January 2019 Feature: Making Internships Meaningful

January 9, 2019


Twin Cities

Intern Feature: Genesys Works Twin Cities has over 280 amazing young professionals in our program – engaged and motivated interns working towards career success in their future. This January, we are recognizing Ashley Vang, a Park Center High School senior and young professional at Optum. Ashley’s supervisor, Shirley Olson, nominated Ashley based on the dedication Ashley shows each day in her internship.

Ever since Ashely joined her supervisor Shirley’s team, she has brought a fresh perspective and a positive attitude into the workplace. Shirley has been most impressed with Ashley’s ability to suggest enhancements to current processes in order to modernize the way their team approaches the work. Because Ashley is new to the corporate setting, in particular to Optum, she has the unique ability to approach everything with new eyes. She leverages her unique positionality to advocate for process changes. When she thinks a different approach would improve results, she challenges herself to offer suggestions. Shirley shared, “Your contributions have been amazing and have helped the team become stronger! Keep up the excellent work!”

Throughout her time at Optum, Ashley’s produced fantastic work: she’s worked with Ariba hardware and software order processing, AppStore software installations, procurement management request processing, team meeting process presentation, and more! A key reason why Ashley has received such a large variety of tasks is because she’s consistent, engaged, and leans into her diverse skillsets.  Ashley also prioritizes building relationships with members of her team so she can leverage their skillsets and expertise in her day-to-day work, a technique that sets her apart as an intern. Ashley is clearly aware that you can learn something from everyone in the workplace, and she is taking advantage of that each day in her internship! For example, Ashley really leans into the virtual interactions she has with her remote teammates by thinking about how to actively engage with colleagues based on the platform she is using in that specific moment (e.g., phone, in person, video conference, etc.). Ashley’s adaptability and investment in growing her professional communication is a perfect example of how she’s maximizing her year-long internship.

On behalf of Genesys Works, Optum, and Shirley, we thank you for committing to your meaningful internship experience.

Supervisor Feature: Genesys Works Twin Cities is grateful to have over 200 supervisors in our network of devoted IT and business professionals that support and mentor our young professionals. This January, we’re recognizing Murray Woodcock at Thomson Reuters Corporation for his phenomenal work as a Genesys Works supervisor.

Murray’s intern, Zabrianna Evans, nominated him to be our featured supervisor because of the meaningful internship experience he’s providing. As a young professional, Zabrianna is most grateful to have a supervisor who “understands learning style” and adapts the way he assigns work and mentors Zabrianna based upon that. For example, when Murray explains a task, he uses phrases and examples that he thinks will resonate with Zabrianna specifically. It’s clear Murray thinks intentionally about teaching Zabrianna instead of using the same exact framework he uses with every other colleague. If his explanation isn’t clear the first time, Murray consults other team members to get their input about how to explain a concept and does all he can to ensure Zabrianna feels equipped to take on the task.

Murray also took notice that Zabrianna thrives when she’s learning about a lot of different areas, as opposed to zooming in on just one particular task. Because of this, Murray really prioritizes giving Zabrianna a diverse portfolio of projects in order to maximize Zabrianna’s style. Moreover, he gives Zabrianna time each day to explore professional development. Murray lets Zabrianna attend Thomson Reuters sponsored events like Diwali Day, Feed My Starving Children volunteering, and more! He also gave Zabrianna the opportunity to help plan, and participate in, a Thomson Reuters conference as a professional development opportunity that leveraged her specific skillsets. Zabrianna shared, “I truly appreciate that always gives me 110% as my supervisor and makes sure that I am having fun just as much as I’m learning!” Finally, Murray facilitates a meaningful internship experience for Zabrianna by seeking her feedback and implementing the suggestions Zabrianna provides. Zabrianna shared, “ really listens to my feedback and actually implements it, which is awesome!”

On behalf of Genesys Works, we thank Murray for his demonstrated commitment to making a meaningful internship experience for Genesys Works young professionals.

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