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Lessons in Technology and Work Culture


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For my Summer 2016 internship, I had the opportunity to work for Barrier Technologies (BT) in Kansas City. The company culture at BT made my internship a memorable and enjoyable experience. Specifically, the autonomy, team discussions, informal events, and hard-working environment all added to the technology company’s supportive and friendly culture.

During my internship, I assisted BT and Barrier Compliance Services in rebranding their digital segments and implementing a new client acquisition strategy. My role was professionally enriching thanks to the treatment and respect from my team. BT’s model elevated autonomy and allowed me to tackle several initiatives and propose strategies independently. As a result, I successfully helped launch initiatives in strategic thought leadership, direct marketing analytics, and branding strategies.


       Barrier Technologies Logo

Apart from the professionally satisfying experience, everyone in the company was very warm and welcoming. There were times when colleagues helped me with things they were neither required nor expected to do. I was invited to a Royals game, visited a colleague’s house (and cooked Biryani), visited an office in Omaha, and attended BT’s three-day Annual Leadership Conference.

I acquired several important skills through the MBA program that helped me in my internship:

  1. Analytics – There were numerous times when I needed to interpret unstructured data. From pivot tables to web analytics, Crosby MBA’s analytics curriculum helped drive valuable and in-depth insights.
  2. Advanced Marketing – I implemented advanced marketing concepts such as targeting, positioning, A/B Testing and cross-channel marketing.
  3. Presentation skills– These skills were crucial to perform company-wide communication.
  4. Problem solving – Courses such as Research for Marketing Decisions and Entrepreneurship and Media of the Future were extremely helpful in developing various creative and analytical problem solving skills. Also, Case Competitions and field projects were essential to my technology problem solving abilities.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Micro-focus – I learned that it is important to be focused – micro-focused. By this, I mean, applying an objective-oriented approach. Each project is driven by an objective and the overall purpose. It’s important to not only ask key questions such as “why”, but also, “why not?”.
  2. Return on Investment (ROI) – This is a big takeaway. If it doesn’t serve the purpose of the company, then there is no point in pursuing it.
  3. Team – Putting the team in front of every result. A team wins or team loses together.
  4. A company should be a company of people – Everyone’s voice matters!
  5. “Lead Generation – Digital Tactics”– I acquired a very particular set of skills that I used to generate leads online with very limited information.
  6. How not to make Chicken Biryani – In cooking Biryani with my coworkers, we discovered that, a) smell is probably 50% of the taste and, b) material and thickness of the container is very important!

Rajesh Gontu is a second-year Crosby MBA student pursuing Marketing & Marketing Analytics. He served as the Department Representative of Graduate Professional Council and currently serves as the Treasurer of Cultural Association of India. He assists startups in their business plans by identifying key profitable segments for clients as an Entrepreneurial Scholar with the Missouri Innovation Center.