Name: Jake Walisiak
Type of Project: Summer Internship
My 2017 STEP signature project was in support of an internship that was extended from my previous summer experience. I obtained internship the spring internship career fair. My program was a 10-week long commitment that was in the heart of the city of Chicago. I worked as a data analytics intern working on a pricing project under a manager of analytics.
My summer internship was truly an invaluable experience. Not only did I receive professional, company-influential experience, but also a new understanding of myself in a professional sense. This new understanding has also allowed me to understand some new and important values that I look for in a company. The best part of this change in views is that they do not pertain to only personal gain. While working on a computer everyday number crunching and analyzing data, I began to think about my time commitment on a bigger scale. I understood that my work was highly valued and played a huge role in the success of the company, however, I wasn’t full satisfied with what was being accomplished. This lack of fulfillment drove my passion to strive to undertake more responsibilities.
In regards to more responsibilities, I am referring to the desire to want to make a difference in the world. Helping a corporate company only brings so much feeling of accomplishment. With this recognition I set out to find a way to get my company involved in the community. I made it my responsibility to draw up a scope document to allow for E15 to partake in volunteer work in the underdeveloped parts of Chicago. My goal was to provide workshops for underprivileged high school students and teach them what the field of data analytics is all about. Upon finishing the scope, I got one of my coworkers on board to help me and presented the plan to the CEO. Unfortunately, the summer ran short and the implication was not able to take place. However, the knowledge and experience I gained from this experience will carry forward throughout the remainder of my professional career.
Following my summer 2016 data analyst internship with The E15 Group, I was offered the opportunity to continue working remotely while on campus. This experience allowed me to improve my skills working amongst a team strictly through remote communication. The role was flexible and required 12-hour work weeks on my own time. This gave me a chance to learn how to effectively schedule meetings and practice taking minutes after conference calls. Upon completing a survey to replace a pre-existing audit process, I presented the final product to the regional president of a hospital chain through a phone conference.
This past summer I returned to The E15 Group where I worked my second summer with the support of STEP. Going into the summer I requested an increase in responsibility and was then tasked with leading a project. My first task was analyzing survey data from our DOPs and then creating a scope to address a problem with inconsistent pricing. The goal of the project’s scope was to determine a systematic approach on how to charge our clients for the fan-experience they looked to provide at their venues. This internship taught me to work in a fast paced environment, collaborate with a team, and prepare a presentation for the executive board.
After completing these two projects, I realized that combining the strength of the offices’ communication skills and technological skills, an extremely effective workshop could be valuable to many in the future. The level of immersion I experienced amongst my co-interns and project team confirmed that I flourish in a workplace with a balance between social collaboration and technical data mining. As I progressed through the brainstorming of how to get involve with the community, I learned that my motivation was self driven and it felt good to experience this. Another benefit of this was to witness the upbeat, excited responses from my coworkers and to see how quickly they were willing to help me accomplish this goal. I will continue to stay in touch with E15 to help carry out this mission.
Earlier this summer I went on a volunteer trip to Laos in southeast Asia. It was while on this trip that I began to gain such a strong appreciation for giving back to others. I value the feeling of accomplishment and commitment of an organization to helping others. It was while at my summer internship that I did not realize until late in the summer that something was missing. I slowly began to understand it was this same feeling of wanting to give back that I was looking for.
The overall impact that this transformation will have, and has had on me is immeasurable. I have learned how important it is to me to accomplish something much more than what is just required. I also have learned that I feel a strong passion to continue to volunteer and provide services to others in need of them or who would greatly appreciate my time and advice. Going forward, I am now fortunate to have the knowledge that I would like my career to support these interests. Without this internship, I will never know how long this type of realization may have taken to experience.