Name: Andrew Harrison
Type of Project: Internship
- Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.
My Step project was the completion of an internship with NCR. I worked for them as a data analytics intern from May 22 until August 3rd. My responsibilities included the completion of a project to develop a problem management solution for help desk incidents.
- What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.
Throughout my STEP project I continuously learned about myself and different strengths and weaknesses that I have. Beginning the internship I believed my strengths laid in my technical and people skills. I had spent a lot of time in class learning different skills that I expected to be using, and I had also spent a lot of time leading students on trips and becoming used to teaching and instructing. During my internship I came to find out that these strengths didn’t translate that well into the corporate world. There was an abundance of new skills that I needed to learn, and through my role in the company I wasn’t in a position to lead very often. I was however able to discover new strengths for myself in this position. I learned that I was adept at learning new ideas quickly and presenting my work. While I did learn about my strengths, I also learned about my weaknesses. I struggled to work effectively with certain groups of people, so I discovered that I needed to work on my teamwork and interpersonal skills when I’m not in a leadership position.
- What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.
Throughout my internship I learned a lot about myself as a person and utilized that learning to transform myself. My understanding of my own strengths and weaknesses changed, and through a better understanding of myself, I was able to perform better both inside and outside of the office. Certain events were able to spark these changes and help me realize my strengths and weaknesses.
Throughout my internship, I was partnered with another intern by the name of Nan. Nan and I worked on the same project together for the 3 months we were there. Nan could be shy at times, so a lot of the talking and presenting responsibilities fell into my hands. Although this might have been a challenge for some people, I excelled in this role and discovered that I was a very strong speaker and presenter. I enjoyed explaining our work to other employees and reaching out for advice or assistance. This helped me realize that one of my strengths resided in presenting.
To complete our project Nan and I required access to a set of data that was located in a secure database. Another group at NCR was utilizing this data, so we were able to work off of what they were extracting from the database, but unfortunately they weren’t pulling all of the data that we needed. In trying to work with this group to get all of the data we needed I discovered one of my weaknesses. We ran into a series of conflicts with this group and were not successful in getting them to expand their extract to include the data that we were interested in. I took fault in this failure as I came on too strong and was too aggressive while trying to work with them. I had a lot of previous experience acting as a leader, and through this event I discovered that I shouldn’t try to take leadership in every scenario.
- Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.
This discovery of where my true strengths and weaknesses lie is very important for my growth and development going forward. I have a lot of strengths within leading and public speaking, but need to know when it’s appropriate to take leadership. Going forward I would like to challenge myself by trying to work within groups to complete projects that I might not be that familiar with. This would give me the opportunity to practice working within a team, but not taking charge because I’m unfamiliar with the subject. Throughout my career it is likely that I will often be put in a situation such as this were I need to work effectively as a member of a team instead of as the leader, and practicing now could be very beneficial for me.