It was late spring 2022. The trees along Colonial Parkway in Williamsburg, Virginia were in full bloom. And on the hometown campus of William & Mary, Patrick North had yet to nail down a summer internship for the following year.
Summer 2023 was still a ways off, but time was of the essence as college internships are booked months in advance and spots fill up fast. One of North’s professors put him in contact with the head of the school’s business analytics department, who introduced him to Celonis.
North took several of the free, online Academy courses in the summer of 2022. William & Mary is one of more than 1,150 Celonis Academic Alliance partners. By fall, he was “hooked” and knew where he wanted to spend his internship.
In summer 2023, North spent 10 weeks as a Summernaut, what we call Summer interns, at Celonis’ Raleigh, North Carolina office. North spoke to me about his experience with Celonis Academy and the Rising Stars Program, his time as an intern and how they affected his educational and career trajectory.
Bill Detwiler: What attracted you to process mining?
Patrick North: What attracted me to Celonis and process mining was the impact potential of the technology and the ability to utilize and develop a diverse skill set across the product’s implementation.
In regard to impact, it’s extremely rare to find companies with a solution that spans factors such as company size, region and industry. With the ability to help companies everywhere improve their business performance across all departments, including in areas where they hadn’t even recognized inefficiency. Process mining is that rare “works for everyone” solution.
As for the skill set, I know I’ll never get bored with process mining and Celonis because there’s always something new to learn. And although certain skills are more emphasized by role, most Celonaunts, what Celonis calls team members, develop a super diverse range of skills in sales, business process knowledge, and technical acumen.
As of publication, Patrick North is a senior at William & Mary studying business analytics with a data science emphasis and concentration in supply chain analytics. He plans to pursue a master’s degree starting in fall 2024. When he’s not working or studying, you’ll find him competing as a cross country/track and field athlete for his school or trying new international foods.
Bill Detwiler: Tell me about your time as an intern with Celonis. What team were you part of, and what was an average week like?
Patrick North: I had an incredible time as an intern with Celonis! I spent half the summer with the Value Engineering team and the other half with the Services Enablement team.
Value Engineers handle the entire customer value journey from pre-sale through value realization, so I got to “wear lots of hats” within that team. Working with the Services Enablement group gave me first-hand experience in onboarding consultants and driving change management.
My early weeks were focused on training, but from there I worked on several long- and short-term projects, helping out whenever I could to get as much experience as possible.
One of my favorite things about the program is that there really were no “average weeks.” I felt like my time at Celonis gave me a super realistic experience of what working at a hyper growth company is like.
Bill Detwiler: What did you like most about your time as a Celonis intern?
Patrick North: I liked seeing how the company “ticks.” Though there was lots of valuable, intentional learning, I particularly enjoyed all the “byproduct” learning that came from the internship because it was super unique to my experience and can’t be very easily taught or explained. With this in mind, I highly recommend the Celonis Summernaut Internship Program!
Bill Detwiler: What are you doing next, after finishing your internship?
Patrick North: After finishing my internship, I’m headed back to university for one more semester before graduating. After that, I’ll have six months before I start graduate school, during which I plan to extend my experience with the process mining industry.
Bill Detwiler: How did you find out about the Celonis Academy, the Academic Alliance and the Rising Stars program?
Patrick North: Being a Process Mining Academic Center of Excellence through the Academic Alliance, William & Mary has a strong tie to Celonis. Several alumni of our MSBA program have gone on to work in Celonis Services and Celonis is one of the company options for the program’s end-of-year capstone project.
I was introduced to the Celonis Rising Stars Program through the Celonis Academy online portal. It sounded like a great way to level-up my process mining knowledge in a very structured manner and the fact that it’s designed for students made it even more perfect. I’d already completed some of the basic training courses included in the program, and so I took the opportunity to work towards a Celonis Digital Badge, which would demonstrate a high-level understanding in whichever focus area I was most passionate about.
Bill Detwiler: What three words would you use to describe your experience with the Celonis Rising Stars program?
Patrick North: Opportunistic, upskill and experiential.
First, with its free and self-paced nature, the Rising Stars program is an opportunity for everyone. It’s up to you to seize the valuable learning the program offers!
Second, the program has been structured in an intuitive way–allowing you to learn vertically and quickly become skilled in a discipline of your choosing.
Third, the program wouldn’t have been the same for me without the final-stage, the Consultant Bootcamp. The Rising Star Consultant Bootcamp was my favorite piece of the program because I got to work through a case study based on partner data with other Rising Stars from all around the globe. I was able to learn by doing!
Bill Detwiler: Would you recommend the Celonis Rising Stars program to other students? Why?
Patrick North: I would absolutely recommend the Celonis Rising Stars program to other students!
There are so many great things about the program from the fact that it’s free, to the carefully-planned structure, to the first-hand experience with a Celonis customer/partner in the final Consultant Bootcamp. And there’s no stress of commitment to get started! The majority of the program is self-paced, which allows you to really get as much out of it as you are willing to put into it.
Besides your own valuable learning, the program does a great job at connecting you to the entire process mining market whether that be other Rising Stars at universities across the world or the global network of Celonis partners seeking new talent.
Bill Detwiler: How have your experience with Celonis Academy, the Rising Stars Program and your time as a Summernaut influenced your education and career goals?
Patrick North: The entire experience influenced both my education and career trajectory quite significantly. In terms of education, the program really solidified that Celonis is the perfect intersection of business and computer science for me, which matches up with my study of business analytics. As for my career goals, I’m honestly looking to stay involved with Celonis professionally as long as I can, whether that means working for a Celonis customer to help drive implementation, joining a partner in the ecosystem, or returning to Celonis itself!