This is the second installment of our Career PREP blog series. This past spring break over 45 UCLA students participated in the UCLA Career Center’s Career PREP program, which offers first and second year students the opportunity to participate in a one-day externship in order to explore a career field of their choice. Here’s one of their stories…
During the entire trip, we felt the warm welcome from our alumni. While staying with them, I felt we were so close to each other because our wonderful memories about UCLA overlapped so much. We chatted about the popular dining hall Feast, compact residential rooms in Hedrick, various courses and professors. They shared the anecdote that people will clap after someone breaks plates at dining halls—the tradition reserved until my day; I also strongly recommended that they visit the brand-new and super healthy dining hall Bruin Plate.
The most unforgettable part of the day was the field trip to Nordstrom and Apple store. There we were told to perform as real customers—to purchase something and think of the touch points of shoppers at these stores—and then design our own customer survey. Don’t worry about the money—we were provided with $30 to conduct this activity. I bought a bracelet at reduced price.
The method Medallia organized and presented its data is methodologically creative. Instead of extracting a small group of people from the population as a sample and searching into the sample, they first collect a huge amount of data and use Medallia-developed software to sort it out. Medallia helps many well-known companies like Lego and the Four Seasons hotel gather customer feedback and make corresponding analyses. Everyone at the company can browse the data, but presented differently–the frontline staff might only see the data of specific customers they directly interact with; the manager or the CEO might access the general trend of the company. Information being displayed hierarchically is one impressive thing I learned from my externship experience.
Before my arrival at the company, I had been looking forward to having a fuzzy sense of how a company is operated–what is a day of a working adult like. Undoubtedly, this simple wish was perfectly satisfied. Since I haven’t got deeply into my major courses, I didn’t expect that I could completely understand the professional stuff. But in the reality, the seemingly profound professional knowledge was simply conveyed to me and we even performed ourselves as team members and finished our own analysis.