This summer I had the opportunity to work at Worthington Industries in Columbus as part of their IT department. Instead of moving back to Cincinnati for the summer, I found a place just off campus to stay and started working early May. I was very excited to start a new adventure with a company I didn’t know much about and learn how IT functions in an international company. I worked alongside two other interns as well as a whole three story building of IT employees. From day one they threw me into the job and both my learning and working started as an uphill climb.
At Worthington Industries, I worked primarily for the Help Desk and the Project Managers/Operations (PMO) teams. With the service desk I imaged computers on a massive scale, maintained the stock room, kept inventory of the equipment, and worked on tickets with the other service desk employees. I gathered equipment together for tickets that users requested, made some deliveries of the equipment across the Columbus campus, and even met with users to set up their machines. When necessary, I even worked with users to troubleshoot issues on their machines. With the Project Management/Operations Team, I was given the task of managing a repository of documents the IT department used to optimize the process in which projects are carried out. I also led two other Project Managers in reviewing and updating the PMO Reference page on their site, as the current page was outdated with older and scattered information.
When I was not completing work for either of these areas, I found work on the side for other employees that I could help. I worked with a new video conferencing system before it became operational, created user-friendly training documents for the video conferencing system, collected results from a survey monkey poll, populated a master excel list with the results of the survey for an IE Upgrade Project, scanned and indexed over 1700 IT Purchase request documents into OnBase, piloted a group of testers for a new communication program that replaced Lync, went to Spartan, MI for a Unified Communication’s deployment of a new phone system in a steel plant, as well as continually met new employees in the department every week while collecting money for a 50/50 Raffle for Charity.
While working at Worthington Industries, one of the biggest struggles I had to overcome was the idea of working in a large company. In the past I have worked with smaller companies and have been the only intern in the company. I was used to working in a position that was identical to a full time employee’s who acted as my boss during the internship. Working in a large company as an intern was difficult because I didn’t feel as though my actions were as helpful for such a large company where so many other things were going on. I really struggled with my importance to the company and how valuable my work was to the work others were carrying out. As the summer went on, I started working on more and more projects and started to see how my work was adding to the work of others to bring projects to a close. I never got to the point of feeling how I did at the smaller companies but I began to realize how with so many employees and so many different projects, I didn’t need to feel like I did at my other internships. All that mattered was that my work, although small and in the background, enabled or made it easier for the project as a whole to continue moving towards completion. Everything I did, whether small or large helped the company move towards a goal.
I saw myself really branch out and accept new challenges at Worthington Industries through a company deployment trip. The Unified Communications Team was working on a project to change out the old phone system with a new phone system. In order to make the switch they had to send a group of employees out to Spartan MI to the Steel Plant to change out old switches and to lay down and connect the new phones, as well as take and recycle the old phones. I asked to participate on the trip as I thought going on a company trip would be a really cool thing to do as well as a great chance to learn things that I would not get the chance to learn while sitting back in the IT building. Another employee and myself headed up on a Friday during work and worked late into the early hours of Saturday before heading back to the hotel for the night. On Saturday we were back at the plant at 9am to make the cut to the new phone system. I learned a lot from the trip, from the inter-working of a steel coating plant, to how the phone system is managed, and even how the phone system is connected to other communication systems. It was a great experience and I am looking forward to more company trips in my future career.
This change in view of how my work contributes to a company and their goal is one that I never expected to come across. In the past I have been used to wanting to be important through my work and my performance on the job. Now I know that my work is always important, but there are other things that are more important, like learning and making new relationships with those around me. This is a change I can apply to my academic life as well as my professional life. Grades have always been important to me, but after seeing how things are in the real world, I can’t expect myself to do perfect in school. All I can do is do my best and knowing that will make my accomplishments important to me. I also learned that setting goals gives me something to focus on and helps me reach it more than if I don’t have a clear vision in mind. I really learned a lot from my summer internship and am excited to see how I can take what I have learned and apply it to different areas in my life.