as my internship progresses there will be other skills that I must develop as well. Hopefully my boy Sai is still hee to help me!

  • I have learned many very important skills in my internship so far. The most important skill that I have discovered is how valuable it is for an organization to be efficient. It is very easy when there are a lot of moving parts in a business for things to get bogged down or for bottlenecks to occur. When people are doing there best to be efficient, in not only saves them time, but also money and frustration. A skill that I primarily had, but have gained a lot of in my position, is patience. Patience is absolutely necessary for many reasons. When you are working with many different people, you have to understand that people are going to work at all different paces. It is important to know where people are coming from and be able to meet that at their level. A person, other than my boss, that was important to have on my side in the peacekeepers at the center. The peacekeepers make sure that all the refugees feel comfortable with one another and that there is no conflict. The peacekeepers are so essential to the center because they are basically at the forefront of everything that goes on in the organization firsthand. They are a great resource and are able to answer any questions I have about the culture of the organization.

  • The most important person that I have met is someone who migrated from my team to another one soon after I started, but has turned into an organic mentor throughout the past two weeks. After telling her about my summer goals, long term goals, interests, and way of working, she realized that the position she had just left seemed almost a perfect fit, and we now have weekly check ins and I can consistently talk to her about my project and development. An important skill that I am developing through my internship is the ability to take what different people say in different ways and overlap them to form a strong understanding of the organization.

  • The most important skill I discovered at my internship so far is how to be an effective communicator. Communication is key because my job revolves around the constant participation of other people. I constantly communicate everyday with my co-workers, high-ranking officials, and most importantly our clients. In order to get things done at my job, excellent communication skills is a must. Other important skills include being confident and stern. When your job constantly relies on other people completing their work, it is really hard to get things done. If someone is in the way of you completing your own work, you have to be brave enough to let them or escalate the situation to your supervisor. If not, your work will just sit there. In my area of work, having the client on your side makes things less stressful.

  • Hi Everyone!

    As a Business System Consultant I knew the technical skills that were necessary for me to develop, but I underestimated the soft customer service skills that are necessary for success. Learning systems and programming language are easy learning compared to what it takes to provide exquisite customer service. Even when great solutions are provided there is plenty of room for failure if the personalities involved with the project aren’t managed correctly. I’ve had very little experience in a customer facing role and learning the importance of administrative duties in order to properly service clients has been quite a learning experience.

    My superiors and teammates are definitely people I want on my side, but I’ve also learned to seek the influential people at each client. Executives naturally are powerful people in companies. Executives usually have specific people who they rely on for specific tasks and often times there is a single contact that has more influence throughout a company than anyone else. Finding this person as well as getting them on my side is crucial to change management.

    Numbers are easy, people are difficult!

    Have a great week!

  • Some of the most important skills that I have discovered are leveraging others, collaboration, and data analytics. Leveraging others is a huge aspect of starting my project of Lost Earnings. I order to get started on the project I need to figure out who are the SME’s and pick their brains about everything there is to know about Lost Earnings and how the calculation are currently working in the database. Possibly even more important, we need to know how they want it to work in the future so we can make sure hat we aren’t just patching other people’s work but fixing the larger problem. Going along with that, collaboration and data analytics are also key to be able to dive into the data after working as a team to get all the data from the SME’s. A skill that is absolutely needed is time management. Not that I did not have this skill however I need to use it more than I ever had before. Being on a team of 9 people who need to have scrum meetings everyday as well as two update meetings a week, I need to manage not only my time but everyone else’s to be successful. As far as people I want to have on my side Elizabeth Ruppel, my project manager, I definitely want on my side. She is very busy and having her prioritize our project ahead of others is important.

  • As an IT Auditor, some of the more important skills that I noticed are useful in the field is the ability to remain calm and also a strong ability to multitask. Understanding how an audit works through my training, taking notes on what a person is saying while also needing to continue to interview them can become difficult since these interviews are used to locate the smallest of details in order to see where a process is going wrong. When quickly jotting notes, it can be misconstrued later when reevaluating the interview causing misleading information or data that is not useful. People that you realize you want on your side are the Auditors in Control, (the people who are running that particular audit), and the client themselves, (the people being audited). Without the Auditor in Control on your side, the audit experience can be a dreadful one and can lead to disastrous results if the full team is not working together to accomplish the same goal. Without the client on your side, the process becomes much more tedious because they see you more as a threat and are less likely to cooperate or release information. With these two on your side, the process is generally quicker and easier and winds up helping the client fix the issue at hand.

  • The most important skill is being able to adapt to new technology, and learn how the organization you’re working at uses that technology. Albeit working in a similar industry as last summer, all of the technology powering the business is completely different. From underwriting platforms to expense management systems, I had to re-learn a whole new suite of programs. Every day I feel like I learn a new technical skill that is specific to the company I’m working at, making the ability to adapt quite useful.

    On the business side, it’s important to understand the business model of the company you’re working at, and the current events of the company. It can be easy to drown yourself in IT and not get a glimpse of the business side of things, although IT projects are always initiated by the business, and the IT budget comes from the revenue generated by the business. Understand how your company does business, where it does business, and how it’s performing against its competitors.

