FSU ITS Accenture internship program
In the fall 2022 semester, six students were hired as solutions architect interns for FSU ITS. These students were tasked with a problem: finding a better way to conduct hybrid learning at FSU. Hybrid learning is defined as classes that synchronously meet both in-person and online. The six interns were evenly split into two groups and tasked with presenting a plan to solve the assigned problem at the culmination of the fall semester. Each team had the guidance of two IT consultants from Accenture, a Fortune 500 company combining strategy and technology to help CFOs in 49 different countries —Samantha Fisher and Rocio Lopez.
Throughout the semester, each team used an extensive data-gathering process to fully understand the assigned problem, from both student and professor perspectives. This process included surveying, interviewing, facilitating focus groups, and engaging in informal conversations with friends and classmates about pros and cons of hybrid learning.
After collecting data, we regrouped to define a more specific problem statement and decided that the main areas that were lacking due to hybrid learning are as follows: interaction between peers as well as professors, application of the knowledge (beyond simply completing assignments to check boxes) and attention during class
After finding these outstanding issues, the groups moved to find a solution that they could build out and present as a suggestion to ITS leadership. The interns met with groups on campus, including ITS and the Office of Distance Learning, and representatives from Microsoft. Brayden says completing this process helped him become familiar with large-scale problem solving as well as presenting and meeting with professionals in the business world.
Eventually, the team of interns decided to pursue a solution utilizing Microsoft Teams in FSU classes. After presenting this idea, Brayden's team was crowned the winner, and their idea moved forward into further development.
For the spring 2023 semester, Brayden and four other interns were tasked with working on the continued development of the project. Except this time, there was a single team of five interns, with Brayden serving as the team leader because of his fall semester experience.
The spring 2023 intern team has been focused on developing a business case and technology implementation plan to run a pilot program of Microsoft Teams on FSU's campus for fall 2023. The project has evolved past being a way to improve hybrid learning, and the team is now looking into how Microsoft Teams can be used in all classes as well as student organizations to make FSU students more connected.
Samantha and Rocio from Accenture have been guiding the interns, providing feedback on their research and communicating with different groups on campus as the interns prepare to present an official pitch of their final recommendations to ITS leadership at the end of the semester.
Overall, this was an incredible and unique experience for the group of interns who got to work with Accenture. These students received networking opportunities and valuable one on one experience with Accenture consultants that will be extremely valuable for their future careers.