Come Monday I will have made my ‘biggest’ career move yet. I put the word ‘biggest’ in quotes because it is still an internship. I’ll still be an hourly wage earner. But I will be in a new internship, with a new manager, in a new environment, with a new group of coworkers, working on different projects than anything I’ve done in the past year and a half while staying within the same company. I thought about putting ‘career’ in quotes but purposely chose not to. I may be an intern but I am definitely choosing my future career. This foggy, hazy thing called a career path becomes clearer with every step and that’s a big deal for someone my age.
[I’ll talk about two different internships. The old internship is the one I have been at for a year and a half and will be leaving. I recently started the new internship.]
The past year and half has been great. I have had the opportunity to learn some technical skills, develop my interpersonal skills, grow my professional network, and actually leave a mark on the company I plan to stay with. Plus the CIO and CTO know me by name. The CTO even took me to lunch last month.
My official title for the old internship was: IT Co-Op: CTO Office. Here I worked as a SharePoint and Salesforce.com admin. I owned and managed a number of sites for members for the CTO office, providing senior level managers with needed SharePoint support. (SharePoint Foundation 2010 for those wondering. Nothing fancy but still SharePoint.) I admin’d a few object/things on the Force.com platform as well.
My manager was in charge of Research & Strategy for corporate. This means he provided research for the different business units, enabling them to make necessary business decisions. I contributed to the research efforts by gathering as much information on the web, summarizing, and providing it to my manager. He would then combine it with his own research and present it to the business.
The position also allowed me to experiment (read: play) with different tablets and their form factors. IT in Corporate America is very interested in how mobile devices will play a part in the future enterprise landscape. I would often be given a device, most likely running Windows 7, and would document its different features and create tutorial videos for non-tech users to easily understand how it works. (Ex: where the power button is, what these buttons do, how to turn on the camera, etc.) Always the envy of my fellow interns, I will be sad to leave that part of the job.
“So why the change? Sounds like it’s a pretty sweet gig. I mean, you get to play with tablets all day.” – You may be thinking
Great thoughts. Glad you asked. I asked myself the same thing last summer.
How I got here:
Sometimes I like to throw my resume out to a couple of interesting sounding jobs and just see who bites. Well, May of this year SunTrust bit. Pretty hard too. They offered me a ten week summer internship, 40 hrs/week and a huge pay increase to work on a summer team project I personally could finish in about two weeks max. So what did I do? I told my manager. I told him my predicament and asked for his advice. He made some very valid points and then he did something I wouldn’t have expected: he offered to find me a different internship within the company. I gladly accepted. Why leave a company where, most importantly, managers know and see the value I bring to the company, where I’m comfortable and enjoy the culture, and fit in. Plus, I would have no income once the summer internship ends. And like my manager promised, he helped me find a couple of potential internships within the company. I actually interviewed these managers to see what they were looking for and what kind of work the position did. Kind of fun.
After finding my replacement, a rather lengthy process, I bring you to present day. Thursday afternoon my stuff will be moved to the twelfth floor to an entirely different division. By Monday I plan to be settled into my new cube and breathing air seven floors higher than what my lungs have been used to for the past year and half.
“So what will you be doing?” – You might be thinking
Jeeze, calm down. I can only type so fast.
I think my new official title is: Rollstock Optimization Analyst. I’ll have multiple roles, but the one addressed in my title involves saving box plants money. Analyzing data I pull, developing a solution, and presenting the findings to my manager and, hopefully, the client. I will also be in a programming position, something I have no experience with besides a painful winter internship at my parents’ company. I will be able to fully apply the lessons I learned throughout my CIS career at Georgia State, a top 10 program in the country.
I am extremely excited to be in a position where I can think analytically, provide a quantifiable service to a company, interact with clients, and grow and learn both professionally and personally. The quantifiable part is important because I can leverage the amount of savings I helped generate come May when I need a full-time job. Who doesn’t like saving money? Besides that baby in the Jimmy Fallon commercial.
Welp, that’s pretty much what’s going on for me career-wise. Life’s good, school’s good. Graduation on May 11, 2013.