In the ‘spirit’: IST intern grows tech, interpersonal skills at Bacardi

In the ‘spirit’: IST intern grows tech, interpersonal skills at Bacardi

(Editor’s note: This is the eighth in a series of stories highlighting College of Information Sciences and Technology students and their summer internships and professional development experiences.) 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State senior Ella Maquito spent the summer helping a major spirits brand increase its global reach.  

As an information technology intern at Bacardi, Maquito worked with the company’s brand homes software on the digital commerce team to conduct user interface and user experience testing. Her team’s goal was to ensure the software’s functionality across multiple device platforms and to verify cosmetic changes. She also helped create a large content matrix that covered all places where Bacardi products are sold around the globe to identify data where gaps existed. 

“The best element of this internship was the opportunity to work for a firm with a worldwide reach,” said Maquito, who is studying enterprise technology integration. 

Maquito’s experience with the global scale started with her working a hybrid schedule from the company’s Miami office, where she and other interns from institutions around the world networked through happy hours and speaker series. Additionally, Maquito’s supervisors were headquartered in Bermuda and London, while the initiatives she worked on were carried out in Puerto Rico. 

“I was able to meet and engage with new individuals from many nations, and the experience of connecting with them on a professional and cultural level is something I yearn for in my personal and professional development,” she said. “Further, the major corporate principles of ‘Fearless, Founder, and Family’ were ingrained in me. I was able to flourish to exercise my own entrepreneurial spirit and embrace an agile mentality, being comfortable trying new things, and taking chances in an environment where I am encouraged to question, challenge and innovate.” 

While Maquito strengthened her interpersonal skills through these connections, she also further developed technical skills she’s been learning in the College of IST — from core classes in IT project management, human-centered design and development and information and organizations, to coding classes and a deeper understanding of business competency. 

“These classes have taught me and provided me with a solid foundational understanding of how the business and technology departments interact to deliver solutions for greater technological efficiency within an enterprise,” she said. 

Further, the college’s emphasis on project-based work, both individually and in groups, prepared her for success in the internship. 

“This type of setup in my classes has helped me work independently as well as exercise team collaboration skills,” she said. “Clear communication, project pitching and strong time management juggling three to four projects at a time were key skills that helped me be successful.” 

https://www.psu.edu/news/information-sciences-and-technology/story/spirit-ist-intern-grows-tech-interpersonal-skills-bacardi

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