My Summer Experience at SEP Thus Far

June 20, 2013


Austin Hunkin is a Business Intern and a student at Indiana University studying Finance at the Kelley School of Business.

Why Software Engineering Professionals? I asked myself that question when I interviewed with the company in April. I knew they were a successful, private software engineering company in the heart of Carmel, but I knew nothing of their culture, how they conducted business, or if the company would be the right fit for me. After working here for the past month, however, I can proudly say that deciding to work for this company has been one of the best professional decisions I’ve made during my time in college.

Software Engineering Professionals is unique, to say the least. They not only have intelligent, hard-working individuals that produce top notch software and results, but they have a supportive, welcoming culture that helps each individual reach his/her potential. Because when it comes to producing one’s best work, it’s difficult when you’re confined to a cubicle cramming out code all day, or overwhelmed with piles of busy work with no breaks in between.

SEP solves that issue by focusing on the morale of their employees, and helping them prioritize each task they’re assigned so the process of completing one’s work is as streamlined as possible. And they do all of this with the help of what makes this company great – developing and utilizing software.

To prioritize my tasks, I use an online service called Trello which categorizes a project’s progress with columns that contain project cards. For example, a general format for the columns could be a To Do column, Ready To Do column, Doing column, Under Review column, and a Done column. As the project card with its embedded checklist of goals gets completed, it moves sequentially along these columns until it finally reaches its end destination, the Done column. Trello also allows users to assign different cards to different individuals so everyone knows what they should be working on and how far along they are to each task’s completion.

I feel that Trello has made me much more organized and productive during my time here at SEP. Every day I know what tasks are ongoing and need to completed, and what work I will be given weeks down the line. In addition, it’ll be satisfying to see at the end of the summer all of the projects I managed to successful complete neatly organized chronologically in the Done column. I personally think every company should considering utilizing this method of organizing one’s work. It saves so much time wasted on manually prioritizing and planning one’s day.

To build the morale of their employees, SEP utilizes software they developed called Morale while providing their employees with a fun, relaxing work environment. Morale was developed to help gauge the happiness of each employee at SEP. The software works by automatically sending each employee at 3:00pm an email that allows them to choose how they’re feeling that day: Good, Meh, or Bad. Once the employee clicks their answer, the software automatically saves this information according to what team the employee is in. Over time, the manager of each team has the ability to view a scatter plot of the average morale of their team, and during what periods they were feeling “Good”, “Meh”, or “Bad”. Using this information, the manager can deduce what factors are contributing to the morale of his/her team and figure out how rectify the factors that are dragging the team’s morale down. This assures that each team is as happy as possible, which helps them complete their best work.

In junction with the morale software is the working environment I’ve come to thoroughly enjoy. SEP comes equipped with a commons area with everything from a ping pong table to a Nintendo Wii. It’s always nice to take a break near the end of the day and blow off some steam with some competitive ping pong, or to enjoy the fresh air on the balcony overlooking Carmel’s Palladium.
In terms of the work I’ve done here, I’ve utilized my skills with Excel to produce spreadsheets that analyze demographic information and determine factors affecting the pipeline of projects. I’ve also helped with the marketing of the Morale software, edit project documents, and research. I really enjoy understanding how the skills I’m learning at Indiana University translate into the real-world, and what skills a company like this finds valuable. I look forward to developing my IT skills throughout my time in the Kelley School of Business, and learning how I can provide significant value to any company I end up working for.

In all, I can see why SEP was named one of the best places to work in Indiana. It provides their employees with great benefits, a friendly, supportive working environment, and the tools to produce software of the utmost quality in one of the most efficient and effective ways possible. I’m proud to have been given the experience to work at such a great company, and know that I will continue to grow and learn throughout the remainder of my time here. Why Software Engineering Professionals? Because SEP balances work and play perfectly, and truly makes you look forward coming to work.