I have only been at Alagasco, an Energen Company, for three weeks now, but I can already tell that the rest of the summer is going to be an engaging and educational experience.
I am working in Business Development doing data analysis-based project work with a team of three undergraduate students. Two have backgrounds in MIS, and one has a background in finance. My undergraduate background was in Japanese. As a group, we bring a variety of skills and backgrounds to the table; this has been great, because on most days one of us has something educational to share that the other hasn’t heard of or learned before.
All of my work at Alagasco has been an extension of that team experience; on the floor where I work there are people who focus on educating students about natural gas, people who work with specific natural gas equipment markets, data analysts, communications specialists and more. The roles and responsibilities of each person working here are as varied as they are vital to the business process, but there is a common thread in each person at Alagasco: everyone enjoys working together, and the character of the individual team member here is such that they trust and expect everyone to do their parts and to ask for help if they need it.
On my first day here, I experienced the hospitality and helpfulness earlier described when my manager personally introduced me to the members of the Business Development team. Members of the team are accessible and available, and are willing to meet for lunch or over coffee to discuss their roles and share their knowledge of the company. So far I have had personal interaction with almost every person working here, and they know me by name. I feel welcome and comfortable, and have been having a recurring thought throughout my internship: everyone wants me to succeed. Everyone wants the project to succeed, and everyone is willing to do what they can to make sure that happens.
Another part of the experience here that makes the whole internship worthwhile is the nature of the work itself. Work is varied day by day, which means that there is never time to get bored; as is common in business, needs change, plans change, and prospects change, meaning that the work our team does is not just “something to give the interns” – it is vital project work that must be done before the company can make important decisions about where to go or what to do. Alagasco recognizes that the University of Alabama has sent them valuable resources, and we are being treated as such.
So far, our team has worked on about ten different projects, has been invited to join in on company outings and meetings with professional consulting firms, and will soon be presenting our research to members from around the organization – as professional development, and more importantly, as part of the Alagasco team.