First to speak (she volunteered) was Amy. Amy interned with PSC Scanning, Inc. They partner with OSU researching wireless mobile data capture. Their end products include the scanners in Fred Meyers’ U-Scan devices. At Amy’s workplace in Eugene, there were about 1,000 employees, but she only worked directly with 30 people (other returning interns remarked that this was “huge”). There was a certain degree of surprise when she described PSC’s overtime policy and made it seem as if they pay you to take extra time on projects, but she assured us that her work was very deadline-oriented.
Amy said when she began, that she did not know ASP and SQL Server 2000, things heavily required in her line of work. She then told us that her experience learning these tools while an intern was better than learning them in class. What Amy valued the most about her internship with PSC Scanning was that it gave her a chance to observe the business process from within. She even remarked that she was often asked her opinion as if she was a salaried employee. One thing she found important was to “speak the language” of here coworkers.
Stephen Andrada worked for LSI Logic at their Campus in Gresham where they develop custom semiconductor products. He found surprise in the great flexibility of hours LSI employees had, he himself working from 8:30-5:00 weekdays. At LSI, Stephen had the opportunity to work on four different software development projects which employed the use of things like .NET and PHP. His projects included developing electronic forms to track corrective action for “defect events” and software to process Cp/Cpk data (I’ve learned in my OM class that Cp and Cpk are statistics which are used to manage quality control).
The people Stephen worked with included test engineers, end-users, people from the department of human services, and another department called “ARO.” He said that in his position at LSI Logic it was sometimes his job to call meetings. To begin with, a lot was put upon Stephen to achieve within a short amount of time, but he was able to overcome this challenge by communicating effectively and getting from his coworkers a better sense of what exactly was needed of him to do.
Phillip was in the middle of his second MECOP internship. He was working For Consolidated Metco, a company founded by Freightliner and later sold. Metco’s many locations included one in Canada and one in Mexico (a fact interesting when you consider that when Freightliner spoke with the SIM Club it was noted that they had no locations outside the US). At Metco, Phillip was given a twenty-thousand-dollar budget to implement wireless network security.
Phillip worked forty hours a week, 7:00-3:30 Monday through Friday. He said his position required a lot of hands-on work with servers and access points as well as purchasing research that employed the use of products by SAP. It was important that he make careful use of language and also explain things carefully. Another thing that helped him was to stay current with technology. Phillip was offered a permanent position at Consolidated Metco.
Simon Bee worked in Beaverton developing software for Leopold & Stevens, a company that makes top of the line tactical optics products (mainly rifle scopes). Simon’s description of Leopold & Stevens’ corporate culture made it sound very warm and welcoming. He noted the great trust Leopold & Stevens gave its employees regarding company property such as computers. He said that this afforded them quite a lot of freedom and ease of use.
Simon was another intern who had little confidence in his technical skills when he began. To develop the skills he would need for his job, he followed a series of training CDs. Although he did not speak to their effectiveness, he did say that they were boring. Simon’s work was demonstrated in an enormous flow chart he put together to map out a very complicated business process called “MD runs”. It seems to me that he was not quite prepared for the sheer degree of responsibility he would be given as an intern right off the bat. One of his greatest revelations was that it is best to under-promise and over-deliver.