Cole Gaither

Major: BBA MIS
Graduation: May 2021

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  1. At my summer internship as a Summer Turn Around Intern at the University of Pennsylvania I worked in many databases in order to facilitate the completion of any jobs and projects around the campus. I worked inside of their work ticket database as well as Microsoft excel in order to keep track of job completion progress pertaining to objectives such as: dorm cleaning, trades work, special projects, maintenance projects, student move ins, as well as other objectives. In the Work Ticket database I would need to filter and sort through hundreds of work tickets created every day in order to keep help my managers coordinate all of the different work that needed to be done. For example, I would receive word that an air conditioner unit needed to be replaced in several rooms of a dorm building. I would need to go in to the database, see if these dorms are empty, create the work ticket, assign the appropriate personnel, forward the tickets to the appropriate parties, and track the completion of the ticket in the days/weeks to come. I would do this for many different tickets all in Upenn\’s database. I would also take this information and create graphs, charts, and tables inside microsoft excel in order to make it easier to understand for different departments. Just as MIS is a bridge between different departments in business, this internship connected many different branches of the summer turnaround operation. I would need to take large amounts of data from the tickets mentioned above and create filterable tables to find out specific information. One example was to create a table of empty dorms, when the students moved out, when the room would need to be ready by, and the status of any work that needed to be done in the room. This excel document would then be sent to the different departments. I had to learn a lot of syntax in order to make these tables functional and easy to use for all departments, and I believe that it aided in my MIS educational career.
  2. One project that I was in charge of was the \”RA/GA Vacancy List\”. I was tasked with creating a Database in Microsoft Excel that combined data from several departments. This chart would show and track the vacancies of RA and GA rooms so that we could send the appropriate personnel into these rooms and turn them over for next occupant in time. I would receive lists of vacant room lists every day from the student housing department. I would then put these rooms in to Excel and send other interns to go inspect the rooms. Any deficiencies that they found I would have to enter in to a database and enter the status of the room in to the excel. This status would say that it needs to be cleaned, needs specific trades work, is completed, or is occupied. I would then send this updated list to all of the appropriate parties, and I would have to track the progress of these rooms and update the database similarly  every morning until each room was ready to be moved in to. I would use excel syntax in order to connect several sheets on the workbook so that each deficiency for the room would be tallied and categorized in order to allow for the status of the room itself, as well as provide percentages for each dorm building. These percentages included, percentage cleaned, percentage completed, etc. This database was what linked several departments who needed to work together in order to allow for the completion of these buildings in such a short amount of time.
  3. I did not realize this while doing the internship, but both MIS based courses were helped exponentially by my internship. In MIS 2502 we are learning how to navigate through many different kinds of databases. This was a lynch pin of my time at PENN. The practice with how databases are created, how they operate, and how to find the information you need in a vast pool of data are all skills that I practiced during my summer internship. This gave me a leg up during class and gave me prior experience from which to draw on when learning about these other kinds of specific databases such as SQL and NOSQL. I was helped even more when it comes to MIS 2402. I had never known how to code before, or so I thought. When I began MIS 2402 I thought that I would be starting from scratch, and at a huge disadvantage. However, I soon came to realize that the Syntax, the vocab, and the methods that I was using to create databases in Excel were extremely similar to the Java and HTML languages that I am learning in class. Many of the words used as syntax in excel are the same as in our coding languages. One example of this is the concatenate function. My professor spent a good deal of time explaining to the class what the concatenate function does, but in my internship I had to combine and split cells in order to display certain information in specific ways. My manager had already taught me what concatenate is and how to use it efficiently, so when it was discussed in class it was much more of a refresher course. Having this background training from my internship has greatly helped me ease in to the ideas and concepts that I have been learning in my MIS classes at the Fox School

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