October 17, 2011

Summer in Chi-town

Post by:
Shawn Hay
MBA Candidate, 2012

I have never written a blog before, so here goes nothing! It is great to be back in Boston, especially back at SMG. I am finally in student mode again, and in the zone for job searching and prepping for those dreaded cold calls from professors!

This summer was an eye opening experience, not only for my personal growth, but also for my business confidence. I spent the summer working my internship at AT&T in Chicago, Illinois. I was a part of their Leadership Development Program, and was specifically assigned to work in their Core Installation and Maintenance department (CIM). Going in to the program I expected to spend the summer learning about all the adjacent departments that CIM worked with, networking with executives, and generally learning the feel and structure of the company. Although all of these things happened, I also got a chance to really flex my newly acquired business skills in a real life scenario!

My project was a process flow/data analysis focused assignment where I examined the best way for managers to tackle performance metrics of technicians. Basically, I needed to find a quick and easy way for managers to see where areas of improvement were, and standardize it across the hundreds of garages throughout the Illinois area. I was so thankful I had taken stats, operations, and organizational behavior! Walking in to the project, I could see that the problem was so disorganized that the company did not really know where to start. My managers were pleasantly surprised by how quickly I could absorb the data and use it to tell the story of where the problem was. Little did they know that that was a standard problem we faced repeatedly in our stats class (Thanks Prof. Pekoz!). The rest of the project was using basic DMAIC problem solving practices to set up a solution to the problem, which was also easy after taking Operations, and applying concepts from OB to get the technicians and managers to understand how they could benefit from my proposed method. All of this was really great because this was my first stab at a consulting type of job, and I was really nervous about my ability to handle consulting type projects. But, I was beyond prepared for this project thanks to BU! My confidence in my analytic skills was soaring by the end of the summer, giving me just the extra I needed to proceed in finding myself a full-time job.

Although this is a business school blog, it is perfectly acceptable to have fun during your internship too so let’s talk about it! I loved being in Chicago (for the summer, I think the winters would kill me. I am a southern Californian!).

The leadership program held a few events, including a rooftop bleacher day for the Cubs game! Wrigley is an amazing stadium and the atmosphere is something everyone should experience!

Outside of that, I got to explore Chicago, the suburbs, and a little of Wisconsin for the 4th of July weekend! Another great perk of being in Chicago for the Summer is Lollapalooza (a huge 3 day music festival). This was right in the middle of downtown Chicago at Grant Park. I have never seen so many people in one place before!

Another first I got to check off my list was working in a high rise building. Our cafeteria was on the 30th floor! That was so fun for me!

The biggest things I am going to miss about being in Chicago are the beach scene (which is surprisingly awesome!) and Ian’s pizza! Go to Ian’s pizza…I am not going to tell you anything about it, just go!

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