[Blog #3] Chatting with the CEO + Lost Opportunities

In the past few weeks, I have consistently been working on the Innovation Challenge, chipping a little bit day by day. Our final presentation to the judges is next week, so we have shifted our focus from the solution to perfecting our showcase. Though I cannot go into more detail about our idea, I can say that it was designed specifically to be integrated with current JCI digital products rather than external sources. We specifically chose this route to highlight internal features and to increase our ROI (return on investment). I really enjoyed contributing my knowledge of my internship team’s product: OpenBlue Companion and Enterprise Manager (OBEM). Aside from formatting the presentation and working on the ROI case, I continue to update our mentors on what we have done each week. This week, we are going through multiple dry runs and solidifying the cost of development for our solution. It was really interesting to switch from my design and management tasks as a product management intern to working on the financial component of our pitch. Overall, the experience has made me realize that I might enjoy a project management role in the future since that is one of my roles in the Innovation Challenge. 

To wrap up my tasks last week, I wiped out the internal OpenBlue Companion website and modified the new external and internal website. In doing so, we made sure that resources used by anyone in the company are updated to the current features. It was very satisfying to slowly remove each line of the previous website as I filtered through the content. Now we can repurpose this website for news things related to Companion! 

Another central task I did this week was to document and reflect on past lost opportunities. Since Johnson Controls Inc is an international company, it is crucial to have detailed documentation of why a potential client decided not to choose our product. The experiences in one region of the world may be different on the other side. Having the information on hand will influence the next meeting between the client and the sales team. After coordinating a meeting time that worked with the various time zones, it was interesting to learn how the sales team is currently approaching the meeting and their thoughts on the current market. A few of my key takeaways from our conversations was that how clients perceive the company and the product is extremely influential in their decision. For instance, our OpenBlue Companion competitor used more lighthearted keywords that resonated with the client and influenced their RFP (request for proposal). The RFP is a written document that solicits a proposal to obtain a service/product. Sometimes, the client can reach out to a company to help write the RFP that aligns with their offered service/product. In addition, meeting the client before they write a RFP means that you can specifically include requirements that are already included in your product. It was refreshing to see the team reflect not only how they can adjust their external behavior but also how they can improve internally. 

An exciting experience this past week was participating in a roundtable discussion with the CEO of Johnson Controls: George Oliver! Out of over 150+ interns, I was one of the 12 interns selected based on my impact during my internship. Though I was extremely nervous before, I enjoyed the candid conversations about our experiences as an intern during the short time that we had at JCI. It was super refreshing to see a CEO that manages around 100,000 employees take his time to speak to college interns and ask for their feedback. A few of the things we talked about were his struggles as a leader, the importance of taking hard challenges in your career, and our advice for him. This was an amazing experience to end off my last week at Johnson Controls Inc. and I could not have imagined that I would have this opportunity! 

Thank you for reading and see you in my final blog post where I will share my reflections. :)