Innovation Leads Interns to Success

From virtual reality in education to NextGen Marketing to new product development, there was no shortage of innovative projects for Dell’s summer 2016 interns. We spoke to a few interns (past and present) about their projects and what it was like to be on the frontlines of innovation, working to make the world a more connected, integrated place.


Technology Improving the Educational Landscape Globally

Ricky Tan is pursuing his MBA at Northwestern University after working as a mechanical engineer in research and development. This summer, he was a member of the Product Strategy and Innovation team working on virtual reality in education.

Tan noticed that Dell isn’t innovating for the sake of innovation. They are working to solve real problems: improving education access and using virtual reality to provide experiences students couldn’t otherwise have.

“I’m looking to provide students multiple perspectives on a problem,” Tan said. “Let’s say you’re learning about physics. Not only can you see an electron traveling through space, you can be the electron traveling in space. It will help students learn on a deeper level.”

Tan’s work was inclusive of both U.S. and global markets. He and his team are considering how their work could enable a student in China to experience the Grand Canyon, for example. 

“At Dell, virtual reality is not just another mode of media. We’re enabling students to trick their minds into believing that they’re in a different place,” Tan said. “It can unlock better learning opportunities and outcomes.”

Marketing for the Future

Laura Kiker interned with Dell in 2013 and has since been a full-time employee in the Marketing Development Program. Her favorite part of her internship at Dell, and one of the reasons she has stayed since then, is the fact that with hard work you can make your career what you want it to be. Dell is constantly pursuing new markets, new products, new openings, and providing these experiences to interns and longer-tenured staff alike.

Kiker strives to be an innovator and is doing everything she can to learn about NextGen Marketing—she hopes to become a member of that team. The NextGen Marketing team works to find innovative ways to market to future generations.

“My manager and my director know that I’m interested in NextGen Marketing and they are invested in making sure that I have the experience and am challenged in the ways that I need to be in order to learn, build my skills and capabilities,” Kiker said.

She noted her experience isn’t necessarily unique; in fact, Dell strives to make sure that all marketers are continuing to build their competencies on a day-to-day basis, through formal and informal training including a program called Marketing University.

“I see myself being able to better understand how it is we’re moving forward and innovating in the digital marketing space,” Kiker said.

Customer-Driven Innovation

Jeremy Klutts is an MBA and MSIS student at Baylor University and was a member of the Global Support and Development team at Dell this past summer.

He learned that Dell starts product development by analyzing data and purchase habits within market segments, then speaking directly with customers to find out how they are using existing products and what gaps may exist.

“A lot of times, large companies will start to craft services and products and try to tell the customer what they want,” Klutts said. “But at Dell, we work from the bottom up and ask the customers what they need and then build back from there.”

For Klutts, innovation came to life when he joined the product development process for small and medium sized businesses.

“I’m using data to find a small sub-segment of customers I can reach out to personally,” Klutts said. “Talking to them lets us find out very specifically: ‘What technology do you need? And how can Dell fulfill those needs for you?’”

Dell always does whatever it can to stay ahead of the innovation curve. With one of its corporate social responsibility initiatives, Dell aspires to increase university hiring to 25 percent of all external hires by 2020. Michael Dell wants to bring new hires that are creative and ready to bring their talent, energy, and innovation to the organization. Learn more about opportunities at Dell today.

About the Author: Chelsea Rigney