In a perfect world, an internship is a perfect opportunity for a young professional starting her career to try out a company to determine the fit. In this particular case, Sarah McRae found a perfect match between her internship duties and ROI Solutions.
Sarah shares her reflections on her experience as an intern and how it helped her to plot a new professional course.
1. Can you describe the day-to-day tasks involved in your internship?
My day-to-day tasks involved working on client data requests (coding them and performing quality control) and converting reports and listings for a conversion project.
2. Did you work on any particular projects while interning at ROI?
I helped with the listing conversion project and worked a little on the MiLo™ machine learning modeling project.
3. Do you believe this internship helped advance your career in data management?
I learned by doing and seeing examples, and I could apply the skills I had learned in college in a non-classroom setting.
4. What did you learn from this internship experience?
I learned more about databases, including how an extensive database can be effectively structured and how to pull information from a database efficiently. I also learned how to manage concurrent short- and long-term assignments better and use my time to complete all my tasks. Since most of my time was spent coding, I learned how to better approach a coding project, just as programming it bit by bit, and how to reuse and repurpose code. I also became much more comfortable with SQL.
5. Would you recommend an internship at ROI Solutions to others?
One of the pros of having an internship at a smaller company is having more opportunities to do tasks a full-time employee might do. You’re getting hands-on experience with work that you might do after college.
6. How would you describe the culture at ROI Solutions?
Very positive. It’s a great combination of expectations and understanding. People expect you to finish your work but understand that sometimes things go wrong. Everyone is passionate about their work and encouraged me to try and learn new things.
7. Did your coworkers at ROI Solutions encourage you to grow in your work?
Everyone was accommodating whenever I had a question, and multiple times during my internships; people took time out of their schedules to walk me through a new process.
8. Do you feel the internship program at ROI impacted your career path? If so, how?
It was very different work than I had done before. I primarily worked with R Studio working on analyzing and visualizing data. Most of my classes were not coding classes. At ROI, I mainly worked in SQL, which was more coding-heavy. It introduced me to different possibilities of what I could do in the future.
9. Do you believe your internship at ROI positively impacted your remaining time in college?
I interned at ROI between my junior and senior years, so when I returned to college, I had to do my senior-year classes, which came with senior-year projects. I used many practical coding skills for my classes to complete my assignments, and I drew on my database and SQL knowledge for projects.
10. Do you have any recommendations for a new intern at ROI Solutions?
Ask questions and write things down. Everyone has had to learn the system and remembers how hard it was. Also, always look for new opportunities and jobs or projects you can work on.
11. What was your favorite aspect of your internship at ROI Solutions?
The people at the company. They pushed me to try new and more complex things and were always happy to help whenever I had a question (or ten). I learned a lot over the summer, and a large part was thanks to people taking the time to help me with a task or explain a process.