These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Internship / Job Hunt Networking Tracker

The pain that his workbook is trying to solve, is that while searching for internships and jobs, it is difficult for many students to keep track of who they have talked to, what was discussed, and what the next steps were.

Many students use a simple spreadsheet to track this type of information. But, really, it would behoove the user to be able to track multiple interactions per contact. So, a one-to-many relationship would be more realistic and usable than the standard "flat" spreadsheet.

This project aims to assist in this by:

  1. Generating information about a student's Top 10 Companies 
  2. Tracking key contacts within each of the company.
  3. Tracking interactions with each contact including next steps. 
Identifying the Top 10 Companies & Generating information.
I created a number of functions that accept a company's name and return a URL to key pieces of data. The sources included Google News, Glassdoor, company 10-k reports, and earnings calls. The 10-k and earnings call functions required a stock ticker symbol, so I created another function that did a best-guess translation of a company's name to return the stock symbol. 

Once these functions were created, I ran them through a loop for each of the company names, and displayed them as link to the user. If the links were not found (for example, if a company is not publicly traded and therefore has no earnings call) then the relevant cell remained blank. 

Tracking Key Contacts
Using a user form, I created a way for students to put in key name and contact information. The users can add, edit and change the currently selected user from the form. The exceptional part of this form is that it has the ability to display the various interactions that a person has had over time. Using a list box, dates of interactions are displayed. When the user clicks on a date, the details of the form are pulled from the Interactions spreadsheet and displayed in the form. This provides at a glance information about the entire contact history. It also has a button that opens a second user form to log another interaction. 

Tracking interactions:
Interactions are tracked in a separate worksheet and indexed using an Interaction ID and a corresponding Contact ID.

Future Development:
Some good next steps for this project would be to generate a suggested list of contacts using LinkedIn and the BYU Alumni database. In thinking of this, I created a secure password store using a "VeryHidden" worksheet and an encryption algorithm to secure the passwords.  This means that the passwords are not displayed to the average user.

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