Technology Internship Goes Beyond Hands-On Experience

Large Retina | Inside Track Insights: main image Alexander Anderson

Union Pacific IT/Technology summer intern Alexander Anderson will be a senior at Kansas State University this fall.

When getting ready to start my internship at Union Pacific, I was nervous about every little detail. To work for a Fortune 500 company is amazing and I didn't want to leave any bad impressions, especially since this is my first internship. However, after I started working, I realized there was no need to be nervous.

Everyone I work with is kind and understanding, my supervisor and managers are great to talk with and give great advice whenever I get stuck. I got to know Union Pacific Chief Information Officer Rahul Jalali in the first few days, and he even made me coffee -- not many interns can say the CIO made them coffee! I also got to network with fellow interns at events like the NCAA College World Series, the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, and a breakfast where we met Chief Executive Officer Lance Fritz.

While there have been many events for networking with peers and professionals, we also have been hard at work building queries, coding, even focusing on the financial side of IT. Every intern has an important role in their project and creates value for Union Pacific.

Large | Inside Track: Lance Fritz breakfast with interns

Union Pacific Chairman Lance Fritz meets with summer interns at an event held in UP Center.

One group of technology interns will meet with Rahul to see if their project can get funding for implementation here at Union Pacific!

As part of my internship, I’m taking manual reports and helping visualize them in an automated manner using business intelligence software Tableau, which provides visibility into resource planning and financial allocation, for both products and projects. As a stretch assignment I also helped conduct a resource audit as we plan how our new customer-focused product organization will be co-located to better serve our customers, emphasizing collaboration and agility.

Coming to UP has been beneficial to all of us interns. We get a glimpse of what it means to be working professionally as well as the projects full-time employees work on. For example, a Lunch Time Talk about a UP-developed product called GeoTrackr allowed interns to learn how this spatial-temporal API locates trains and updates customers about important work-event information.

My manager, Sr. Director Mark Mersch, does not hesitate to come by my cubicle and check to see how I’m doing. It motivates me to know I have a boss who cares. Our team is small enough that everyone knows each other, and we’re even doing monthly team lunches.

My team reports to Rushi Patel, AVP-Strategy and Digital Delivery Office. In addition to checking in, Rushi asks about where I want to go, who I want to be and how I’m going to get there in the future. These chats have given me an opportunity to view him as a mentor and have given me the tools needed to prepare for my future career. Thank you, Mark, Rushi and the rest of the team, I’m glad to have gotten to meet all of you!

I am truly lucky to have done my first internship here at Union Pacific. I couldn't have asked for a better team and manager, who was understanding with my work and giving me time to focus on my summer courses. Whether it will be your first or last internship, you will find something here at Union Pacific that will make you want to come back.

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