Jul 14, 2016

Insights From An Intern: Credera One Month In

James Darling

James Darling

Insights From An Intern: Credera One Month In

My name is James Darling and I’m a senior from Oklahoma State University, originally from Plano, Texas. I started with Credera as an intern on June 1 in the Microsoft Practice and have loved every day so far!

My major at OSU is industrial engineering. Translation: I’ve learned how to draw some rad process flow diagrams, but my formal programming education consists of only a single class in Visual Basic during my sophomore year. I taught myself C#, SQL, and some JavaScript as an intern last summer at J.B. Hunt Transportation. This started me on the path of self-taught programming. My time in the Microsoft Practice working on a client project has been a rapid and exciting learning experience. I’m sharing my thoughts on my internship after one month with the hope that I can bring some fresh insight as someone who is new to consulting at Credera and the development process.

Learning a client’s business and IT systems is a tough task. Learning this while getting a crash course in computer science and Microsoft technologies is even tougher. The thing that’s made everything easier and more enjoyable has been the support of my team. Working with this group on the client site, I have learned and grown more than I thought possible in just four short weeks.

Rick Petersen is my mentor at Credera. Rick joined Credera as an architect in October and has been a great resource on everything from programming skills to Credera’s unique way of doing business. Mentoring is a buzzword that is thrown around university and industry environments as some vague relationship where one person gives another person tips every month or so. In contrast, Rick has demonstrated true mentorship.  Rick has had a profound impact on me because he has selflessly invested in me. I don’t think mentors always realize the great effect they have on their mentees. I want to assure them that if they make the effort to be genuine, informative, and supportive, they will make a huge difference. Rick certainly has for me.

The other members of my team (Jose Gonzalez, Brian Romine, Caroline Blades, and Chris Politz) have also stepped up and showed me the ropes, even at the expense of temporarily putting their obligations on hold. These people, especially Jose, have shown me that the ability to clearly communicate and build into the team around me is just as important as being technically competent. This team has had an incredible amount of patience in teaching me important project concepts, and I believe the mentorship mindset has raised the quality of the project across the board. I’ve seen firsthand that meaningful change is affected when a single person places as much focus on making others better as they do themselves.

Outside of client work, I’ve loved becoming a part of the Credera community. Working outside of the home office has separated me from the general body of Credera as well as the other 18 interns. Luckily, there is always something going on! I’ve played on the Credera indoor soccer team, been to movies and restaurants with the other interns, and even participated in a book club. Building deeper relationships is not something normally associated with the corporate environment, but at Credera, it’s the norm. Nothing helps relieve the stress of adapting to a new role like having genuine connections with others in and out of the office.

This past month has taught me a lot. I’m hoping to continue to grow these next couple of months and delve deeper into the Credera culture. To paraphrase Rob Borrego, our CEO, I was blessed enough to get an opportunity to intern at Credera. I will definitely be smart enough to take an offer if I’m given one!

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