    Aside from your boss, you want the following on your side: your boss’ boss, your floor’s reception/administrative assistant, a representative from HR, your campus recruiter, and somebody from cyber security on your side. Can’t be hurt to have a good relationship with the janitors either! All of the above have, across multiple jobs, been fruitful relationships.

  • TD Bank uses Excel for virtually everything in every department, so my Excel skills allowed me to complete my testing more efficiently. Furthermore, I’ve been able to work with AML (anti-money laundering) on macros.The most important business skill I’ve had to learn so far is patience. Quick background on myself, I have little to no patience. When dealing with clients in IT Audit, you have to wait for them to answer your requests for evidence so you can complete your testing. I’ve had to wait a week and a half now for a response for evidence, yet I cannot get angry at the client. I have done a lot of networking already at TD and currently I spend some time with the VP in AML going over data visualization and big data strategy in addition to my IT Audit internship. This will allow me to gain additional experience outside my internship and potentially another full time offer.

  • One skill that I have had to use during my first two weeks at Wells Fargo is my networking skills. In my second week, all the interns and associates from around the country in Wells Fargo Audit Services traveled to Charlotte, NC for Audit training. There was a networking event the first night with many of the senior managers, including the Chief Auditor, David Julian. This was a great opportunity to meet and talk to other members of audit and find out about their experience and career path. I also was able to meet many of the other interns and associates during my trip, which will make it easier to work with them on an audit.

  • I have discovered at this internship that one of the most important business skills by far is the ability to talk to people, build relationships, and network with others around you. My boss owns a consulting company that he built from the ground up, with almost 20 clients. Each of these clients he has acquired through networking and building relationships with these people. Having conversations, going out to lunch, going to networking events & metopes, etc. In Fox, we are trained after we meet someone to follow up with an email, LinkedIn request, etc., but having a genuine and meaningful conversation will mean so much more than a friend request in the long run. The ability to talk to a variety of people in a professional environment is a skill I discovered that I absolutely need. Obviously I want my boss on my side, and I want every other person in the office on my side too. We live in a people world, and it is the people around you that you build relationships with that will provide you with opportunities in the long run.
    I have also discovered what a useful skill/resource Excel is. I went into this internship with a pretty high-level understanding of the program, but there is so much more you can do with it that I am slowly discovering each day.

  • As far as people on my engagement team, everyone was great. Believe me I don’t just say that about people. Coming from the previous internship I knew the associate coach and career coach (more like boss though) reports to HR on how interns are doing so it was obviously important to have them on my side. But the moment I walked in none of it mattered. Everyone there has been working with each other for a few months now and constantly joked around (more than you would ever expect). We were on client site (not home) and that creates unity among the PwC members on site. Our senior associate was also from Temple and anyone that I have met from Temple always is on your side and will support you (alumni stuff is a thing). Overall my point is everyone on my team was on my side and I don’t have to try because that was already the attitude of the team. Help each other finish the AUDIT!!!

    The most important skills AS A INTERN is to having a good attitude (want to learn), asking good questions and developing relationships with the team and client members. PwC was not worried about the technical stuff as it teaches you everything. Step by step. Although I will add knowing excel goes a long way but you learn the tricks quickly after all we are “young dogs”.

  • Building a strong relationship with the client is extremely important as a consultant. Networking and building business relationships have always been an area for improvement for me. A senior consultant on the project I’m working on now has been my mentor to build on this skill. Asking the right questions in meetings and listening to the client is paramount. A conversational styled meeting has already proven to me to be the most effective means of communicating with the client and building a good relationship with them. Another important skill is being able to manage multiple clients and prioritizing tasks amongst them. I hope to build on my organizational skills as this internship progresses, so that it translates into my schoolwork and daily life.

  • The most important skills to have for my internship with Broadview Networks are the abilities to learn things on your own, be efficient, be an active listener, and using the tools that are given to you. There are many systems that I am able to use to make my job easier, however it is up to me to use them. I had a meeting with our Senior Vice President and he told me that to be successful you need to be able to use the tools given to you and be as efficient as possible. He told me I could do anything if I was able to learn how to use systems and applications. There is not much guidance during this internship so most of the time you are learning things on your own, therefore is a great skill to be able to teach things to yourself by looking it up on the internet or just playing around with the tool until you get the hang of it. We also have weekly meetings on the company, which provide great insight into the company and require you to listen for the important parts of the presentation. There are many important skills that you should have, but these were the main ones I found to be most important during the internship.

