Student working for Ericsson in Silicon Valley

24 November 2014

A UC postgraduate master of engineering management student has received an internship with one of the biggest information and communications technology companies in the world.

A University of Canterbury postgraduate master of engineering management student has received an internship with one of the biggest information and communications technology (ICT) companies in the world. 

Julia O’Brien applied for and was awarded an internship with Ericsson at their Silicon Valley campus in San Jose, California.

Ericsson is a world leader in the ICT industry with 40 percent of worldwide mobile communications travelling through its infrastructure. Ericsson operates in a business-to-business setting providing infrastructure and software solutions to mobile service providers such as Telstra.

The company employs more than 110,000 people and works with customers in more than 180 countries, including the US, China, India, Brazil, Japan, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

"I submitted my resume to Ericsson and following a series of interviews and quite a process I was offered the internship which runs through to February,’’ O’Brien says.

"Ericsson has a number of different business units including and I am working in the routers system and technology team within the cloud and internet packet business unit.

"I am helping with their smart service router maintenance project. This means that our team ensures that the product meets market requirements, after the release date and generally involves fixing issues that arise once the product has been implemented.

"We work with the customer unit to clearly understand the reported issues, bringing the network solution engineer and the router design engineer together to triage and provide a fix to the reported customer problem. We make sure we deliver a quality solution to the customers via regression testing.

"This whole process is managed by a maintenance project team, so that fixes occur in a timely fashion.  My role is in project management but with the requirement of technical understanding of systems engineering and the router product deleted. I will be investigating a number of project management processes to make operations more efficient.

"Our team is frequently working with engineers in different countries and time zones and managing projects on this level can be challenging. I will be finding ways to improve project management in this capacity.

"One task will be to explore formal trouble-shooting protocol and documentation and develop a future proofed system so that the process is efficient and no special cases slip through the cracks.  This will also help the rapidly expanding team in Silicon Valley.

"I will also conduct a system-wide level analysis on projects to determine areas of weakness and how improvements could be implemented. At the end of this project I hope to understand the functions and operations of this international technical company and its strategy to remain the leader in the ICT industry. I also hope to contribute to its success by providing robust processes that can be implemented to improve operations.’’

O’Brien will present her course findings by video from Silicon Valley to industry leaders at the annual Master of Engineering in Management (MEM) event in Christchurch this week (November 28).The annual presentation event provides students with an opportunity to showcase their work and engage with the business world.

Course director Piet Beukman says past MEM projects have been influential in the start-up of high-tech companies as well as with well-established organisations in New Zealand as well as in a number of other countries.

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz