Note from the editor: One of the first questions you’re asked when meeting someone new is, “What do you do?” Your answer to this question depends on a lot of factors like who’s talking to you, the situation you’re in or how interested the other person actually is, etc. Marques, who you may remember from a brief stint on this blog during his second rotation, was recently in this situation and had an interesting response that I’d like to share. Marques Camp is an internal communications manager and corporate ambassador on in Intel’s Employee Communications organization. In his role he is responsible for educating Intel employees about corporate strategy and direction, and inspiring them to fulfill Intel’s company vision of connecting and enriching the lives of every person on earth. Yup, he definitely has a cool job–but so does everyone else here.
“This decade, we will create and extend computing technology to connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.”
I was at a party last week, and somebody asked me what I did.
“I work for Intel.”
“What do you do with Intel?”
“I help connect and enrich the lives of every person on earth.”
“Wait, what? No, like, what is your job?”
“I work in our employee communications group.”
“So you don’t actually make computer chips?”
“Then what do you have to do with changing the world?”
“Well, I mean, we all do it in different ways… I try to inspire our employees to change the world in their own jobs.”
“But if somebody doesn’t actually make one of Intel’s products, how do they affect the outside world?”
Corey is a quality engineer and program manager in Quality and Reliability Development Capabilities (QRDC) in our Technology and Manufacturing Group (TMG), where his job, in a nutshell, is to manage the quality systems that internal Intel groups use in product development.
Corey volunteered a few months ago to take a part in a program where QRDC employees employ their professional expertise and skill sets to improve the immediate community. One of the initiatives was a partnership with the local Forest Grove School District in Oregon to use QRDC skills to transform leadership and learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
A Lean Six Sigma green belt, Corey sat in and observed classes, labs, and work activities over a period of two weeks using the Lean Six Sigma techniques to address the various challenges facing the school’s faculty. He found that a lot of the teachers at this school faced overwhelming difficulties in effectively planning and delivering their lesson plans – often waiting until the weekend before to finalize a lesson plan for the following week. He found that they had trouble gathering material from the vast number of sources and inputs available to them – and being able to condense this material into consistent, fun, and engaging lesson plans. And – perhaps to little surprise – he found that the faculty was underfunded and under-resourced.
While Corey sees technological aids as important to the equation, in his first recommendation he’s avoided a perhaps natural tendency to “throw gadgets at the problem”. He recommended a solution that focused on streamlining three key areas in the process, just as he might in his day job – the people (improving lesson planning methods, provide new skills, and change education goals,); the content (developing and researching content with real world applications that also meet state and federal education guidelines); and the content management system (developing a repository to pull lesson plans and examples). Using this framework, Corey sees teachers becoming well-equipped and empowered, able to enable and inspire generations of students who can not only succeed on standardized tests, but be able to think critically, creatively, and for themselves.
Corey hopes that this one small, local effort can scale outwards – to non-STEM subjects, to more schools, and to more districts. He’s began to network cross-organizationally inside and outside of Intel to get dedicated volunteers to utilize their unique skill sets to transform learning – program managers, physicists, software engineers, Intel course instructors, and others.
One thing I should mention: Corey is a college graduate (CG), who’s been at Intel a mere nine months. Talk about making an immediate impact!
We’re two years into our journey to connecting and enriching the lives of every person on earth here at Intel. We’ve had a decent start, but we still have a long ways to go. Seven billion people are a whole lot of people to impact.
And it won’t all be through the products with Intel Inside that make it out in the marketplace. It will be more than the Ultrabooks, more than the smartphones, more than the tablets and software and data centers and digital signs and in-vehicle systems and set-top boxes. It will be the communities we impact, the people we encounter, and the knowledge we bring to the world around us. It will be both direct and indirect, both obvious and subtle.
A few weeks ago, I heard Corey tell the story of this project to a group of incoming interns and CGs. The reason Corey’s story inspired me is the same reason that a lot of other Intel stories inspire me: We’ve been called – Paul, our President and CEO, has called it Intel’s ‘destiny’ – to take on an audacious, aspirational, noble goal of changing the world, and we find ways to do it in more ways than we expect. It doesn’t necessarily take a game-changing technology to do it – just some skill, some time and a whole lot of passion.