When we learn by example we’re granted a rare opportunity to look back on the choices made by those who came before us and see what led to their success. That’s the idea behind the Where are They Now blog series, to provide current and prospective SciTech interns some insight through the success stories of their peers.

This week we’re featuring an interview with Business Systems Analyst Amanda Bentley who turned her internship with Vector Windows in Fergus Falls into a full-time position with a company she admires.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity)

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Let’s start by learning more about you: What did you study in school?
Bentley: My primary focus at Bemidji State University was Mathematics with actuarial and applied emphases. I also studied Computer Science with a professional emphasis. I was also an active member of math club and computer science club.

Tell me about your internship with Vector Windows. What were your responsibilities there? What projects did you work on?
Bentley: I started my internship with Vector Windows in late May 2018. My main responsibility was to improve our business system by utilizing all aspects of our software and supporting our customers’ requests for changes. Some of my projects included creating new images of our products that have true-to-life proportions and details, simplifying the ordering process by adding more intuitive features, and configuring an application for our customers to be able to order bay and bow windows through their online accounts. 

What skills did you learn or develop during your internship?
Bentley: I developed great relationships within my department as well as with the rest of our team in production, engineering, and sales. Because of this, I learned how powerful communication and collaboration between departments can be to accomplish common goals. Additionally, I am now able to translate requests from our customers into effective software solutions through my growing knowledge of Visual Basic .NET programming language used in our enterprise resource planning system.

How did you go from an intern with Vector Windows to a full-time employee?
Bentley: Throughout my internship, Vector saw value in the quality of my work. Towards the end, they approached me with a newly created position, matching my skillset to the business’s needs.

Tell me more about your current position. What are your new responsibilities now that you’re a Business Systems Analyst?
Bentley: In my current role I support the business system for our manufacturing operations. I also lead the development and implementation of our customer-facing application which is utilized as our order entry portal. 

What is the biggest difference between your college internship and work experience?
Bentley: The biggest difference between my college experience, internship experience, and work experience is that in my full-time position at Vector Windows I am more of a contributor and team member. Additionally, my career allows me to become more established and involved within my community instead of being in a temporary position like while attending school.

What do you like best about working at Vector?
Bentley: Their core values are exemplified daily through our employees as well as our customers. I am very thankful for the opportunities they have presented to me thus far and I look forward to continuing to grow with them into the future!

If you could offer advice to students and interns who want to work in your industry, what would you tell them?
Bentley: My advice is know the products your company offers so you can translate that into your role (even if your position is not solely focused on manufacturing), understand and agree with the company’s mission statement and core values and remember that your internship is an opportunity to grow your skillset and work in a career setting. Every day is a new learning experience, and your education does not end when you graduate.

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About Where are They Now: 
For more in the Where are They Now series, check out some of our previous success stories:

Civil Engineer Austin Stroming

Web Developer Annie Tran

Mechanical Engineer Dakshina Jayakody

Get Involved:
At least 350 wage matches are available through August of 2019. Learn more about the SciTechsperience Internship Program, apply online today and start your journey toward internship success.

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