Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Learning to Leverage Technology

Technology is a vital tool to many students, career professionals, and organizations.  Without technology, many things within my organization will not function properly.  However, with all of this technology, I have learned that a firm understanding of it is essential.

For example, retail stores may have certain technologies which track many different metrics throughout the store, however, without the proper understanding of how to utilize those metrics in a practical means, it might as well be non-existent.  I learned very early on that technology is just a tool, and it will aid you, but it will not solve something for you.  One must know how to accomplish the task by leveraging the technology available.

In my particular internship, the technology that I leverage the most for everyday tasks is Microsoft Outlook.  Going into my internship, I never really utilized Outlook, but once I learned several things, it simplified everything.  Outlook is great for managing email, scheduling meetings, and coordinating tasks.  Of course, you can make do with simple knowledge of Outlook, but with an advanced knowledge of how to automate emails, or use the scheduling assistance, life becomes much simpler and you have more time to work on your necessary projects.  My organization also leverages Microsoft Lync to send instant messages, screen share, video conference, etc., and this is also a large time saver.

Regardless of the technology used, and regardless of the amount of technology available, I learned that there is no technological replacement for ‘people skills.’  Many people I work with send out emails for everything.  However, I learned that I get better and more detailed responses, by picking up the phone and calling the individual, even though sending an email is certainly perceived as easier.