Are you considering interning with a staffing company? Virginia Tech student Jordan Deang is doing just that. Jordan is in his 3d year, majoring in Computer Science. I caught up with him about his new internship with the software development team at Bullhorn, one of the industry’s top CRM software companies, based in Boston.
What have you learned about the staffing industry that you didn’t know?
I didn’t know what staffing was until last year. Now that I’m working with the Bullhorn software, I’m getting an idea of how they manage, which is all about people. It’s all about maintaining relationships. That’s what recruiters do, that’s what the software does.
Can you define CRM? Did your studies in Computer Science lend toward learning this software?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which is how a company interacts with its customers. Bullhorn is a CRM software that helps manage and analyze these customer relationships. The concept itself doesn’t mandate some kind of software, but many businesses, especially in the staffing industry, use some sort of software that facilitates communication and data management as part of their CRM.
I had not learned anything in particular about CRM until working here at Bullhorn. When most young students study software engineering, they anticipate working with an application that regular people use. However, I would suggest to students to keep an open mind towards working with business-facing applications. Although it’s not used by the average consumer, CRM software is a huge part of many business’s’ operations.
What was it like starting out?
We’re a big office building with a startup culture of younger people and more experienced people. Working as a team with people has been a new experience for me. Working with the software development team is a dream. People are really friendly. Bullhorn takes a lot of risks on people with little experience because they want to help you build your career.
Was there anything you didn’t expect?
New software hires and interns are put into an area of testing software, automating tests. That was not too surprising. The more surprising thing was the chance to work with a team from St Louis and also here in Boston. Collaborating with people far away is a learning experience, and it was surprising to be running meetings and conversations through Google Hangouts and Slack rather than in person. It’s important to remain transparent even if your manager is across the country.
What else is good about the internship?
For young people, getting a chance to move to a new city is an awesome experience. Young people should be open-minded about moving to new places. You definitely meet a lot of people as you get to know a different city. Boston is a really cool environment.
I’m staying on a college campus, which is cool. It feels like I’m reliving my freshman year experience. Working at Bullhorn gives a lot of freedom, similar to school. Even though you’re there from 9-5, you can go wherever you want for lunch. Bullhorn just relocated recently. The new offices are really nice.
If someone is considering entering the software side of staffing after college, are there any qualities you would say are important to develop during school? Any areas of focus in particular?
Staffing is for people-people. Sociability is an important quality when it comes to customer relations software.
Also, stay relevant and keep up with recent technology. Whether you work in any part of the business, everyone is keeping up with it.
Learning code is such a huge boon to skills these days. Not everyone likes it, but it’s worth giving a try. If you’re in school, take some beginners CSS classes. You can also use online resources, tutorials like Udacity and Coursera. Those are great for learning code. Similar to learning another language, learning code helps whatever you’re going into. If you apply yourself to learning code at a young age, over the years you’ll learn so much. It’s a viable skill, definitely worth learning.
As a Computer Science major, staffing was not the first thing that came to mind when Jordan was considering internships. But the world of staffing has many components, and people of all skill-sets collaborate in this thriving industry. They’re brought together by the human-centered goal – helping people by facilitating their career paths and placing companies with top talent.
by Lexi Mills