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Interns Rule The Summer @ Teknion

By: William Collins-Chief Marketing Officer

What happens when you bring four (4) highly motivated data and analytic interns into your company for the summer?  Magic, pure magic.  Teknion has always been lucky with our internship program.  Every year we interview a large number of candidates for a few very coveted slots, always making for a difficult hiring decision.  This year was no different.  

Our data & analytic interns hailed from Prairie View-A&M University, Wheaton College and two from the University of Arkansas.   Each bringing their own unique set of skills and personalities to our office for the summer.  

At the end of the summer, as they head off, either back to school or to start their career at Teknion or elsewhere,  we ask them to reflect on their short time at Teknion. 

Here are their responses:

Emily K.-University of Arkansas

The highlights of my 10 weeks at Teknion were 1. Participating in Make Over Mondays.  2. Being part of an actual client project and being able to present some ideas that the client used.

Although Teknion also gave us the freedom and encouragement to dive into other programs (such as Alteryx, WhereScape, and DataRobot), I stayed glued to Tableau after finding my niche in design and the display of data. This discovery was made by doing Makeover Mondays; an activity that involved receiving a data set on Monday and having until Thursday to build out a dashboard with a story, meaning, and analysis behind it. Not only was this incredible practice for using Tableau, this also taught us how to discover valuable stories behind data and learn how to present those stories and discoveries to an audience. This is what heightened my enjoyment and experience with Tableau and is one of the most measurable/tangible tools I used to measure my growth over the summer.  

Later into the internship program, I was invited to jump in and observe a current client project Teknion. Not only was I able to sit in on every call to view how a true client relationship works, I had the opportunity to work with some untouched data and build out two dashboards for the client. This experience was not only one full of growth and learning, it was also so humbling to be working with such an incredible and cool client organization. The icing on the cake this summer had to be when the client  saw incredible value in the dashboards I created and will be using them going forward!

Being a finance major, this internship pushed me and opened my eyes to the power of data and analytics.  I am looking forward to my Senior year and bringing my intern experience to my class work.

See Emily's Viz Gallery here!

Eaujenaé F.-Prairie View A&M University

Highlights from my internship include getting to put my major in Management Information Systems to work.  I was put on a project where Teknion was building out a data warehouse for a healthcare client.  I learned so much and thankful for the hands-on experience.  I felt valued, had an awesome time, met great people, and learned a lot about the world of data! The company is full of intelligent people who are willing to share knowledge and information as much as possible and that’s so refreshing to see. 

All in all, the summer I spent at Teknion was absolutely remarkable and I would recommend not only this internship, but the entire Teknion organization to anyone who enjoys a challenge, wants to be in a place that develops you, and where you and your talents matter. And, by the way, I accepted a full time position with Teknion.

See Eaujenaé's Viz here!

Luis E.-University of Arkansas

This summer I had the privilege of working with Teknion ; learning things about data analytics, and the consulting industry. I enjoyed working for Teknion because of the company culture, the opportunity to create dashboards via Tableau, and the exposure to the many areas that encompass the world of data and consulting. I focused on learning how to teach Tableau and how to present data accurately and effectively. I had always thought that lecturing was enough to teach someone a new topic, but through my experience in the internship I have learned that teaching effectively requires far more than I could ever imagine. Teaching and training must go hand-in-hand with understanding one’s audience – this can range from how you visually present what you teach, (is the view you are presenting visible to the person in the back of the room?) to completely changing your teaching style or supplemental material mid-presentation to relate the topic with the audience. I look forward to putting the skills and experiences from my summer at Teknion to work as I start my career.

See Luis' Viz here!

Donavan G.- Wheaton College

I started my internship with trainings in Alteryx Designer and Tableau (completing Desktop I & II), meeting people around the office, and getting introduced to our weekly task of completing the Makeover Monday Viz challenge. My first dashboard was bad. Really bad. I found myself lost,  too deep in the analysis of the data and ended up making a visual display that was anything but visually appealing. However, I quickly improved, becoming much more adept at both finding an interesting story and portraying it in an appealing way.

My other primary project was making a fully-functioning NFL Pick ‘Em interface from scratch in Tableau. We partnered with DataRobot to construct an original model for predicting game outcomes. Through picking the brains of a few of Teknion’s best consultants, as well as doing lots of exploration on my own, I was able to leverage some brand new features of Tableau opening up a whole near dimension of capability in the program. When paired with some behind-the-scenes work in Alteryx, this allowed me to create write-back functionality and save users’ progress on dashboards from one week to the next. These programs and the combined brainpower of Teknion’s best and brightest enabled us to produce a final product that far exceeds the capabilities of any of the individual programs or resources at our disposal.

Teknion has brought together an extraordinary team of brilliant people, all enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and experience. This company culture fosters an ideal environment for anyone with a desire to learn, which is why I’m so thankful to have been a part of Teknion this summer as I head back to Wheaton for my senior year.

See Donovan's Viz here!

The interns also participated in a group project to get really creative as they built out a comprehensive dashboard.  Here is the result of that collaboration.  Summer Intern Group Viz

As we wrap up the summer, our executive team reflects on the Summer Intern program, evaluating on how we can improve and betting on who gets the most out of the program, the interns or Teknion.  My bet is on Teknion.  We get a fresh perspective, a new set of skills, new personalities and a recruiting channel that has served us well.  As our interns head off we wish them well, thank them for being part of the Teknion family and know our paths will cross again.

If you, or someone you know who is interested in a data and analytics internship, send them our way.  We would love to talk with you/them.