Going Above And Beyond As An Intern

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A popular hypothesis about intern life is that you have to follow 100% of your manager’s directions and more often than not, you do the stuff that nobody wants to do. However, in my case, my internship experience at Schneider Electric rejects this hypothesis, and let me tell you why it was possible with Open Talent Market.

The Unique Way Of Empowering People

From day 1 of my internship, I was encouraged to act like an owner. If the connotation of “ACT LIKE OWNERS” means embracing individualism for the overall growth of the company, it was just a very second nature of me. Yet as an intern, I thought that I was limited to only deploying my manager’s directions which would assumingly follow Global or Regional direction. Yet that was before I was introduced to an internal platform called Open Talent Market (OTM), which has become a big game-changer in my internship journey at Schneider Electric Vietnam.

open talent market schneider electric
My OTM Profile Homepage

OTM is an internal platform at Schneider that allows you to partake in remote or in-person projects on top of your normal responsibilities from all over the world. Furthermore, you can also apply to full-time positions within Schneider’s network of 529 office locations across 118 countries or look for mentors who can offer a wide range of professional and personal support. Open Talent Market is Schneider’s way of integrating the gig economy to help all employees unlock their potential and to be 100% in charge of their careers.

Going Above And Beyond

Until today, I have completed more than 5 OTM projects, but let me share a bit about how it started. After first knowing about the platform, I observed around the office to see what are the gaps in our daily work that I can fill in. I spotted that some of the work in our Vietnam office was still very manual. Therefore, I decided to do OTM projects that would help me to learn the best practices from other parts of the world so that I could leverage them to improve our local digital transformation. Thanks to OTM’s artificial intelligence algorithm, which recommended me suitable projects based on my curiosity. I was able to delve into a plethora of fields: HR analytics, customer survey analytics, and even software development, on top of my normal responsibility as an intern.

Some of the projects helped to hatch new ideas at Schneider from the ground up while some disrupted the traditional operations for better efficiency and effectiveness. For example, during one of my projects, I met colleagues from India, Singapore, and Australia and we all worked together to quantify European standard skill architecture. From this project, I learned that Schneider took People Analytics seriously, and we did it to help our workforce to adapt to the changes of the world. Throughout the span of the project, I befriended my fellow intern from Australia, and we executed the Python scripts and developed the dashboard together. Despite not knowing anything about HR firsthand, other members of the project team have mentored us thoroughly with their specialty in HR and analytics.

Impactful Learning Experience

 Every project I have been involved in begins with a minor learning curve. Yet my sharpened knowledge and efficiency at work speak volumes. With this momentum, I picked up another project whenever I feel like brushing up my skills in a particular area, or when I want to learn new and emergent tools. Open Talent Market has really affirmed my belief in “learning by doing”.

Opportunities on OTM truly make my experience at Schneider Electric meaningful. You will be surprised that at Schneider, interns can leverage themselves in important and strategic projects. During my first week at Schneider, my business unit’s director told me about the conundrums to intern life I mentioned above, and he posed me the question: “So what do you expect to do at Schneider? With things you learn from your university days, how can you help us?” To this day, I have answered this question by a cycle of learning and applying. I was #Empowered to take ownership of my career path, and this leads me to OTM. Then, from OTM projects, I have applied what I learned to contribute to my team.

hackathon schneider electric
One Of The Hackathons I Attended

My tips for anybody who is interning or thinking of applying to an internship at Schneider Electric:

  • Be willing to enrich your knowledge domain if Schneider Electric’s business niche seems unfamiliar to you. Don’t worry about having to fill the gaps before you start your internship because Schneider has a platform for internal training and development.
  • Be proactive about changes. Schneider has plenty of opportunities for you to learn how to implement changes: from OTM to internal hackathons.
  • Lastly, for my fellow Vietnamese international students, reverse culture shock is real. You will often be questioned with “Why are you coming back?”, yet returning to Vietnam is definitely rewarding, especially when your field of study is emerging and your cravings for authentic Vietnamese food still remain the same.

 About The Author:

Linh Ho is a student majoring in Computer Science at the University of Connecticut, USA. She was raised and born in Vietnam and has studied abroad for about 8 years in the United States. In the summer of her junior year in high school, she worked at TERC (Cambridge, Massachusetts) to analyze data on young students’ readiness for climate change, energy, and sustainability. And now she’s interning for Schneider Electric, the world’s most sustainable company, supporting Digital Energy and Business Development.

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