Archives for August 2015

August 13, 2015 - No Comments!

Marc Scibelli on internships, creative leadership, and the best advice he’s ever received

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Marc Scibelli, Chief Creative Officer of Infor, is an ambitious creative. Under his leadership, Hook & Loop is reimagining Infor’s brand identity and reinventing its products with a user experience that’s intuitive, engaging, and purposeful.

As an Infor Scholar, I was interested in learning about Marc’s own internship experience—and in interviewing the CCO, of course! Read on to find out about Marc’s career beginnings, the best advice he’s ever received, and why he thinks creatives are natural-born leaders.

In college you were an intern at New York’s Newsday. What was that experience like?
It was the most important thing I’ve ever done. Just to set the scene for you: I was 18 years old and attending a decent—but not prestigious—university, majoring in visual communications, all while working retail and other odd jobs full-time.

Newsday always felt like a big deal to me. They’re based near my hometown and college campus and, at the time, they were the sixth largest newspaper in the country. Their internship program was well-known because they hired dozens of interns every summer—but mostly Ivy League kids. I knew if I wanted a chance, I needed to stand out. I tailored my portfolio to Newsday’s graphic style—I spent weeks creating new maps and infographics. I guess I impressed someone there—I got the internship, and it was great. Eventually, I was even hired full-time when I was still in school.

At Newsday I learned how to be humble, how to meet deadlines, how to constantly improve—all things that are still helpful to this day. And, maybe for the first time in my life, I learned my value. Every day my illustrations made it into the paper with my name in six-point type in the corner. That kind of frequency was unusual.

What advice do you have for leaders who work with millennials?
I’ve heard many managers express that they're worried about millennials taking their jobs or marginalizing them. Good—you should be. This cycle has been going on forever. You just need to add value. Nurture those behind you and everything will work out. Bottom line: don’t be scared, be better.

What’s the most surprising thing the Infor Scholars will learn this summer?
The Scholars will need to become great problem solvers—and I know they will—but actually feeling the weight of that responsibility will be challenging. Other than that, this experience, I hope, will give them a taste of real life. They’ll learn that no matter how cool a job seems, it’s still work, and, sometimes, it can be boring. It just hits you at one point—the realization that you have to be somewhere every single day.

What do you think young people who are starting their careers bring to the workplace?
Young hires—they’re so enthusiastic, and it’s great when they’re excited to dip their hands into every project they can. When they come in with the attitude that every challenge opens a new possibility, then they are tremendously appreciated.

What guidance can you give to creatives who are currently in the workforce?
Now that business leaders are learning how dynamic creatives are, they’re bringing them closer to the business side of their organizations. Creatives have this innate flexibility that is necessary for success in business. They don’t just attack a problem through one lens. They look at all of their options and figure out a plan of action—one that might be unusual, but will work.

But here’s the thing, it’s essential for creatives to get out of their comfort zones and educate themselves on the business side. Coupled with their natural curiosity and problem solving skills, I believe creatives are a natural fit for leadership roles.

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Do you have any words of wisdom for the Infor Scholars?
Add value to your team. Get into the thick of it and try to help however you can. If you see something that needs to be rethought or changed, speak up. If you’re asked to do a simple task, do it right—and if you think it can be bigger, make it bigger. When you add value to your team you become an asset, and that’s how you’ll succeed here.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Shut Up.” Seriously, stop trying to show everyone what you know. Ambition is great, but cockiness isn’t. Take it all in. Just listen, digest, and when you have insight, it’ll be received.

Author bio
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.

Photos 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.

August 6, 2015 - No Comments!

Meet the Infor Scholars

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They’re known as interns in some places, but at Infor, they’re called Scholars. Who makes up this diverse bunch of high school and college developers, designers, filmmakers, and more? I—a Scholar myself—wanted to find out.

One thing that every Scholar has in common is a sense of pride in what he or she is accomplishing at Infor. Whether they’re developing a new app, learning how to collaborate with a team, or digging deep into data analytics, everyone was eager to talk about what they are working on when I asked.

Meet this summer’s New York Scholars. Get to know them a little bit. And find out the biggest challenges they’ve faced, their evolving perspectives on tech, and what they would do if—gasp!—the Internet ceased to exist.

