Life from 2500 miles away
This summer I had the opportunity to intern with The Standard Insurance Company in Portland, Oregon. It has turned out to be a great and rewarding experience for the summer. I am a Data Analyst intern within the IT Business Solutions Division. This division is responsible for writing and supporting computer programs for the business. There are a total of 13 IT interns, with 2 others in the ITBS.
The culture at the Standard (and city in general) is very relaxed. I am here during a perfect time because this year they have a very high IT priority project list. Currently, 30 IT projects are being completed by Jan 1, 2010 to further their business and fill some missed opportunities they have discovered. The Standard has a very aggressive goal to gain more business, and this is being driven by the IT department and relying on the completion of projects to do so.
As far as the intern program, everything has been great. We have weekly brown bags in which we meet with several of the executives across the business units. We have also had a few intern events outside of the office which has been great for meeting and spending time with the other interns. Included in our time here, we were invited to an additional IT Orientation where we were able to meet the VPs of all the different divisions within IT and learn more about them and their goals. Included in the brown bags and orientation was the CIO of the Standard. It was a real pleasure to hear from him and see his goals and views for IT in the future. All of the executives are very visible and I have had been lucky enough to have a lot of face time with them.
For my contribution to the Standard, I have been assigned on 2 projects. For the first, I am working to automate IT labor utilization reports which are being manually created in Excel. This has included performing a design specification document, storyboards, data mappings, and data modeling. Luckily, the Capstone has already exposed me to all of this so I had no trouble completing these. I have two other employees who have assisted me with this project and who have been there for support and guidance. As it stands right now, 2 consultants have joined us this week for development of these reports. My tasks have now included information delivery sessions and assisting these consultants in any way possible.
The second project I have been working on is creating a web-based solution for entering project reporting requirements. This will be helpful because many times reporting gets “pushed to the side” during projects, especially this year with having so many projects and coupled with low resources and time constraints. After rolling this site out, it will serve as a foundation to try and implement an enterprise wide standard for recording the business intelligence and analytic reporting requirements.
The city is a good size, but is very compact. You can get anywhere in the city within a 15-20 minute walk. Also, Portland’s public transportation was rated #1 in the US which has been very beneficial since I did not bring my car. The Standard provides us with free transportation passes which include the light rail, busses, and streetcars which navigate the entire city and surroundings cities. The population is also very young and diverse which has been great experience for the night life and meeting new people.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and cannot think of a better place to spend my summer. I would definitely urge any MIS students to intern here if the opportunity arises.
I enjoyed reading about your recent and current experiences. I am a small business owner in Tucson and have a need for an App for my iPhone and iPad; and searching for an affordable way to get that application developed. Can you point me in the right direction? Are there any students in the UAMIS program that might be interested in helping?
Or if there is a more appropriate place to post my question on this UA website please let me know. TIA for your help.
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