Friday, July 28, 2017

Internship Snapshots: Chelsea Ritter at AT&T

As a major recruiter of UGA MBA candidates, AT&T is a company students hear of early and often. We came to know the recruiter’s name before that of some professors and attended an AT&T networking event before classes even started. It was there that I learned about the Leadership Development Program (LDP) and the internship that allows rising second-years the opportunity to experience it for a summer. Despite the fact that I was a ball of nerves (networking being a new concept to me), learning about the careers of people who had been in my shoes only a few years before got me excited about the possibilities the company offered. I was immediately attracted to the rotational nature of the program and the company’s focus on development, dedication to their employees, and the diverse background of those that work there. As you may have guessed by now, I jumped at the opportunity.
Chelsea Ritter with the other Georgia MBA Summer 2017 AT&T intern, Safianu Baako (Financial Leadership Program Intern), at Atlanta Foundry, AT&T's innovation studio

This summer I am interning with AT&T’s Internet of Things (IoT) group in Atlanta - one of the fastest growing, most innovative groups in the company.  I work with the contracting team to analyze their current process and identify gaps as well as opportunities for streamlining and automation (that’s a mouthful of an elevator speech, eh?). Throughout the project I have used many of the skills gained during the school year, both in and out of the classroom. I have gathered and analyzed information to make data-driven decisions, determined efficiency levels using equations I would have bet good money that I’d never actually use, and practiced Lean Six Sigma principles I always knew I’d need but never figured on it being quite so soon.
It hasn't been all work and no play, as with the team-building outing to a Braves-Cubs game
Opportunities to give back make for a particularly enriching workplace, here with teammates at the AT&T-sponsored Habitat for Humanity build

Using concepts from the classroom and applying them to a real project in a growing department of a Fortune 100 company has been an incredible experience that I am very grateful to have had. I have learned how to perform in a corporate environment, how to determine the greatest impact that can be made in a short period of time (and do it), and how to absorb large amounts of information and apply it to a project. I have met with innovation frontrunners, learned from industry leaders, and worked in an environment focused on development of not only the company, but its employees.

This summer has flown by. It has been one of the most intellectually challenging experiences of my life and by far the most exhausting summer I have ever spent. But in a few days when I present my accomplishments, findings, and recommendations, I will be able to say that this was the most educational ten-weeks I’ve ever spent.
- By Chelsea Ritter, Georgia MBA Candidate Class of 2018 and AT&T LDP Intern