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My Summer at Motorola Solutions: Helping Interns in a Moment That Matters

By Anna Steinbrenner

My summer internship at MSI was like none other, and will be like none other, simply because of the times we are living in. The virtual platform and effects that the COVID-19 pandemic have had on my life forced me to take a step back and realize where and how I wanted to grow personally and professionally. Motorola Solutions offered me those opportunities and helped me discover where I can make an impact and how I can shape my own future through the projects I worked on, the opportunities I had to network and learn from different departments, and the exposure I had to senior leadership.

This summer, I worked as a supply chain data analytics intern within the demand planning segment of the supply chain organization. While my day-to-day tasks were rooted in aiding demand analysts in some of the basic, more tedious, elements of their work, my overarching intern project allowed me to dive deep into the analytical side of demand planning. Specifically, my project was to help develop and test a method to improve forecast accuracy within one of MSI’s high-revenue product portfolios. This proof-of-concept allowed me to draw on my education, from both engineering and business perspectives, while gaining exposure to more advanced and developed data analytics and forecasting techniques. At the end of my internship, I was able to showcase a cost savings of approximately $30,000 per quarter based on this new methodology I helped to create, with a continuous improvement goal of implementing this technique further into the demand planning system and applying it to a broader product portfolio.

Aside from my work with the demand planning team, I also had the opportunity to participate in a number of job shadows, both within and outside of the supply chain organization. As a problem-solver, I like to understand how different pieces fit together to make a system run efficiently. Partly why I joined the T&M program was to help me broaden my way of thinking into a more holistic view. These shadows served that same purpose. A company as large as Motorola Solutions takes many different organizations, and numerous roles within those organizations, to run properly. Gaining an understanding of just a few of these allowed me to view my own project and daily work from a different perspective and helped formulate my thoughts and questions in more meaningful, business-impactful ways.

In the representation of their organizational structure, one thing MSI employees love to highlight is their “open door policy”. Many companies like to flaunt this catch-phrase, but few, I believe, follow through to the level that Motorola Solutions does. I noticed right away how much the organization, as a whole, valued the internship program (Greg Brown himself came and spoke at our orientation). All employees wanted to help interns succeed, especially given the new format of the program. Throughout my internship, I had weekly exposure to senior level executives via lunch-and-learns and got the opportunity to present to them both at the half-way and ending points of my internship. All of them were also willing to sit down, one-on-one, and have a conversation, something I made sure to take advantage of (I even got the chance to sit down with Chief of Staff to the CEO, Cynthia Yazdi, one-on-one). I gained valuable insight and through these conversations, helped formulate my own ideologies for my career path post-graduation and into the future.

Being completely honest, my expectations going into the summer for a “virtual” internship were not very high. In finishing off my junior year from such a platform, with how mundane life felt day-to-day, I was not too optimistic in trying out the working-from-home life. After starting work at MSI, though, my opinions switched. Yes, there was an adjustment to working from home and I may have not gotten the same experiences and social interactions as an in-person internship would have provided, but I gained valuable life lessons and became much more resilient and adaptable to change. I know, going forward, these experiences will serve me well and I will look back at the summer of 2020 with great appreciation for what Motorola Solutions provided to me. Their slogan may be “helping people in the moments that matter”, but this summer, they truly helped interns in a moment that matters.

Anna Steinbrenner

Anna is currently in T&M Class XXV, a senior in industrial engineering, Vice President of Alum and Professional Relations on the T&M Student Board, and interned with Motorola Solutions this past summer as a supply chain data analytics intern.

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