Three summer interns recently hired to help with the university’s administrative systems replacement are bringing a fresh student perspective to the project.
Given their engineering and computing backgrounds, the choice to intern on an administrative endeavour may seem like an odd one. But all three were attracted to the business aspects of the project and saw the work as reflective of and supplemental to their studies.
“The mapping, project management and process work is similar to what we did in my chemical engineering classes,” says Steven O’Neill, who just completed his fourth year in biochemical engineering.
Working with Queen’s University Administrative Systems Replacement (QUASR) team members, the interns are focused on communications, training, standards and procedures – work that touches all aspects of the QUASR project. Each intern is assigned a staff mentor and a particular area of focus. This type of one-on-one guidance ensures that each intern has direct support from the QUASR team.
The inspiration goes both ways. “The QUASR Project Team has been enriched with the interns’ contributions,” says QUASR Program Director Jim Carse. “The quality of their efforts to date speaks very highly of their individual capabilities and Queen’s exceptional academic programs.” Inspired when Mr. Carse visited his Information Systems Development class to talk about the project a few months ago, Josh Fletcher applied for a job.
“I talked with Jim and found the project really interesting,” says Mr. Fletcher, who is entering his fourth year in biomedical computing.
Fourth year civil-engineering student Jordan Jenah agrees. “This is a great experience and I am gaining transferable skills for my career. I like contributing to something that makes the university better.”
The opportunity for students to work on the project is invaluable, says University Registrar Jo-Anne Brady. “It is wonderful that students have an opportunity to engage in the development of this project, contributing to their experiential learning which underpins much of Queen’s undergraduate philosophy,” she says.
Together with their mentors, Mr. O’Neill is collecting, reviewing and revising forms; Mr. Fletcher is updating and writing administrative procedures and Mr. Jenah is helping to construct the training strategy for the upcoming finance implementation. The students’ work helps the university prepare for the switch to the new software – Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise applications – and will contribute directly to the success of the overall project.
QUASR is a multi-year project aimed at replacing aged administrative systems to enhance service delivery through systems and business processes, integrate solutions across departments, and help reduce and manage risks to the university.