Business Center

My Experience as a Data Science Intern at CDOT: Eli Skaronea

By Eli Skaronea, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: March 7, 2018

Eli Skaronea

Eli Skaronea
Process Improvement Intern

As a full-time student double majoring in mathematics and computer science, having an opportunity to enrich my education with an internship was something I could not pass up. The opportunity to grow from professional experiences is something that cannot be studied in the classroom.

I joined the team in September 2017 and began learning as much as I could about process improvement and change management. Never having any experience with either, there was much to dive into.

Implementing Continuous Improvement

Implementing continuous improvement throughout CDOT is a noble pursuit that I have worked hard to highlight and contribute to. The Transportation Lean Forum is one of the best examples of discussing and spreading the word around process improvement. Producing an event that is a collaboration between multiple countries and hundreds of participants has been a wonderful experience teaching me professional communication and organization skills.

These skills were also improved and applied during my time writing articles highlighting Lean ideas submitted by CDOT employees. As a state government agency, I am proud to tell people about my internship and the paradigm CDOT is striving toward. Being more Lean and adding value every day is something I will take with me and try to apply in future endeavors.

Implementing Change Management

Alongside process improvement, implementing change management throughout CDOT has taught me a lot in all areas of management. Being able to attend the three-day Prosci Change Management for practitioners course and learn the skills of a change manager was an amazing opportunity to gain new perspectives on management. Seeing how a change manager approaches typical problems when an institution implements change is something I've never considered before.

Being able to craft communication plans, determining the strength of sponsorship, and reinforcing employee participation in change are all great skills to have as both a change manager and student. Gaining these perspectives has given me insight into considering my relationship with management and made me consider if I'd enjoy the position of being a supervisor.

Another experience with change management I had during my internship was my research into flexplace and flextime. Writing an article about the pros and cons of flextime and flexplace has given me a new perspective on the relationship between employees and their office time. As my career progresses after graduation with different employers, I am curious how these opinions formed from the research will change as I experience professional environments.

Moving forward, the experiences and skills I've gained in my time with the Office of Process Improvement have been invaluable in progressing my professional skills. As I continue my education and work toward my career goals, I hope to continually improve and understand all perspectives of management.