Karthik Sundar is a full-time MIS candidate graduating from UIC Liautaud this year. Sundar earned his B.Tech in Communications Engineering from SASTRA University in India, and has been working in the security industry with the goal of moving into marketing and CRM analytics. He recently interned for ADT, a leading provider of security and automation solutions for homes and businesses in the United States and Canada. Sundar sat down with our student writers at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester to discuss his experience.
How did you find the ADT internship?
I applied for the internship through an online job posting, and went through one Skype interview and two rounds of phone interviews before being offered the position.
Were there any on-campus resources that proved especially helpful in finding on internship?
The Business Career Center hosted resumé review sessions, every one of which I attended to fine-tune my resumé. I also used the meeting rooms in the BCC for my Skype and phone interviews, and BCC staff were very helpful in all cases.
What factor(s) did you consider when deciding to accept your internship offer?
My goal was to put myself in a position where I could gain experience in both business intelligence and data analytics. I also wanted an opportunity to apply what I’ve been studying, so the role I took in customer analytics at ADT was perfect. It married my grad-level marketing work, which is relatively new to me, with the more intensive work I’m doing within the MIS program.
What were your responsibilities on the job?
I worked closely with a data scientist in the customer analytics team to build predictive models of customer attrition. A lot of work went into communicating the results of the modeling to the leadership. In addition to this, there was a constant stream of customer feedback data that was being analyzed.
What did you like most about the internship?
I like the way the experience was structured. During the first half of my internship, I worked closely with a data scientist in an apprentice-like arrangement. In the second half of the internship, I was turned loose to work on predictive models with some of the company’s large datasets. It was a constant loop of producing results, getting supervisors’ feedback, and fine-tuning my work.
There was also a nice blend of collaborative work and individual work. I had lots of opportunities to produce results on my own and also to produce results with a team. The culture of ADT was very supportive. My managers and the Senior Director of Analytics were very approachable and helpful, and I had a general mentor from another department as well.
It’s important to emphasize that the internship can very much be part of your graduate education. I mentioned above that I wanted to apply the classroom lessons of the MIS program, and I was able to do that and more at ADT, where the role required me to learn new algorithms, tools, and techniques from their data scientists, and to understand how their work is driven by the need for marketing solutions within ADT. But I also learned that the work can't rely on technical skills alone. ADT has their own ways of leveraging attitudinal and behavioral data to boost sales and customer retention, but oftentimes the crucial stage for implementing these solutions is how the analyst communicates their work to leadership.
Lastly, I can’t deny that it was a fun move. The internship was in Boca Raton, after all!