UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Hometown: Cottage Grove, Minn.
Major: Information Systems
Minor: Graphic Design
Internship: Desktop Engineering Intern, 3M
Mirza Naveed grew up in Cottage Grove, Minn., and is an advocate for being involved. Throughout high school, he participated in orchestra, Math League and Spanish Club. Each club helped him to grow, but the activity he takes the most pride in is being a part of his school’s FIRST robotics team.
“I learned so many valuable life skills and improved my soft skills in communication, problem-solving, teamwork and collaboration, which I still use to this day,” said Mirza.
Mirza says he knew that the University of Wisconsin-River Falls would be a good fit for him since his first visit to campus during his senior year in high school.
“Not only did I enjoy how the campus looked and was set up, but the tuition was affordable and the campus was only 30-minutes away from my hometown,” he said.
On campus, Mirza is involved in many organizations and holds numerous positions. He is a tier-one service center technician for the Division of Technology Services (DoTs,) the public relations officer for Chancellor's Student Ambassadors, the communications director for the UWRF College Democrats and is in his fourth year of serving as the public relations mentor for the robotics team that he was on as a student in high school. Needless to say, Mirza is involved and keeps very busy through his activities on campus.
When he first came to UWRF, Mirza had an interest in technology which was fostered by his involvement with robotics.
“I enjoy solving problems especially with technology which is becoming more important and relevant as our society becomes more digital,” he said. “As a freshman, I talked to Dr. Hossein Najafi who went over the Information Systems Program with me. It was because of him that I finalized my choice to major in information systems.”
Focus on experience
In October 2018, Mirza attended an informational event with 3M recruiters, hosted by the College of Business and Economics. At the event, they discussed 3M’s summer internship program for data science and CSIS students. After submitting an application and meeting with the recruiters on campus, Mirza received an internship offer a month later.
As a desktop engineering intern, Mirza’s main responsibility was to administer a PC Telemetry software called Nexthink. When working with this software, he was responsible for troubleshooting and optimizing the global end-user experience for 83,000 workstations at 3M. This proved to be an area where Mirza excelled.
“My experience working at DoTs prepared me for this role since it gave me the foundational experience to troubleshoot and resolve issues in a quick, efficient manner,” said Mirza. “In addition, my experience being a Chancellor Student Ambassador prepared me to be comfortable talking with different groups of people at 3M since I frequently work with UWRF students, faculty, staff, and alumni at events.”
“I created a module that monitored the day-to-day performance of Microsoft Office 365 applications on workstations at 3M,” explains Mirza. “This module was published and is being used to identify what areas of performance need improvement within the Office 365 Suite.”
Words of wisdom
Considering his successful internship experience, Mirza has solid advice for other students.
“Try to be as involved as possible on campus and in the community,” he said. “Not only do you have the opportunity to learn through your involvement in activities but you can also develop connections that can help you later in life.”
Mirza says his vast array of involvement helped expand his career opportunities. At the end of his internship experience, Mirza accepted a full-time position with the 3M Optimization Team. The position will begin after Mirza graduates in May 2020.
“This experience gave me the confidence to determine that I do have a place in IT and I am excited to come back to 3M after I graduate to see where my curiosity will take me next,” Mirza said.