Markanna Moore is an Economics major graduating in May 2020. Last summer, Markanna interned with GS1 Ireland in Dublin, Ireland.
If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help. My company developed a tool called Barcode Manager that gave users a central, online platform to store their barcode records, generate symbols, and allocate barcodes to new products. During my internship, they were in the process of finalizing it before it was adopted by the global office for use with GS1 members around the world. I tested all of the import, export, and other functions of the tool for errors, and reported on what could be improved. I also reviewed the instructional materials for new members of GS1, developed a set of frequently asked questions specific to Barcode Manager, and advised on ways to restructure the eLearn courses they have for members.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? One of the biggest challenges associated with my internship was actually getting to it in the morning. The Dublin Bus system is an entirely new world of delays and logistical nightmares for someone who has never used public transportation before. It was also difficult to complete very open-ended tasks when my supervisors gave me minimal instructions. It was a process of trial and error, and a lot of estimating what would be expected on a given assignment.
What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad? First of all, don’t be intimidated by the idea of living and working in another country – after the initial transition when you get used to it, it will broaden your perspective and change the way you look at so many things. Try to learn as much as possible about the culture (especially the professional culture) before going abroad. Knowing what to expect will help prevent confusion and avoidable mistakes, as well as improving social interactions with colleagues. Similarly, make sure to ask any questions you do have so that you can get the most out of the internship and be clear on what is expected of you.
How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship? MIS 111 was very relevant to my internship because it gave me a fundamental understanding of the importance of systems used within businesses and supply chains. This helped me feel a little less lost when I found myself working with a very technical side of a global standards organization centered around “Identifying, Capturing, and Sharing Data”. GS1 essentially designs and implements systems to help supply chains run more smoothly, and I recognized many of the things I had learned in MIS 111 in reviewing their online learning courses. Two agricultural communications classes (AGTM 422 and AED 411) also prepared me to help present my ideas, approach the organizational change occurring around barcode manager, and appreciating the organizational culture of my company and its impact on the way things were done.