In addition to the holidays, recurring TGIF parties, and overall influx of sunny days, part of what makes summers at TIBCO particularly fun is the added energy our interns bring into the office. Intern season isn’t just an opportunity to finally have someone deal with that project you’ve been wishing you had enough time to focus on. It’s the chance to feed some of the knowledge and wisdom you’ve gained throughout your career to someone whose hunger for it is bottomless. Greeting people who are motivated to learn and add value while trying something new can revitalize a person! Even more, the work interns accomplish in a handful of weeks is super impressive, in and of itself.
Our 2016 interns were in fact SUPER! Their go-getter attitudes, determination to figure stuff out, and eagerness to make a difference was demonstrated through what they achieved. We interviewed the interns about their experiences this summer, and they had some great stories to share. Meet the interns of TIBCO, and find out what was cool and challenging about each of their internships.
“My boss, Nitin, Director of Pre-Sales, asked what I wanted out of the internship. We drew up a plan where I said I wanted pre-sales experience, but I also wanted sales experience. Pre-sales is more what I’d already had experience with, in terms of engineering, and sales I really did not know much about. It really felt great to be taken out of my comfort zone.
“I started out by understanding the technical history of TIBCO, and really started to get a grasp of the software that we sold. Starting to understand what people were talking about took the first couple weeks. But after that, I felt like I was really able to help out.
“Most of the software TIBCO sells is extremely complicated stuff with integration. So, basically the conundrum Nitin and I had was to come up with something I could master and deliver a presentation on it. We chose one of the dealer softwares, Simplr. Simplr is a cloud application automation tool with 56 connectors and I was able to master it. I drew up a demo script, got it approved, and basically started to practice. The last week of the internship, I was able to deliver the demo presentation to customers and prospects. I have pictures of myself doing that, too, in front of about 20 people! That experience was truly invaluable. You can never do something like that in college. So being able to learn, and actually doing it was most rewarding.”
“Working in Treasury and Financial Reporting Sector is giving me a lot of exposure to the finance industry, and it’s a very hands-on experience. That works really well with the way I learn. And, my college’s motto is “learn by doing,” and I feel like this is the epitome of that!
“In high school, I was one of the founding people of a club called BEAM, a business and entrepreneurship club, at Gunn High school. I also already took an accounting class, and I knew the basics. I was thinking, ‘What does finance have to offer?’ and it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be very dry, but it turned out to be much more creative.
“I mostly did external and internal reporting to the government. Filling out surveys, like the QFR (Quarterly Financial Report) Survey or SBar (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation) Survey. I was keeping track of bank accounts—in what countries, how much they have, kind of keeping a record of everything we have. That was mostly external reporting.
“I did internal reporting, too; I put together the quarterly binder, which had the balance sheet, income statement, and all of the support for every number that we had on the income statement and balance sheet. It was pretty scary, because it was a big deal reporting numbers to the government. It affects TIBCO as a whole—I can’t report the wrong number; that’s a very serious thing! So I had to make sure my numbers were accurate and consistent throughout all of my surveys.
“It was kind of hard, because I didn’t know where to look. I was determined to find my answers. So I had to call the IRS or the bank, and ask them questions about certain surveys. My boss said, “You can just ask the IRS that,” and I thought he was joking—this was my first day of work, but I just called them up and asked, ‘Can you explain this survey to me?’ And they did. They were very helpful. It was a lot of digging for evidence but I figured it out, and I liked it!”
“TIBCO is creating a new support website, and they are migrating all of the knowledge-based articles from the old environment to the new one. At the beginning of the summer, I was looking into how knowledge-bases are organized in general, and how they can be made more easily accessible. I looked at examples from IBM, and Google, and Facebook, and basically anything with a ‘help’ format. Then, I was given access to a Google Spreadsheet with information on TIBCO’s knowledge-based articles, and my job was to go through and make the titles of the articles more concise and more relevant, and come up with ideas for keywords and tags that can make the search process easier for customers trying to find the articles they need.
“The most challenging part of the project was that every single article is different, and so it’s kind of a tedious, repetitive process of editing each title and creating a summary for each one. But, because every one is so different, you have to look at each one separately and try to figure out a way to consolidate the information so that the format is the same as the others, but also relevant to the specific article. It’s a lot of reading through jumbled error messages.
“I created this system that I use where I go from article to article, and I copy the existing title so that I can put it in the format I’d built in my head. I used this idea of how to do each one that works really easy for me.
“I stayed motivated by creating smaller goals for myself, because there are thousands and thousands of articles that I was in no way going to finish by the time I left TIBCO. But I edited over 3,000 article titles! I would come in and know that ‘today I’m going to try to edit 125 articles.’ So I’d do 25 at a time, and take a little break, and maybe read some other examples or check my TIBCO email. It’s cool because now I at least recognize a lot of terms that I had never heard before, and I can define some of the software stuff that I did not know before.”
“My primary project was a currency hedging model, which is a financial model that visually and mathematically calculates the risk of a portfolio. All of TIBCO’s assets are in different currencies. If the currency starts to go down, we lose the value of our assets. So I helped make a model of that, visually. It displayed the risk of each currency, and had the option to hedge or protect us from that risk. It tells TIBCO how much to hedge to gain the most returns, and which portfolio has the least amount of risk.
“On my first day, my manager George handed me a basic model of currency hedging and said, ‘Here you go, try to look at it…’ I really like being able to figure things out by myself. And when I presented it to him, it only needed minor revisions. I worked on automating that model, too. I used software—Visual Basic—so no one has to do all those weird math calculations.
“I was also project lead on an account closing process. TIBCO had a lot of bank accounts that were unnecessary. It was a lot of working with the signers who are authorized to close the account, and some of them had left the company. So I had to get legal involved, too. It was a big task for 2 months, but it was a lot of fun!
“The atmosphere at TIBCO was amazing. It’s not a startup, it’s a big corporation, but it still has a relaxed attitude. And it’s not a cut-throat job. People expect you to make mistakes, and are more than willing to support you. People are nice, and friendly, and I made a lot of good friends and connections. Even though they are much older than me, I had a lot of fun with them. I thought 9 to 5 would be a problem for me, but it was a breeze. Now that I’m back at school from 8 to 12, I kind of want to go back.”