MIS 3581, Spring 2018–Laurel Miller

Discussion Question #2

I hope everyone is learning a lot in your internship.  Here is question #2.  Please comment on this and feel free to respond to other’s comments as well.

What are some of the important things that you had to find out on your own–having to do with the company culture and/or things you wouldn’t normally think you have to ask for…finding the bathroom, finding where to get coffee in the morning, etc?


20 Responses to Discussion Question #2

  • The office where I interned had a system called “hoteling” for desk seating. Every week, employees picked an open desk to reserve. Since my group was fairly small, we did not have a designated area in which we all sat together. One of the most important things I had to figure out on my own was the “politics” and culture involved in this process. I got the feeling that I had “stolen” someones typical seat during my first week. It was also a bit difficult to actually physically find the desks I had reserved. Also, figuring out which seats were typically taken by higher level associates, but not necessarily designated as such, was challenging. This was a challenge I had not anticipated!

    • Although challenging not knowing the etiquette allowed for some opportunity. With any luck you may have ended up next to someone that will eventually turn out to be a great mentor for you, or better yet possibly a chance to get your elevator pitch out there with some higher level peers….

  • Dress Code:

    It was not until my third week of work, when I realized that there was not a “dress code” to follow. At first, I would always dress business professional, which made me feel a little bit uncomfortable because I felt like I was not fitting in the company. But then I noticed that employees are allowed to wear however they feel the most comfortable. Ever since I started my internship, I have seen employees wearing from business causal to Eagle’s sweater. This may have not been a big challenge, but understanding your company’s culture is crucial.

  • During the first week of my internship, my manager was doing a training in the AmerisourceBergen offices in Frisco, Texas. He had written me a set of guidelines and tasks to have ready for his return in the next week, but I was pretty much on my own. I took it upon myself to get to know one of my team members who has been with the company for a while, and she definitely helped me with getting used to routine activities and showing me around the office. Furthermore, I needed to find the other members of my team and introduce myself to them, which was a bit confusing at first because many of my team members work in the Texas offices, which I was not fully aware of on my first day. By the end of the third day that week I had gotten the hang of things and was prepared for when my boss returned.

  • A large struggle that I had to deal with throughout the entirety of my internship was the “learning curve” associated with audit (specifically IT audit) testwork. At the start of my internship, I was given a mentor, but the issue was that she was located in the Portsmouth, NH office. This created an environment in which I felt weird asking questions because I did not physically meet my mentor for a couple of weeks. Additionally, I had to ask for additional training because my managers did not understand that the interns did not know how to complete audit testwork. I reached out to ask for examples of past work, and I always asked questions when I had them, but it was difficult because my team was spread across 3 different states and 2 time zones. The culture of communication (almost solely through Skype for Business) was a difficult adjustment as well, and the “learning curve” was difficult.

  • In my internship, I had trouble with organizing and storing files in the company’s storage system. The company is working on a large number of projects and, as an intern, my job has been to clean the raw data and conduct analysis on it. However, the sheer number of data files stored in the company’s system make it very difficult to locate and organize. Although in my first week my supervisor explained to me the basics of where I will find the files I will be working on and where I should be saving my work, it was a daunting challenge for me to comprehend the different levels of data and files. Initially I felt reluctant to ask my supervisor again. Therefore, it took me quite a considerable amount of time to understand the structure the company follows in storing its data.

  • During my internship at Independence Blue Cross I notice that the company was very diverse. This was the first company that I’ve been at where there are all different generations and difference races/cultures. I wanted to know how all these different types of people get along and what happens when there is a conflict of opinion. I went out on my own and signed up for a Diversity & Inclusion class they had Independence. It was very informative and I learn a lot about the company and how everyone works together.

  • My first week at Fox Run Brands was full of new things. Our company has two location: one in Ivyland, PA and one in Philadelphia. The one in Philadelphia is just for our marketing and SEO team. Therefore, they rent a small office inside a big building. My first day at the company, I thought the whole building was the company. I was kind of awkward when I asked my supervisor what department was next to our office. There were so many other new things like I got lost in the building the fist time, or how to dress correctly. I remember my first at work, I was the only one wearing formally.

  • Hello All,
    Turn 5’s company culture is all about meritocracy and technology (so technocratic). Essentially, you’re expected to learn everything on your own and ask for help if you really, really need it. Otherwise, you should have googled at least ten times before asking someone. People at the company get moved up based on the quality and quantity of ideas, rather than age, or other entitlements. This is a part of the culture that I adore because I’ve always wanted to be treated with respect to my actual output, rather than input. (As someone who tends to find the most efficient way to do things).

    Also, I wore a suit to the first interview, now I can wear sweatpants if I want, because tech companies operate on the internet and nobody sees what we wear. These little bits of modernity are what make my company and other tech companies suitable for someone like me.

