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Use TI-84 to do Finance -> Do Finance at Texas Instruments

Hi, my name is Yuxin. I’m a Master student majoring in Finance at Gies College of Business. I have joined FACES Consulting for one year and currently I’m a project manager. This summer, I have completed a two-month internship at Texas Instruments (TI) Chengdu, China at the Financial Planning position.

I first knew about TI because of its calculator. When I was preparing for my CFA exam, I used it almost every day. It’s like having a portable Excel in hands and I was very curious about how it was made. This summer, I was lucky to join TI and gain a deep understanding about how small chips can be manufactured and used in not only a calculator, but also high-end products, and how TI is competing in this innovative semiconductor industry. More importantly, it gives me a clearer thoughts about my career.

Photo taken outside of the corporate building

Let me briefly introduce TI and financial planning: TI is the global leader in the semiconductor and analog industry. TI Chengdu is its largest manufacturing site with four plants covering a complete production line. For our financial planning team, we focus on forecasting, budgeting, and cost management to ensure a smooth manufacturing and operation. During the two months, I have learned a lot and got some takeaways to share.

Firstly, I learned the importance of an open and diverse culture. In a diverse culture, you learned not just your own parts, but a complete mechanism behind it. For example, all my projects required me to communicate with other functions like IT, accounting, engineering, procurement, etc. When I was working with them, I always cherished the opportunity to learn more about what they do and what is their goal, and they are always happy to share. Gradually, I became familiar with semiconductor and this company. Learning from different functions transform the cold financial data into vibrant business information that has meaning behind it. An open environment is not only cross-function, but also across the location and position. I work on problems with a wide variety of people, from local team to global team, from employees to executives. From higher-level managers, I gained a bigger picture about the company’s long-term goals and core strategies. Learning about this kind of entrepreneurial mindset makes me feel that we all are the owners of the company.

Secondly, the best firm culture empowers everyone to use their own methods to create their own work. I think this kind of flexibility is important for an organization to keep innovating and improving. In this environment, "small" role and "small' improvement will leave a great impact on the whole company. For example, I have helped to improve a cost allocation method with a guidance. Encouraged by the culture to create my own work, I have approached it with my own idea, which I think would be more accurate. And by sharing my ideas constantly with my coach and manager, I adjusted it and finalized it as my own work. For another project, I have studied a newly proposed method to calculate labor productivity. I compared it with our current methods and identified some potential irrationalities. After reporting it to my manager, she said she will further check with the worldwide team to improve this method. I was happy that I became part of the contributors of a potential new model!

Plant where I did my inventory audit

Overall, I really enjoyed my two months in TI. It convinced me that a diverse culture and a global mindset are very important, especially for us young professionals. I benefited from the different backgrounds of my coworker and the inclusive culture, which I believe will help us to build a strong foundation for our future career path. Also, people in a diverse culture have a strong sense of ownership, which provides them with a motivation to keep contributing and innovating, which is the work I want to be doing. For students like us to find companies with such culture, I think the best way is to experience it ourselves, such as doing an internship. You could also participate in networking events with current employees or experienced professionals to ask them what is the company culture that they've experienced. At the end, I sincerely hope everyone can get a dream job in the future!

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