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Ahmed Almahdi is nominated for the 2017 IMPACT Awards for his successful internship with Baldwin and Lyons. Following his data governance internship, he was hired as a full-time data governance business analyst. He is a 2016 graduate of University of Indianapolis, double majoring in information systems and applied business analytics and operations and supply chain management.

Indiana INTERNnet: How did you become interested in data governance?

Ahmed Almahdi: My interest in data governance started with my internship at Baldwin and Lyons. Even though the day-to-day activities of data governance are familiar, from an academic standpoint in my field of study, the concept of data governance is relatively new in the world of information technology. When I was contacted for the internship, I did not have a solid idea of what data governance is or what it does. Furthermore, I was contacted by Baldwin and Lyons before the position was posted on their career web page, so I did not have a formal job description/responsibilities in hand. Thankfully, I left my interview with a very good idea about data governance and a great excitement about the role I would be playing in the Baldwin and Lyons team.

IIN: What learning experiences and projects did you have during your internship?

Almahdi: I was hired as an intern to profile and document the company’s Enterprise Data Warehouse. The company needed an in-depth profiling, as well as proper documentation of its data represented in an organized data dictionary that can be used by internal employees and external vendors. The recommendation was to hire five interns to do this job, in consideration of its magnitude. However, the company was able to hire only one intern to work on the project over the summer. I had to do the job of profiling hundreds of tables that contained billions of records all by myself while using a programming language that I had very little experience with. To do this, I had to be creative and come up with ways that would allow for more efficiency and productivity.

IIN: What was your most valuable experience at your internship?

Almahdi: In order for me to deliver exceptional results, I taught myself a new programming language and used this skill to improve the processes and procedures by which I executed the assigned project. I stopped using the templates provided to me, which consisted of a few lines of code, and started creating my own codes with hundreds of lines. This allowed for better, more efficient data collection and statistical calculations while reducing the time needed to finish the project by 80%.

IIN: Have you participated in an internship prior to the data governance internship with Baldwin & Lyons?

Almahdi: The data governance internship was my very first internship. As an international student, I have a limited period of time in which I am permitted to have a full-time internship/job. I decided to use this period after my graduation to take full advantage of the experience. 

IIN: What are your long-term career goals?

Almahdi: To hold a position in which I can lead and influence business decision-making by using high level statistics, data analytics and business intelligence. I also plan to get a master’s degree in data science or a related field.

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