  • The corporate environment was a big change compared to a small organization. The first thing that was apparent was the hierarchy, looking through the company directory I realized how big GE was simple based on how many levels of management were between my manager and the CEO. What once took a single managers approval now will go through a chain of approvals. This will sometimes cripple an idea that needs to be implemented fast. The culture is also different, micro managing employees is counterproductive, our people leaders promote empowerment that encourages professional development. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on some high-level meetings that helped me further my business acumen skills, relative to GE’s way of thinking.

  • In my internship, the company had a system set up for how to reserve desks. On my first day with the company, I did not know how to use the system. When I finally did learn how to reserve a desk, I ended up reserving a desk that was meant for people of a different department in the company. So coming in, I not only had to learn how to reserve a desk, which was easy for everybody else, but I also had to learn which desks were available for people of my department. I did not expect to run into this challenge coming in.

  • When I just started my internship at Subaru of America I noticed that the company had a very open door policy. I was very reluctant at first to ask questions when I did not understand my work or ask to get more exposure into different fields in the company. As time went by I noticed everyone was very comfortable with asking others for help and managers where very understanding with whoever walked in their office. Since, I have been very comfortable with asking for help and also asking to get more exposure in other IT fields.

  • At my internship my department largely interacts with other departments and groups in a flat hierarchical way which was a little disorienting for me. It’s weird having to figure out how to switch from talking to someone who is in what is considered an entry level position to talking to the VP of the department, or someone else who is really high up. Even though this was initially tough, I think it does good things across the organization and encourages dialog across all levels.

  • During my internship, one of the things that I had to figure out on my own is the environment in the Lab. I enjoyed doing my work there and learning more different technologies. The most difficult part was that everyone has a very advanced understanding of penetration testing and the people that were there. Most were IST majors in college which put me at a disadvantage. While everyone was very helpful when I asked, most of the timed they were really busy so it was hard to ask a question. I had to learn a lot of technologies on my own to become a better resource.

  • During my internship, one of the things I had to figure out on my own was the dress code and when the appropriate time was for lunch. My first week at my internship I would dress in business casual and try to present myself more formally. After a few weeks, I realized that the dress code was just casual and people were allowed to wear what they wanted to. Also, during the first few weeks of my internship I had to learn to keep a portion of the middle of the day free so that I could take lunch, if not then I would have had to wait until late afternoon in order to eat.

  • Having yet started my internship for this semester, I will talk about my previous internship. The biggest struggles I had to overcome was that my boss, for a major duration of my internship, was place in France for the summer. One of the hardest things, for me, to do was ask other people on my team questions that took up their time and were not my boss. Thankfully, my team understood my situation and was more than willing to help me out and often came over to see how I was doing. Better yet, almost all the interns in our office sat in the same area, we always had employees coming over and introducing themselves to us and wanting to get to know more about us. This showed me that their culture wasn’t about “me” but it was about an entire team and that we all are successful when we work together.

  • My internship has me working remotely from home, so there really isn’t a whole lot that I’m unfamiliar with. The company culture is pretty relaxed, it’s a software startup and I’ve known the founder for a year now before working with him. I think that the internship overall is going very well, the only things that I find difficult or I have to ask Matt for are project based questions. I am not too familiar with the marketing tools that GuestOf is using, so there is a bit of a learning curve for me and I have to be reliant on Matt’s help to get myself acclimated with the software. Other than that, I am doing very well and fitting in just fine with the company culture.

  • One of the few things that I faced difficulty at first was understanding the company lingo. Use of acronyms and company lingo is a big part of SAP’s culture. The company’s name itself is an Acronym. The company’s lingo is called “SAPanese” by its employese and it is very critical to know in order to communicate well. SAP has a very helpful web resource that I found which helped me get exposure to SAPanese. Exploring the web resources and simply asking my colleagues helped me learn the company’s lingo.

  • There was definitely a period of acclimation. Initially, I was confused at the layout of the desks, and I had to use ‘landmarks’ to find my way to and from my desk. Along with understanding the layout, the acronyms was something that took time. Luckily, the company intranet provided wonderful resources to get up too speed for everything Cigna related. Since the team I was on was located throughout the nation, I set up time with each of the managers for a phone call so we could get to know each other and I could hear their pains and problems with the current system at hand.

  • At the internship, there’s certainly some acclimation. Especially the acronym each department use and the location of each department.
    During the first week of my internship, i was struggling to make a conclusion on the assignment i was working on because i do not fully comprehend the codes each department is using for their convenient purposes. I have to ask my manager and call different department to record all of the codes that are listed on the system. While being assigned to talk to the marketing department, i awkwardly asked my manager how to get to the office. Other than that, am still in the process to get involved in the company’s culture.

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