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Power Partners: GT/NCR Part II

What do those who know it best have to say about the Georgia Tech/NCR partnership?
Top row (from l to r): Sheila Trinh and Dane Kalejta; Bottom row (from l to r): Lauren Boddiford and Gedeon Kamga

Top row (from l to r): Sheila Trinh and Dane Kalejta; Bottom row (from l to r): Lauren Boddiford and Gedeon Kamga

What happens when The Ramblin’ Wreck meets #ncrlife? Get the inside scoop from four current and recent NCR employees who are also Georgia Tech students or alumni. The panel discusses the partnership between the two tech leaders, some of the similarities they share, and what makes NCR a great place to build a career.

The Panel

Lauren Boddiford graduated in 2020 (ISyE). She is a data engineer II who works on the Enterprise Data and Analytics team, managing company data and helping provide other business users with ways to access and view that data through different applications, reports, and dashboards.

Dane Kalejta explained that he got out in 2010 (ISyE) and then came back for his Scheller MBA, graduating again in 2014.  He joined NCR in 2021 as executive director, Indirect Sourcing.

Gedeon Kamga obtained his master’s in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 2007. He joined NCR in 2020 and leads the Advanced Analytics organization.

Sheila Trinh is currently a Scheller College of Business undergraduate student, concentrating in operations and supply chain management and minoring in business & engineering through the Denning Technology & Management (T&M) Program, where NCR is a corporate affiliate. Trinh landed her Inside Sales summer internship through T&M and will graduate from Scheller in May 2024.


How did attending Georgia Tech prepare you to work at NCR?

Boddiford: Georgia Tech prepares you for NCR in a lot of ways. In general, the courses and projects at GT are often challenging and teach you how to approach a difficult problem and how to manage your time when completing a tough project with a deadline. One of the most important things Georgia Tech does is provide connections to different companies for internships/co-ops. There’s nothing that will prepare you for NCR--or any company--more than work experience. Tech has great resources for finding internship/co-op opportunities, and I would encourage anyone attending the Institute to pursue those.

Kalejta: Georgia Tech teaches you that you have to work smart AND work hard. Additionally, the extracurriculars I participated in prepared me a lot more than I would have expected. I rewrote club bylaws. I spent time in the fundraising office. I was Editor-In-Chief of T-Book. Those aren’t things I anticipated doing as a rising freshman. In hindsight, those things taught me that – in addition to engineering classes – I could dive headfirst into working on policies, contracts, etc., and ultimately come out successful.

Kamga: NCR can be a challenging environment. Technology is always changing and NCR is a leader, embracing new trends in technology that can help us do the job better. At NCR, you have to come up to speed quickly, in terms of understanding what the market offers, what is available out there, and what will best fit our needs. The rigor at Georgia Tech helped prepare me for learning—and acting quickly.

Trinh: Scheller does an incredible job of preparing the next generation of business leaders to think critically about the problem at hand while also working with teams of various dynamics. Being “Tech Savvy. Business Smart.” provides an advantage that I can take into technology companies like NCR. Not only am I comfortable with numbers and programming, I am also comfortable managing teams of strong individuals that bring a lot to the table.

What attributes do you need to be successful at both places?

Boddiford: Attributes that help you be successful at NCR and Georgia Tech include having a strong work ethic, not being afraid to ask questions, good analytical skills, and a willingness to learn. At both places, you are constantly evolving and frequently getting opportunities to learn new technologies.

Kalejta: Humility. Both places can be daunting, exposing you to complex subjects and hard problems to solve, and it’s hard to be successful if you can’t honestly assess what new things you need to learn. Also, it’s critical to be able to prioritize your time, focus, and energy. Details are hugely important, but they only make sense after you’ve mastered the basics. Furthermore, it can be tempting to focus on the things you are comfortable with, but that’s not always where you’ll make the biggest impact.

Kamga: At both Georgia Tech and NCR, it’s important to be intellectually curious. Determination is also important. Sometimes you may want to stay in your comfort zone, but you have to be willing to take risks and try new things. Intellectual curiosity coupled with determination gives you the confidence to take those risks that lead to success.

What advice would you give to a Georgia Tech student starting work at NCR?

Kalejta: Both are important, but learn technical skills at a sprint pace and improve your soft skills like communication and organization at a marathon pace. You’ll likely find that your technical skills will help you stand out in your immediate role, but your soft skills are how you build a career and become a force multiplier in your organization.

If a Georgia Tech student came to you and said: “Why should I work at NCR, what would you say?”

Trinh: I would definitely encourage other Georgia Tech students to intern or work at NCR. I loved my internship and gained valuable experience. I was very lucky to be a part of a team that was such a strong advocate for their interns and really promoted professional development. From developing resume bullets to even hosting information sessions from different departments, the Inside Sales Team did everything they could to make sure that their interns got the most out of their internship. 

Kamga: If you want to deal with cutting-edge technology, be at the front-end of innovation, and love solving problems and overcoming challenges, then NCR is the place for you!”


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