The Home Depot: Projects, building a house and a Whiffle Ball tournament

The past month has been one of the most enriching I have experienced in a long time. Enriching in a way that through a constant stream of new information and learning new ways to do things, I have come to experience the IT team at The Home Depot Store Support Center in Atlanta, GA.

I am working on the Retail IT Team supporting all the Canadian stores, almost 180 of them with over 35,000 associates. The project I am working on involves a group of people in the IT team and the Business Analytics team from Atlanta, some of the leadership team in Toronto, Canada as well as a third-party software vendor. All of us are in the process of not only gathering requirements but planning out the complete implementation of an IT system that will save The Home Depot Canada almost $10 million over a couple of years.

My role focuses on the project plan, requirements gathering, design, and even interviewing potential new team members to add as resources to our project. Using MS SharePoint, Project and Visio, working with IT and Business Project Managers as well as Functional Configurators and Business Analysts streamlines the process and helps me follow Home Depots methodology thoroughly.

The project is coming along nicely, and as interns, we are included in all meetings and have real input and real responsibilities. Nothing separates an intern at The Home Depot from any other associate in IT besides the fact that the internship will be over at the end of the summer. The interns here at the SSC are treated as equals, the open door policy is great, and everybody makes time for you. Any person will be happy to answer your questions and help any of the “newbies” out with our projects.

As there are quite a couple of students or recent graduates taking part in the internship program this summer, we have three team captains who are responsible for us and give us a point of contact. Each team also went on a Habitat for Humanity Build Day (well, one team is going on July 15) and we all volunteered for a day and built a great house for a great cause. Here are some pictures (http://bit.ly/dAba61 ). The week before that, we had a IT Summer Intern Wiffle Ball Tournament outside the office. The interns all thoroughly enjoyed themselves on the lawn, safely covered in the shade of the Store Support Center. Beverages, snacks and of course lots of laughter were provided. Here are some pictures of the tournament (http://bit.ly/bvTmMm)

All the interns have been networking with each other, scheduling lunches with their managers and Senior Executives to build lasting relationships. A great way for University of Alabama MIS students to show faculty and MBA/MS students which projects they are working on was the UA MIS MBA roundtable hosted on Friday Jun 18, 2010. Tyler Deaton, Jacob Herbst, Jesse Harris, Charlotte Hamilton, Byron Barnes, Hamilton Fancher, Kyle Varga, Andrew Landry and myself (Ben Allen), presented the work we are doing and the projects we are assigned to the Alabama MIS faculty as well as the intern captains and senior managers from The Home Depot IT HR. The presentations showcased the outstanding work these interns are doing and the value they are bringing to The Home Depot by applying the concepts and technologies learned in the University’s Management Information Systems program in a real business setting.

I am looking forward to the rest of the internship and a great summer spent at the SSC in Atlanta with my fellow Alabama MIS interns, who have grown to become great friends and colleagues.

Written by: Ben Allen

The University of Alabama MIS program allows students to work on real projects that provide real value to real companies. Students learn to leverage people, processes and technology to solve problems and meet the challenges of today’s businesses head-on. For more information, call 205-348-5525 or visit http://cba.ua.edu/mis.

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