Adam, Hook & Loop (H&L) writing team, Macaulay Honors at John Jay College

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
The atmosphere and the fact that the work I’m doing actually matters. It’s not just small errands to keep me busy.

Have your impressions of tech changed this summer?
Tech was a completely foreign field to me. I knew how to use a computer, but I was never aware of how much work goes into the apps that people use every day.

Antonio, H&L development team, Binghamton University

How would you describe Hook & Loop to your friends?
It's a place for open-minded people who aren’t afraid to put their ideas out there. H&L is accepting of everyone and filled with a wide variety of people and talents.

Have your impressions of tech changed this summer?
I now look at everything with a critical eye. I’ve realized that anything I build should be up to industry standards. It should all be beautiful.

Divy, H&L development team, Stevens Institute of Technology 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced this summer?
The way I code is different from the way that Hook and Loopers code. Learning and adapting to that change has been challenging, and I still haven’t reached the point where I feel comfortable with it. Right now, I’m just taking it slowly and step by step.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
I would come up with a solution to replace it. I’d create an alternate Internet, for the use of the people, which would be superior and more robust.

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Dominique, H&L video team, School of the Art Institute in Chicago

What are your expectations for this summer?
I want to learn more about the video field and the process that brings it all together. I’m glad it’s such a hands-on internship.

What’s the one tech gadget you couldn’t live without?
My phone! And my camera! But I have a camera on my phone and I use my phone for everything, so yeah, my phone.

Handy, Infor Local.ly team, Pace University

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
The culture is very refreshing—it’s definitely different than most companies. People work hard and everyone interacts with each other.

What do you think life was like before the Internet?
It was slower and not as hectic. Now, everyone has to think fast because everything is done so quickly and with higher expectations.

Helena, Infor Mongoose team, Pace University

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
I have such quality teammates from all over the world. They are so accommodating and helpful, even from a distance.

What’s the one tech gadget you couldn’t live without?
My phone. My generation has a real fear of missing out. My phone allows me to stay connected, trendy, and current.

Isabelle, H&L product management team, Academy of Notre Dame de Namur

What are you currently working on?
I’m designing an app. I made a road map, and today I’m meeting with a user specialist to discuss how to make the app usable. Then I’m going to meet with designers, copywriters, etc.

What is your favorite thing about Infor?
It’s giving me a really great experience. IT is something new and different. It sets me apart from my friends.

Justine, H&L video team, Baruch University

How would you describe Hook & Loop to your friends?
The office has this really cool vibe. Everyone has loud personalities and styles.

What do you think life was like before cell phones?
Oh, that’s troubling. What if there was an emergency? I mean I guess you’d have to use a payphone, and be much more precise with what you’re doing, especially when it comes to planning.

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Kevin, Infor development team, City College

Have your impressions of tech changed this summer?
I’m working on an ecommerce website right now and when I initially saw it I thought it was fine. Then, as I learned more about quality assurance, I saw how much help the site needed. It’s also cool to see how teams from all over the world are collaborating on this project.

What do you think life was like before the Internet?
It was probably a lot more interesting. People just stare at their phones now. I wish people would talk to each other more.

Kevon, Infor Value Engineering team, Baruch College

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
I love that I have a heavy workload. I’m never bored and I’m not doing menial tasks. It’s challenging and requires me to be critical of myself.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
Other than die? Okay, I guess that’s a little extreme. I’d force myself to actually talk to people. The Internet makes everything feel so connected, across the world. It’d be weird if you had to learn to communicate face to face with everyone.

Kia, H&L brand design team, Macaulay Honors at City College

What do you think life was like before cell phones?
I should be able to remember that! Probably less stressful. I feel like being constantly connected can be problematic because it sets up the expectation that we should always be available.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
I know it would be way more difficult to find information and to connect with my friends. I use social media a lot. I would hate not being able to be able to look up or post art.

Linda, H&L project management team, Baruch College

Have your impressions of tech changed this summer?
I never realized how much effort goes into enterprise software. Working here has made me realize how important it is. The other day I was on the PATH train and took a look at the software they were using. It was terrible! Before working here, I never paid attention to anything like that. Now I can’t look at software the same way.

What do you think life was like before cell phones?
Well, I experienced it firsthand growing up in Russia. If you wanted to make a phone call, you had to go to the post office. It wasn’t a huge deal, but you had to do so much for something so simple.

