Matt Scheid – T-Mobile

1625602_10152352589623924_4397248165043855487_nOver this summer I interned with T-Mobile in the Enterprise Information Technology department. Working in the corporate headquarters of a major telecommunications firm seemed intimidating at first, but I immediately resonated with T-Mobile’s culture. The atmosphere stood out as professional, but comfortable. The pace challenged me, but never made me feel overwhelmed. This factor played a bigger role than I ever could have expected. Self-starters thrive in this environment, so coming in hungry and ready to deal with ambiguity was vital. After completing some initial projects, I was able to advocate for the assignments I was most interested in. My managers trusted me with real work, and the experienced I gained was extremely valuable in my recent recruitment process.

Specifically, my organization within EIT was the Business Management segment which is responsible for the company’s IT strategy and customer engagement. Within this organization, I rotated amongst several teams. Initially, I acted as a general supporting role, but eventually specialized in two teams. My internship did not include a formal culminating project, but I focused my time on projects that excited me within each team.

Under the Systems Design and Analysis team, I challenged myself technically by designing an application monitoring and road mapping tool. I was able to communicate with developers and collaborate amongst several team members to grow the project from the ground up. I contributed to the concept design, revisions and even diagramming and use cases. My proficiency in Excel and analytical thinking grew immensely due to the development of these frameworks.

My other project with the Communications and Research team involved assessing EIT innovation. I approached this study in two phases: designing an online survey and a conducting a series of interviews. With nearly a 50% response rate, this survey was one of the most successful our team had delivered. Furthermore, I spent over 10 hours interviewing employees from the individual contributor to director level. Ultimately, I condensed these findings into an executive report and personally presented them to T-Mobile’s Chief Information Officer, Gary King. This opportunity stands out as one of the most rewarding of my entire career.

There was rarely a dull moment in this internship. Whenever you found yourself getting burnt out on work, the intern program offered the perfect opportunity to step out of your cube. We held weekly social gatherings to get to know our fellow interns, and whether it was catered Chipotle or an ice-cream bar there was always great food to enjoy. Several of these opportunities also introduced us to the leaders of T-Mobile. Neville Ray, CTO, took an hour to walk the interns through his life and career path. Equally notable was meeting with Mike Sievert, CMO, and John Legere, CEO. This firsthand contact with C-Suite leadership offered direct insight to highly successful careers in a way that is unparalleled.

Besides these in-office social gatherings, there were several off-campus as well. One afternoon we were shuttled to Safeco Field for a sunny office getaway Mariner’s game. Just two weeks later, T-Mobile rented out Lucky Strike Bowling for our whole intern class. Some other excursions included a trip to the Bellingham call center to see how representatives engage with customer challenges. Also, many groups of interns also took an afternoon to visit a local retail stores. My team within EIT also offered a chance to tour the Bothell data center. Seeing the endless rows of servers, switches, and routers firsthand provides an appreciation for the complexity of the telecommunications industry.

Overall, I would recommend this internship to any information systems major, particularly those who see business strategy playing a role in their career. The team was great, the work was engaging, and my overall experience was incredible. There are also several opportunities for Foster students concentrating in other fields besides IS. Regardless of major, pursuing an internship opportunity at T-Mobile has never been more exciting. The enterprise is experiencing unheard of growth and the company vision has never been more synchronized and progressive. I am truly proud to say I was able to contribute, at whatever small a scale, to the most transformative time in the company’s history.

I wish the best of luck in your future endeavors!