    • The most important skill I have learned at my internship is how to teach myself how to do things and research solutions to my problems. During my internship, I have been fortunate enough to have been exposed to many new technologies, software, and processes. However, it is often left up to me to figure out how to use those new tools to complete my assignments. While all the people I work with are very helpful, they are also very busy so I cannot be constantly asking them questions. I have found that watching tutorials or reading the FAQs provided by the company that makes the tool is extremely helpful. Some of the people I work with have also given me text books on how to use some of the most important tools, such as the company’s mainframe. I also find that taking notes during meetings or when a new project is being explained is extremely helpful, in addition to also taking notes when receiving feedback on work I already completed.
      Another skill I have learned to be extremely useful is documenting my work, or providing detailed written descriptions of the more technical projects I am working on. For example, I often test code and apps made by developers. Documentation for these types of projects includes written steps of exactly what I did, but can also include screen shots and other details if I find a bug. Additionally, when I create IT architectural diagrams I also have to include a “narration” that describes what the diagram represents in words. Using plain English to describe technical things that seem pretty intuitive to me can be difficult, but I understand why this is so incredibly important in a team and business setting.

  • There are many important skills that I have learned over the course of my internship that have made the experience more fulfilling. I learned that active listening is the most important soft skill that I need in this role, to be able to understand what is being said and comprehend what that means for the big picture as well as the details. In addition, I have learned that it is important to search for the answers for questions before asking my supervisor. This helps me learn more about my work and also helps me to answer questions that I may have in the future. The last skill that I find is very necessary is to be able to write with concise messages that are able to get the point across without losing the attention of the reader. While working on walkthroughs this has come in handy to explain things in the simplest way possible. In addition technically, I have had to become familiar with different software to complete my work. Some of the tools do not have great user interfaces so there is a lot of self teaching that takes place.

  • The most important skill I discovered is using Excel. I’ve used Excel before but not to the extent at my internship. My boss might give me two spreadsheets and wants me to compare pricing or verify the data between the two. Not so easy when you have 5000 lines and the formatting is not consistent. If I don’t know how to do something Excel, I need to be able to find the answer quickly. I knew quite a bit of Excel before my time at Comcast but I quickly learned some new things. Besides my boss, I have three other members in my team. One of them I have gotten close to in terms of him teaching my the ropes. He genuinely wants to see me succeed and will go out of his way to make sure I understand various processes. If there is anything I need for him to go over with me, he’s willing to do so.

  • The most important skills I’ve found during my internship are listening intently and taking notes at every meeting, and being able to know where, how, and when to look for answers to questions that come up. My job is far from cut and dry, and goals for some of my projects are even more obscure sometimes. It takes a lot of active listening and notes to figure out how to proceed on projects. It is never simple, and always evolves so its important to keep up with
    different people’s opinions, ideas, requirements, and wants. Taking good notes and active listening also helps shed light on potential insights, outcomes, or functions for a project that I otherwise may have missed. Being able to ask the right questions at the right time is also an incredibly important skill. Coming into my internship I knew little about SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SharePoint, Database administration, tableau, and DAX among other IT skills. Learning who is an expert in each of these areas was an important skill I learned quickly,
    and knowing how to ask the experts about these areas has been incredibly important to my development. Having the experts on your side is incredibly important as well, especially when you need some help in a very specific area and have limited time.

  • Some of the most important skills I’ve found that are important during my internship are building relationships and having good communication skills. Building relationships is an important part of building your career, and I did not realize its importance until I had a talk with a full-time employee (who was previously an intern). He told me that we should make an extra effort to network with your managers and other fellow interns. Me personally, I walk try to walk past all of my managers offices just to say hello and how they’re doing. Communication is also very important in the work place. I am working on multiple projects with a team, and without proper communication tasks would not be done properly or meetings would never meet its purpose. Communication within in a team helps us stay away from scope creep and helps with staying organized and staying on task.

  • This week I am working on my second client, and so far during my internship doing IT auditing, some of the most important skills I’ve discovered are: active listening, relationship building and good communication skills. At PwC they particularly emphasize on relationship building within the firm, and with clients, as this is really important for your carreer. It was this summer that I realized how much relationship building was important, because I kept in touch with my coaches and seniors from my internship last year, even after my internship. As a result of building these relationships, I have new opportunities at the firm. Since my ex coaches and I are pretty close now, they always try their best to help me get what I need in the firm (schedule a meeting with someone that I wouldn’t be able to meet casually in normal circumstences, and get to shadow them etc… Networking with managers and other fellow interns as well have opened newer opportunities to me. Having good communication skills is also very important because if I couldn’t communicate well I wouldn’t be able to create and maintain my relationships. Also when it comes to team work, good communication skills helps to stay focused with the task assigned by avoiding scope creep.We collect hundreds of thousands of pieces of data before going into testing for our audit and it is imperative to be able to efficiently handle it. Today I realized how much active listening was also important, as I participated in many conference calls and meeting to collect information our from clients in order to perform the audit. I was in charge of asking questions when needed and taking notes of the clients responses. I had to make sure I listen and understand everything they say. This is particularly a skill that I didn’t have before and I realized that I absolutely needed it in order to properly gather important information from the client and not waste their time. One person I would relatively have on my side is my ex partner coach, as she is one of the highest up in the firm and is known by many people at the firm. She has a large connection and she has helped me a lot get where I want to be, also she is such an inspiration for people at the firm.

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