My externship experience at AT&T was phenomenal. Alum Jack Duffy, Vice President of Customer Service, prepared a fantastic week for us filled with AT&T education, meetings with executives, and exposure to corporate life.
On our tour of the GNOC, Global Network Operations Center (AKA the Disneyland for data managers), we got a sneak peak into the “ins” of AT&T data control through 140+ television monitors. I learned how large of a corporation AT&T is. Besides wireless, AT&T encompasses wire line and data processing services for companies ranging from a business like Pizza House to IBM. As a technological company, AT&T has successfully expanded from its original invention of the telephone to a major player in the technological field today.
We had back to back to back meetings with executives from various levels at AT&T, all bringing a unique story and tid bit of advice we externs could take with us. Many executives, rather amazed, revealed they had been with the company for
“Almost 32 years”
“There’s a guy who has been here for 60 years!”
That’s not just dedication; it’s loyalty as a result of a company that provides incredible career opportunities within its corporation.
Many of the associates from the small business side discussed the importance of active listening, and finding solutions for a customer’s needs. Executives dealing with larger accounts began as sales associates, and were given opportunities of more responsibility within the company. They emphasized communication skills as a necessity for managing a large team. The top most executives, who all began as young graduates and took opportunities that allowed for growth, even if they were a big uncomfortable, shared their success story, which was achieved through determined attitudes, risk taking, and networking.
Networking, a key word seen in many Gettysburg College Center for Career Development events.
During the week we had a conversation with AT&T Recruiters, but never met them in person. During our Telepresence meeting, a very sophisticated skype session, we talked with recruiters in Atlanta in charge of the Business Sales Leadership Development Program (BLSDP). This popular program, especially among Gettysburg graduates, is an intensive sales leadership course that prepares AT&T hires for sales by delving into the “ins” of AT&T but also the “outs” in understanding sales success in any situation. The BSLDP more importantly serves as their foundation for jump-starting an incredible career. Many of the executives we met with applauded the program, and discussed their higher success within AT&T as a result of their background in sales.
Obviously the corporate culture of AT&T is unique; valuing integrity, collaboration, teamwork, customer satisfaction, and passion. During my externship I was exposed to positive corporate culture, but more importantly began building my network and relationships to help kick start my career.