By definition, serial killers are those who murder three or more people. But at SAS Institute, the leader in analytics, we have a different use of the word serial when it comes to internships.
I consider myself a serial intern. Being an intern at SAS for over two years, I have assumed four different positions and am in the midst of my fourth internship role.
Like many college students, I have a blurry idea of my future career path. College does that to you. With a plethora of opportunities and resources at your fingertips, it’s easy to find new passions. I’m a business major and music minor, but I’m still on the journey of exploring if and what I might want to do within the world of business.
My first internship
I started here during the summer after my junior year of high school doing technical writing and website design in IT; specifically, the data center operations department. After the summer ended, I discovered that applying my creative writing skills in a technical context piqued my interest and I moved to Global IT operations to do technical writing and documentation there during the school year.
The following summer, I transferred to the digital marketing division to perform web analytics. I felt a little like Christopher Columbus. Leaving IT and entering marketing was like discovering a whole new world. Instead of being the creative person in a technical world, I was now performing technical tasks in the creative world.
I learned a great deal, but the most valuable insight I gained was the connections I made during my internship. The infrastructure I worked with and performed analyses on in digital marketing was all directly supported by IT. I started to see how my work in my previous roles was applied in the big picture of helping SAS be successful. The skills I used in IT for completely different projects were inevitably being applied in this new role.
After the summer, I transferred back to IT to do more technical writing for IT Infrastructure Services. Everything I was writing about and documenting was in some way supporting other departments at SAS, including digital marketing. It was eye-opening!
As I’ve matured in my roles, I’ve started working on my projects envisioning what impact it had on IT and the company as a whole. It occurred to me that there are infinite bridges like this in the company and every department is interconnected in some way.
Jumping from internship to internship has sparked a curiosity in me to ask questions about how interdepartmental communication worked and understanding how each of the cogs in SAS collaborate together to create the success of the company.
It was through this experience, I became a little less lost. I LOVE being a serial intern. By traveling all over IT and spending a summer in marketing, I’ve learned an abundance about the functions of various software and hardware used at SAS and have met so many great people working on mind-blowing projects. Being a serial intern allows you to wear a special pair of glasses through which you’re consciously aware of how every small task has an influence beyond itself, impacting someone or somewhere at SAS.
To the new batch of summer interns that just started at SAS and to you, if you’re starting an internship somewhere else: channel your inner serial-intern and explore beyond your position title!
I hope to continue to make connections in the workplace and adapt my work style to excel not only in my role as an intern, but to make a meaningful impact on SAS as a whole some day.
However, my days as a serial intern are not over. About two weeks ago, I introduced myself to boss #4 and I’m ecstatic to develop a new skillset. Next stop: technical enablement.