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I'm in college currently, about to wrap up in Computer Science, with a large engineering focus. Currently, I am a software engineering intern with a large company (1200 people at this office, many more worldwide), and are formed of about 80% technical/manufacturing, and 20% marketing and business, which is done in a separate office some distance away. The company produces software and manufactures the hardware required by the software.

I find the job interesting, and I love the company, but I'd much prefer working in a more business oriented role. I am not completely without experience, having run a small business for a few years while in my teens, but the company typically looks for full business degrees from those who push the technical product.

I've been invited to speak with the facility manager about the end of my internship in a couple days. How can I pivot this discussion, and a potential future interview, in the direction of a business analyst or business architect when having only a technical education?

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Simply tell him what you honestly feel. If this is an interview about the end of your internship you will probably talk about what you want and shall do afterwards.

What you wrote :"I find the job interesting, and I love the company, but I'd much prefer working in a more business oriented role", seems perfectly fine to me.

Personally, I wouldn't try to be too pushy and I wouldn't be too specific about wanting to be a "business analyst or business architect". However, you could ask some questions about available positions that are business orientated and show some interest, then see how he reacts.

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I know plenty of people with technical degrees in otherwise business focused jobs. Once you're in the door, the actual degree you have tends to become much less important that your actual achievements.

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    This doesnt really answer the question maybe it would be more approriate as a comment? – IDrinkandIKnowThings Aug 3 '17 at 14:38
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I have made my own position since about late 1990s. I would work beyond my job description as a Systems Analyst, then was transitioned to a Network Administrator. I pitched a department network and became the builder/administrator of that. I stopped being an analyst full time once I began building our network. I then began adding capabilities to our tools, and also added Lotus Notes Administrator to my list of duties. I seem to repeatedly find problems that I think I can solve and just start implementing my fixes or additions. It has worked for me for the most part. When I do something that doesn't take, I step back and figure out if I can amend it or if it needs to be abandoned. Not everything works out. Some have worked out great, others were just more work than necessary and were dropped.

I am now in a position that I and my manager have transitioned. I was hired to be his backup, but I have become an indispensable scribe and workplace collaboration guru. I handle the collaboration platforms (updating, creating, etc.) for our department. I have become an pseudo-assistant to another department head, with my managers OK since it helps our department as well.

So my bottom line, is find things you see that aren't quite right, think about and prototype a fix, present it, then be ready to provide support.

Business processes are usually the most glaring and rewarding to try to amend, and are the heart of whether or not a business succeeds. Just make sure you have observed enough to know where the sticking points are in any process, why there are there, and what has been tried previously, before you dive in to fix them.

  • @bharal - if the processes are broken or inefficient, then you're losing money or not making as much as you could be. How's that for poetic? – linlu Aug 3 '17 at 19:26

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