by Trevor Bell - Jul 30, 2015
Name: Natalie Butler
Major: Marketing & Management Information Systems
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Expected Graduation Date: December 2016
Natalie Butler is set to graduate from the Rawls College of Business in December 2016 with her bachelor degrees in Marketing and Management Information Systems. Since joining Texas Tech University three years ago, she has become very involved across several student organizations where she has assumed leadership roles. These organizations include Delta Sigma Pi (where she served as the 2012-2013 Co-Historian and is currently serving as the 2015-2016 Social Media Chair), the Association of Information Technology Professionals, Tech Activities Board (where she served as the 2013-2014 Outreach Coordinator), and Women in Business (where she served on the Technology and Website Design team). This summer Natalie is interning with USAA as an IT Intern in Plano, Texas. Learn more about Natalie’s internship experience in the Q&A below.
What are your responsibilities at USAA?
At USAA, I am working as an Android software developer on an application that will be used by USAA members only. I am building a mobile application using Java and XML through Android Studio. My work focuses on the development and implementation of new functionality for our members to use in the Android mobile environment. Throughout my internship I have been collaborating with other interns, developers, and business team members through the use of the Agile Project Management Methodology. This type of project management and paired-programming allows flexible, interactive, and cross-functional teams to work together to deliver high-quality results in short periods of time. This project has had progressive weekly tasks requiring daily “stand-ups” with my team members to discuss the progression of the mobile application and the current state of each weekly task. I also worked on the backend of this application which included learning the basics of RESTful web services and connecting to a database. These RESTful web services exposed directory structure-like URIs and then XML and JSON were transferred to the frontend of the application. I learned to work with the RTC program as a form of source control. The RTC program is mainly used with paired-programming to merge code and run code reviews throughout the mobile application’s development process.
When I am not working on the mobile application and services, I work on a number of different external projects. These projects include actively sitting in on the Texas Tech recruiting team to bring talented students onboard with USAA, an innovation project where my team focused on improving current member compliance processes, an intern video contest, and a variety of other learning opportunities. Throughout my internship I have gained valuable experiences on many levels.
How have the skills and knowledge gained at the Rawls College transferred to your internship?
The Rawls College works very hard to prepare each and every student to achieve success in their education and beyond. There is a wide range of academic courses available at the college so that students can cater their course load to their interests. I was able to bring some of the coding knowledge that I learned in my MIS courses into my internship which allowed me to improve my skills with those languages throughout the summer. Every day I come to class eager to learn, and that is definitely something I took into the office at USAA as well. The leadership development is really taken to a new level when everyone involved with the Rawls College wants the best for each of their students.
Networking is one of the greatest tools that I’ve learned in school that has helped me in the workplace. Early on I learned the importance of talking with my professors and getting to know the “higher-ups” throughout the college. The Rawls College has proven to be a very comfortable, open, and safe place to learn.
How did the Career Management Center help you obtain your internship?
The CMC has been extremely helpful in providing many different learning and networking opportunities. It is because of the CMC that I first trekked to the Career Expo as a wide-eyed freshman, so that early on I gained the experience of learning how to talk to recruiters and promote myself. The CMC offers great training toward landing your dream job, and without it I wouldn’t be so comfortable in networking and interview settings.
What advice would you offer students looking to obtain a great internship?
Start early! Don’t wait until your junior and senior years to start job-hunting, learning the ins and outs of interviews, and talking with company recruiters. As a freshman I applied for internships knowing that they were looking to hire juniors and seniors only, but doing so allowed me to get to know the recruiters and them to get to know me! As I went back to the Career Expos, my early groundwork paid off as the recruiters knew me by name and actually remembered who I was. Not only did going to the Career Expos early give me practice, I also found diversity in the companies that were there. I was able to speak with recruiters from companies that one may not directly associate with IT, which allowed me to really get a feel for where I want to work in the future.