Jamie Fallar, project manager for Infor Rhythm™ for Commerce, joined Hook & Loop as an intern last summer and became a full-time team member in January 2015.
What was your first week like at Infor?
Being thrown into the role of project manager was daunting but awesome. From day one, Iris Wong, my mentor, gave me the opportunity to work on a lot of different projects. I clicked with the office culture very quickly, and now when I walk in I feel like I’m walking into my second home.
How did having a mentor help you?
Iris has been instrumental in my career. She has always had my back and really prepared me for my position. She encouraged me to sit in on a lot of meetings and taught me everything that she was doing. Iris is everything that a mentor should be: understanding, caring, supportive, and always ready to celebrate my achievements.
What was the most important thing you learned during your internship?
Hook & Loop crushed the stereotypes of what I thought working in tech would mean. You don’t have to be a techie or a programmer to be in the industry because so much more goes into it than just coding. Tech is like an art form with many different facets.
How is being a full-time Infor employee different than being an intern?
In terms of roles and responsibilities, it isn’t different at all, which really speaks volumes about our internship program. I was able to fully explore my role.
I hear you have a background in theater. How has that experience helped up you at Infor?
Theater is all about playing different roles. Now, as a project manager, I wear many different hats, so to speak. I need to act differently depending on whether I’m working with the internal Hook & Loop team, talking to clients, or just working at my desk. Coming from the theater world, there really isn’t any room for shyness, and as a project manager I need to draw on that confidence to get the work done.
Are you still involved in theater?
I volunteer at a local elementary school in Astoria where my sister teaches special education and recently helped with their end-of-the-year show. I played the part of a red carpet reporter and interviewed the kids, which they absolutely loved.
The arts bring out something truly magnificent in kids. One boy who suffers from social anxiety was cast as the lead in the “The Jungle Book.” He did an amazing job, and on stage, he wasn’t a boy with a disability—he was a star
What advice would you give to this year’s summer scholars?
Honestly, it might sound cliché, but this experience is what you make of it. Go above and beyond the work that it is required of you. Infor puts a lot of emphasis on forward thinking and that’s really why the scholars program exists. Infor scholars have such unique perspectives. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your ideas—because that’s exactly what you’re here to do.
What has been your proudest achievement at Infor?
Working on Infor Rhythm has been my proudest achievement. I am part of the team that is growing it into a fully fleshed-out solution. I believe it will be a game changer in the industry and for our customers.
Adam Poplawski is an Infor Summer Scholar on the Hook & Loop writing team. He attends Macaulay Honors College and is a part of the CUNY Baccalaureate Program. This fall he will study abroad in Prague.
Photo by Dominique Goncalves. Dominique is an Infor Summer Scholar on the Hook & Loop video team. She attends the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.