Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Georgia Pacific Internship

Christopher Bauer
Georgia Pacific Internship

I am currently a Systems Analysis / Programmer for Georgia Pacific. GP is a leading manufacturer and distributor of paper products around the world. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, GP employs over 50,000 people across the globe. I work out of the Green Bay office supporting the Transportation division.

The team that I am a part of is responsible for the Information System that moves over $1.3 billion dollars worth of paper products each year. The system is a home-grown beast which processes information from different locations across North America. We process this information and present it in an organized fashion for users. Every day is a new experience and I never know what the system is going to throw at me. My responsibilities include re-writing program code, in-depth analysis of the system to determine where improvements could be made, debugging code to find bugs and making hotfixes, and participating in projects during the full project life cycle.

This experience has been very rewarding and has helped confirm my choice in studies here at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It has given me the hands on experience needed outside of the classroom to apply my skills that I have been taught and build additional knowledge. Additionally, it has helped me increase my business skills including proper etiquette, better communication, and problem solving abilities. This experience has also helped me realize what is all involved in operating a large scale information system.

I have had many different challenges that I have had to overcome since beginning my internship back in June. I have always thought that I was a very organized person, but when I am trying to juggle 4-5 projects, monitoring emails, team meetings, system alerts, etc., I found that I wasn’t as organized as I thought. It took a little while to adjust to the workload, but after a couple weeks of getting in routine everything started getting done in a timely fashion. The other big challenge was trying to figure out how the system worked. With so many large pieces flowing into the system, it took a while to figure out all of the pieces to the system and why there were there. Once I knew how the system was designed to work and how each part goes with another, it made analysis much easier and writing program code much simpler.

I am honored to be a part of Georgia Pacific’s Transportation IT team and would not trade this experience for anything. I have been able to take the tools I’ve learned here on campus and apply my new found knowledge at the corporate level.

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