Meredith, Infor sales team, University of South Carolina

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
I mean come on, we’re in New York City! When you think of a dream job, you always think of a big city and New York is the quintessential big city. It’s great to be out of my comfort zone, and I’m starting to learn more about what I want for my future and for myself.

What are your expectations for this summer?
I’m here to gain a better understanding of how a global organization operates, and I’m glad that I have an internal view of the process.

Mikaela, H&L product management team, Deerfield Academy

What are you currently working on?
I’m creating a recipe app with my mentor, Meredith. Instead of the typical apps that just show you recipes, “EasyCook” will allow you to input whatever ingredients you have at home, and then show you which recipes you can make with only those ingredients.

What’s your favorite app?
Instagram, because it’s fun to see where people are and what they’re doing, and you can show others what you’re doing. It’s almost like Facebook, without actually having to say anything.

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Peter, Infor Local.ly team, Pace University

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
Other places I’ve worked were strict with no room to be yourself. Everyone here acts so naturally. I also love seeing the leadership team around the office—it gives me something to aspire to.

What do you think life was like before the Internet?
It was bearable. People were more social; they wouldn’t walk in the street with their phones all day.

Preston, Infor Mongoose team, Pace University

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
I’ve had the opportunity to lead some projects. It’s cool to produce work that I can show off.

What do you think life was like before the Internet?
I lived it and it was fine. I mean, I had to plan things differently and the Internet does save time. But it stinks that there aren’t many hole-in-the-walls anymore.

Rajat, Infor Value Engineering team, New York University

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced this summer?
Having so many new responsibilities has been pretty challenging. I don’t have much experience with anything that I’m working on, so it’s all about learning quickly and adapting.

What do you think life was like before the Internet?
I think people put a lot of value in learning from each other, instead of Googling everything like we do now.

Saffia, H&L video team, Macaulay Honors at City College

How would you describe Hook & Loop to your friends?
Two words: Fun and creative! In terms of the people and the work.

What’s your favorite thing about your experience at Infor?
It’s so different than most internships. My mentor, Peter Gagnon, has given me the creative freedom to develop new projects and run with them, which is awesome.

Scott, Infor corporate development and M&A team, University of Colorado

How would you describe Infor to your friends?
I know that Infor uses the term “world’s largest startup,” and that’s completely accurate. The New York office has a casual feel and people have a legitimate desire to work together. It’s just an amazing opportunity and place.

What’s your favorite thing about Infor?
I love that I’m getting hands-on experience and I’m working on important financial projects. A lot of internships aren’t like that, and I’m so happy to be in one.

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Shriraj, Infor Alliance Partners team, Brandeis University

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced this summer?
Getting up to speed has been tough, but I’m trying to be proactive about it. I’ve even created an acronym list for future scholars who will have my position to help them integrate as quickly as possible.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
Would that be such a bad thing? There is way too much Googling and not enough communicating with others to find your way around a problem. Our generation is so dependent on tech instead of supplementing it with our own thoughts.

Tristan, H&L product management team, Loyola University Chicago

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced this summer?
Initially, getting into the mindset of actually working is pretty difficult. I’ve babysat before, but this is completely different. Tamara is an amazing mentor, and Tristyn, my co-scholar, is a veteran here—he worked at H&L last summer—so he helps me a lot.

What’s the one tech gadget you couldn’t live without?
My phone, it’s so addictive, and honestly, we’re all so dependent on our phones. Unless you’re part of the generation that can remember what it’s like to do things without a smartphone, you’re pretty much lost without it. The 90’s babies, that’s the generation that’s absolutely useless without a phone.

Tristyn, H&L product management team, Stetson University

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced this summer?
Understanding exactly what semantic web is, and how we’re going to incorporate it into Infor Glide. It’s exciting to figure out how Glide will solve problems that healthcare desperately needs solutions for.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
I’d just make music. I don’t see a point in doing much else. I love working with music now, but having the Internet is a major distraction.

Xiaolu, Infor public sector sales research team, Brandeis University

What are your expectations for this summer?
Since my major is international economics and finance, my future career goal is to do data analytics. I’m hoping to improve my data skills and it’s really cool to get this insight into the public sector and how it uses Infor’s products.

What would you do if the Internet were wiped off the face of the Earth?
It’d be terrible. I can’t even imagine that, life without the Internet.

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