Aug 11, 2017

Interns Are Family Too

Christian Buechel
Drew Allen

Christian Buechel and Drew Allen

Interns Are Family Too

At the beginning of June, the Management Consulting Practice had the privilege of welcoming four new members to our team: Ashley Chen, Bentley Borrego, Bryce Westbrook, and Ryan Crews. These four talented individuals were hired through our campus recruiting program to be interns throughout the summer of 2017. Each one was selected from a competitive pool of students for their academic achievements, alignment to our core values, and involvement in extracurricular activities. After seeing their headshots as incoming members in countless Practice meetings, by the time they showed up, we felt like we already knew them.

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“I have served as a business analyst on a large development project. In addition to traditional quality assurance (QA) responsibilities, I have been responsible for assisting with the management of user acceptance testing for our system. This has included daily interactions with client users, gathering of user feedback, and the development of a model to aggregate and analyze that feedback to assist with the iterative development of our minimum viable product.” –Ryan Crews, Baylor

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“This summer, I worked on a customer experience strategy project at a leading U.S. airline. Specifically, I supported several major work streams focused on delivering an enhanced, morepersonalized customer experience to passengers. As a business analyst, my project work included developing strategic recommendations for passenger amenities, creating presentation materials for gaining senior-level alignment on key initiatives, and providing insights to the client based on extensive market and competitive research.” –Ashley Chen, University of Texas

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“As the business analyst on a user experience redesign project, I owned user interviews and synthesized feedback into key findings and personas that informed our site schematic and comps. In turn, I supported the creation of design deliverables by providing specific knowledge of business requirements and process flows. On a daily basis, I conducted touchpoints with our client product owner to discuss progress and ensure alignment on project objectives.” –Bentley Borrego, University of Texas

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“I served as a business analyst on a segregation of duties (SOD) project for a client who has grown 10-fold in the last five years through acquisition. I grew to own the SOD responsibilities for one of three in-scope applications, which included using least-privilege principles to configure roles, meeting with subject matter experts to verify that all user-role combinations were SOD-compliant, and rolling out new users over a three-week timespan that resulted in zero downtime for the business.” –Bryce Westbrook, University of Texas

A few weeks into their internship, we had been hearing nothing but good things from coworkers. By all accounts, each intern had jumped right in, actively contributing to client work and not being afraid to demonstrate the value they could bring to our Practice.

But Drew Allen and I wanted to see for ourselves what all the commotion was about. While we both started at Credera through campus recruiting post-graduation, neither of us were interns prior to becoming full-time hires. With so many of our talented coworkers having done an internship before, we figured there had to be something special about the students we choose to bring in for the summer. So, in their seventh week, we decided to sit down with our newest Credera team members and ask them some hard-hitting questions about their experiences with our internship program. Throughout our discussion, we confirmed the feedback we had been hearing and were also pleasantly surprised by their penchants for humor.

Here’s a snapshot of our discussion:

Which Credera team member has been an informal mentor to you?

Ryan: Jake Hamilton. Jake introduced me to the firm and since then has been very intentional in making me feel welcome by working hard to make my project onboarding easy. I work with him every day, and it’s awesome. FYI: If you need credit card strategy advice, talk to Jake.

Ashley: Allie Rubenstein. Allie has done a great job showing me the ropes at the client site. She is witty and sarcastic at times, which keeps things fun.

Bryce: Andy Baxter. Andy and I are a team of two on our client work stream. He has given me more visibility into how I see my career path shaping up, which I really appreciate as I begin at Credera.

Bentley: Stephen Grygar. He could tell when I was overwhelmed at the end of the day, and he stayed late to help explain things to me. He still comes and checks on me even though I’m on a new project. More importantly, he has also helped educate me on country music.

Who is the funniest Credera team member you’ve met so far?

Ashley: Jake Carter. Jake is ‘super chill.’ It’s always funny to hear what he has to say, especially when it’s about his alma mater—Northwestern. He has some funny characterizations of the competing MBA programs.

Bryce: Daniel Youman is way up there in the funny category. He did a presentation about business development during our first week of onboarding and likes to play pranks on everyone in the office. Vincent Garcia is sneaky funny too. He’s more of the type to sit back and wait for the perfect opportunity to strike when we are all working in the team room.

Have you had any embarrassing moments so far?

Ryan: I was making edits in a QA environment for testing and started putting in random, silly names into the QA environment. My silly, changed names showed up in a demo with the client.

Bentley: I drove the team to lunch (including practice leader Kevin Erickson). In a five-minute ride, I hit a curb, almost ran a red light, and almost hit a car. I don’t think I’ll be able to live that down for a while.

What is your goal for your last month of the internship?

Ryan: I’ve been down in the weeds with development activities. I’d like to work with a higher-level strategy focus.

Ashley: I would like to leave with an idea of whether I want to do consulting post-grad, and use Fridays back at the office to meet more Credera people to get advice and perspective from them.

Bryce: I have two things: 1) I want to take a higher level of ownership on my work stream. 2) I want to better understand what the long-term strategy is for the Management Consulting Practice and figure out how I could fit into that.

Bentley: I want to become a structured writing expert. [Just like her father.]

What is your go-to music selection when you’re at work?

Ashley: I’ve gotten really into listening to the Piano Guys.

Bentley: I usually just listen to acoustic Justin Bieber songs.

Bryce: Oftentimes, I listen to a piano playlist or Billy Currington. But sometimes I listen to the same song repeatedly to help me concentrate. My most recent one was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

Ryan: I listen to podcasts only. Typically, I like to listen to Amateur Christian Apologist and Stand to Reason.

The people at Credera are truly what make it a great place to work, and after talking with these four Management Consulting interns, Drew and I were nothing but impressed. Credera invests the time and energy into the recruiting process to find accomplished, value-driven people like these four. But hearing from our interns, we got to understand how the internship program gives these bright students a path to development and opportunities to thrive in a real-world setting.

Ashley, Bentley, Bryce, and Ryan, thanks for choosing to spend your summer with us at Credera. We hope to see you all back full time next year!

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