Friday, July 31, 2015
Dan Gunther '16 @ AT&T
Commuting to the externship was very simple because I only live about 20 minutes away from AT&T's Bedminster office. I did not know much about sales before this externship but even after my first day of the externship, I felt like my view of sales became much more positive.
On Tuesday, we started the day off by watching AT&T Leadership Presentations, in which the speakers in these videos spoke about how AT&T's technology (specifically, cloud computing) is constantly developing and becoming far more reliable for businesses to use. We were also able to tour the GNOC (Global Network Operations Center), which I thought was a tremendous experience. At the GNOC, employees at AT&T are able to monitor live network activity taking place around the world and adapt the AT&T network to address immediate capacity and security needs before they affect day-to-day business in locations around the world. Personally, I thought that this was the coolest aspect of the externship thus far. After touring the GNOC, we received career advice from Gettysburg alum Roy Hilliard as well as Jill Reardon (North East Regional Vice President).
We spoke with the most influential speaker of the entire week on Wednesday: Chris Irwin-Dudek, who works in the Sales Communications and Marketing division of AT&T. He essentially read through an anonymous list of details he was able to pick up from all of our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter), and everyone knew when he was reading details from their profiles. This session was particularly alarming because it showed how even when you think your social media accounts may be private and blocked from potential companies that may be hiring you, they often display plenty of embarrassing information and it is very important to monitor how you represent yourself on social media. This session with Chris influenced me to make changes to the privacy settings of my Facebook account the second I got home that day.
My last day at AT&T was very enjoyable and just as informative as the previous three days. We started the day off by meeting with a current student intern with AT&T. During this session, she led a game of Jeopardy with questions about NJ history and AT&T history that the externs all played. This was done in order to show how the NJ i2i project has been an effective method of making the NJ AT&T office a desired place to work in comparison to some of AT&T's other locations. We then met with two people from the Network Ops Centers, where they led a complex talk about AT&T's technology. Although a lot of what they talked about was pretty complicated, I still found it very interesting. After this talk, we spoke with two executives that were very high up in AT&T's chain of command (one of them had the 12th highest ranked position within all of AT&T). We concluded the day by speaking with Jack Duffy again. He gave us some valuable career advice to take from this week, even if we weren't planning on applying to a program with AT&T for next summer. I had a great time externing with AT&T this week and I would encourage current Gettysburg students from all educational backgrounds to consider applying for this program next year if it is still available.