Our Minneapolis Perficient Digital team welcomed their first-ever summer intern, Abigail Franz, this year. During the 12-week internship, Abigail worked with our Digital Commerce colleague Rupa Amin to take her college studies a step further and gain valuable real-world experience.
“We are building off of the hard skills our interns have learned in college classes and finessing them with soft skills that many people typically don’t acquire well into their first job. This way we are giving them a head start into the professional world,” said Rupa, a solutions architect.
Landing the Internship
The two met at a University of Minnesota Science and Engineering career fair. Having just completed all her junior year exams, Abigail was hoping to find a place that would offer her further hands on learning experience over the summer, and complement her classroom learning. At the same time Rupa was working on a pilot joint initiative between our Ann Harbor, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis offices to engage students in learning more about the future of digital commerce.
“I enjoyed working with Abigail and helping her grow professional and development skills. She worked alongside our development team on research/POC work for clients and learned how we work in the .Net space,” Rupa said.
Abigail completed several self-study training courses on Insite B2B Commerce Suite and simultaneously worked on an individual project assignment.
At first, the internship focused more on shadowing and self-paced training. But in an effort to adapt to Abigail’s learning style of “learning by doing,” Atul Atey and Rupa came up with an independent assignment for Abigail that she presented to the rest of the team.
“The reason we decided to have the interns work on a project and train simultaneously is to have them understand how the learning material is applicable on a real-life project,” Rupa said.
Taking into consideration the nature of consulting work – frequent travel and client on-site commitments – the mentorship team has set up a Hip Chat room where interns can ask questions and collaboratively work on overcoming obstacles.
Challenges and Takeaways
For Abigail, the biggest challenge was learning the business processes and acronyms frequently used in digital commerce. As she put it, “it was an exercise in humility and realizing that there is so much you still don’t know.”
Abigail enjoyed the opportunity to be a part of the Digital commerce team meetings and sharpening her teamwork skills.