Business Center

Intern Perspective: Working As a Team, Becoming More Data Driven & Celebrating Good Ideas

By Billy Hansen, Process Improvement Intern
Posted: Aug. 28, 2017

Billy Hansen

Billy Hansen

As a recent Regis University graduate with a degree in mathematics who's pursuing a master's degree in data science, my goal here at CDOT has been to apply my mathematical and data skills directly to process improvement within the organization. As I complete my internship today, here are some of my perspectives on my experience.

Working Within a Team

I think the most growth I've made has been improving my ability to work within a team. In my studies in mathematics, there's typically a discrete objective or problem to solve, and I work on it until I find the correct answer. While working on difficult math problems is a terrific exercise, I don't think it prepared me to work on messy projects within a team. I've learned how to follow "standards of work" so collaboration can be more readily accomplished.

How CDOT's Becoming More Data Driven

I've also learned about how CDOT is trying to become a more data-driven organization. I've spoken with the CDOT's Chief Data Officer, Barb Cohn, who is currently collecting and organizing data so for effective use. I met with Brian Elms, director of Peak Academy and Analytics at the City and County of Denver; some of the strategies he shared for creating a more data-efficient environment include providing data classes for employees, using data software that's accessible, and targeting areas within the company that would most benefit from improved data decision-making.

Celebrate Good Ideas

I've also learned how important it is to acknowledge and celebrate good ideas within the company. As part of the Office of Process Improvement's goal of documenting successful improvements, I've interviewed innovators and written articles about their innovations. These articles celebrate innovations and spread good ideas among all CDOT regions. I'm happy to have learned these valuable skills and to contribute to the Office of Process Improvement. My boss, Gary Vansuch, is passionate about his work, and it's inspiring to see how he operates. I hope to cultivate the same sort of passion for my own work in the future.

Editor's note

We each bring our own special skills, backgrounds, degrees or learnings, interests, personalities and more to whatever we do. Our differences make us stronger. How do we each see the organization? How do we contribute? How do we make it work better as a team? Here's one intern's perspective. What's yours?