March 2019 Feature: Making Internships Meaningful

March 8, 2019


Twin Cities

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 March, we want to recognize Adam Goodwin at Be the Match for his phenomenal work as a Genesys Works supervisor. Adam’s intern, Patricia Vue, nominated him to be our featured supervisor because of the meaningful internship experience Adam is providing for her.

Adam utilizes three important techniques to provide a meaningful internship experience for his intern Patricia:

In-the-moment coaching & direct feedback:

Adam coaches his intern to think in a solution-focused way. Moreover, he teaches that mistakes are inevitable, but as long as Patricia steps back and thinks critically about the error, that’s all that matters. Consequently, Patricia feels super comfortable receiving feedback from Adam, and she’s energized to approach a problem with new ideas.

Adam’s intern Patricia shared that Adam has taught her “there is room for improvement…If there’s a mistake, we can go back and always analyze to make improvements. “

Creating opportunities to see multiple IT departments:

Adam ensures Patricia is continuously learning about all the different IT departments at Be the Match through scheduled cross-training sessions so that when she leaves her internship she holistically understands all of the IT career possibilities.

Adam also gives Patricia time to learn and explore various software that’s outside of what her day-to-day tasks require.

Building Genesys Works community at Be the Match:

The Genesys Works interns at Be the Match meet monthly as a group and Adam serves as one of their biggest champions! Adam is constantly asking the interns if they want to participate in any cross-training activities on his team. Although Adam only manages Patricia, he makes sure all of the Be the Match interns have an additional mentor to go to if they want to learn more about other parts of IT.

When interns are in between projects and assignments Adam offers to share some of his team’s workload to ensure interns are engaged and having a quality experience at Be the Match.

Advice from Adam: “Make sure are included in every team meeting/outing that your other reports are involved in.  This creates the feeling of a true team member for the intern.”

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 March, we are recognizing an intern tag-team from TCF Bank: Uche Ogbonnaya and Justin Pineda. Justin and Uche’s supervisor, Greg Owens, nominated Uche and Justin based upon their contributions as individuals and as a dynamic duo.

Here are some of the highlights that truly encapsulate how Uche and Justin maximize their internship experience:

Proactive communication with their supervisor:

Uche and Justin started out their internship doing desk and monitor set-up, phone installation, printer fixes, and more. Over time, Uche and Justin realized they had an interest in learning how to image computers too. Instead of just waiting for their supervisor to drive that learning opportunity, Justin and Uche consistently brought it to Greg’s attention and they were persistent about making sure they learned how to image. They are now playing a larger role in imaging and re-imaging computers for TCF Bank.

Justin also showed tenacity to learn more about fixing hardware. Because Justin made his hardware interests known, his supervisor Greg now prioritizes showing Justin hardware fixes. During one shadowing opportunity in particular, Justin spoke up and said he wanted to replace the fan on a laptop as opposed to just observing. Now, Justin knows how to take apart a laptop and fix the fan way ahead of the original timeline for learning this process.

Reflecting and implementing strategies to reach their goal:

Uche is a newer member to Greg’s team, which meant he had to absorb new information and learn about device deployment really quickly. Throughout this process, Uche noticed he learns quicker when his supervisor demonstrates the task first as opposed to just receiving verbal or written instructions. Uche recognized his learning style and very quickly shared that with his supervisor, which has allowed him to learn months of device deployment training in just a few weeks.

Justin is using this internship to grow his organization and prioritization skills. Because of this, Justin committed to making a list of all of his tasks and assignments for the day as soon as he gets to work. After he generates the larger list, he then marks off things that are most important. Justin uses that prioritized to-do list to guide the order in which he attacks his tasks. Justin realized he struggled with prioritization, but he committed to trying out different strategies, such as making lists to improve in that area.

Strong peer collaboration:

Justin and Uche operate on the philosophy that “four hands are sometimes greater than two!” More specifically, they often strategically partner to complete tickets together as opposed to working on them separately. If Justin or Uche gets assigned a ticket that involves moving multiple monitors, Justin and Uche will ask each other for help so that they can complete that ticket quicker and work more efficiently for their team. They also use their discretion to decide when it makes sense to complete tickets independently. Justin and Uche also serve as resources for each other when one is unsure how to approach a ticket. They ask each other questions before approaching their supervisor or other team members.

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