Friday, August 19, 2011

Step 2: Network, network, network

The time for my second post is here! I’ll pick right back up from where I left off. So, what does ICB stand for? Individual Case Basis. This is just one of the many acronyms that I had to tackle when I started with AT&T. Not only did I need to learn the lingo, but I also had to get a firm grip on the diverse product lines that the company offers, the economic conditions of the industry, and AT&T’s goals for the present and the future. I leveraged the resources available to me, and spent the first few days really digging into what made AT&T tick.

Once I understood the basics of the products we were dealing with, and the meaning behind the commonly used phrases, I was ready to dive head first into my project. My goals for the summer were to restructure and expand on a trending and tracking pricing tool, to develop a model that can illustrate these trends, to analyze the pricing results, and to make recommendations based on my findings. The process was exciting, trying, tedious, and rewarding. I learned how to do things in Excel that I never thought were possible. I learned to spot pricing trends, and how to mold the model to fit the needs of different groups within our department. I hit roadblocks along the way, but I used the business acumen I had picked up from my first year in the program to navigate around them.

Every two weeks, I would present my findings to the executives in our division. These presentations were good benchmarks that I used to track my progress throughout the summer. Many of my findings and recommendations are now being implemented to drive change in our organization. Now that my time here is rapidly coming to a close, I am able to look back at a timeline of my work over the past ten weeks. It is satisfying to know that I came in and made an impact on such a large company.

In addition to working with the employees in the pricing division, I got a lot of invaluable opportunities to network with the full-time LDP employees. This was extremely beneficial because it allowed me to learn about different departments within AT&T, while also giving me in-sight into the way the full-time program works. All of the LDP employees are MBA graduates, so they know what I’m going through, and we got to swap stories about our programs. These conversations solidified my already positive view of the company.

With my final presentation and interview looming overhead, I must cut this post off here. I will be back to share my thoughts on the end of my internship shortly. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Step 1: Learn the Lingo

Welcome! This blog is going to outline my summer working as a Leadership Development Program intern at AT&T. The LDP internship was set up by the company in 1988 to give MBA students the chance to get hands on experience in one of AT&T’s many divisions. At the end of the summer, I will give a final presentation to the company’s executives explaining my project, my findings, and my recommendations.

The first exciting point about my internship is that I was placed in the Chicago, Illinois office, so I get to explore a whole new city while gaining insight into the largest telecommunications company in the nation. I have been in Chicago for over a month now, and it has been an incredible experience thus far. On my first day at AT&T, I was a little nervous. Would I fit in? Did I have the skills necessary to complete my project? Could I learn all I needed to know about such a large company in ten weeks?

Most of my questions were answered during my first week in the Hoffman Estates office. As soon as I got in my first morning, the other LDP interns reached out to me via AT&T’s internal messaging system, Q, and asked me if I wanted to join them for lunch. When I met them for lunch, they informed me that a group large group of full-time LDP employees were meeting for happy hour downtown after work to offer us insight and advice about the company. I could already feel the bonds forming between those of us in the program.

On the afternoon of my first day, I met with my supervisor to discuss my responsibilities, and we both laid out our expectations for the summer. I am working in the Business Marketing department, within the ICB Pricing division. What does ICB stand for? Good question and one that I will answer in my next blog post.  For now I’ll just say that learning the AT&T “lingo” was the first step in understanding the company and my role in it.