(left to right) 2023 UiPath Marketing interns Tyler Lipton, Bridget Hanley, JM Walsh, Christian Barefoot
Editor's note: If your organization is looking to attract and retain new talent from the Gen Z cohort, here's an important statistic from our 2023 Automation Generation survey: 69% of Gen Z respondents believe AI-powered automation can help them do their jobs better. Compare that with Baby Boomers' 44%, and it becomes very clear that providing Gen Z with the right type of automation can give you a leg up in recruiting great candidates and making them successful. To dig a little deeper into this topic, we asked UiPath Marketing intern (and Gen Z-er) Tyler Lipton to share her experiences learning about and using automation at UiPath over the last few months. This firsthand account of her automation adoption journey from "meh" to "yeah!" gives business leaders a unique perspective on how automation can empower their Gen Z employees and make their work more fulfilling.
Before I spent the past three months interning at UiPath, I wasn't a big fan of automation or artificial intelligence (AI). In fact, I was a little bit of a technophobe. As a PR major at Penn State, I’m much more into words and pictures than bits and bytes. The thought of learning and having access to new technology was intimidating. And to tell the truth, I couldn’t see how these big new technologies could benefit me and make my work in UiPath Marketing easier or faster.
But now, as I prepare to leave my internship and head back to Penn State for my senior year, I have to admit it: I’m a convert. No, more than that, I’m an advocate. I’m amazed at how much AI and automation together have changed my internship here for the better.
I didn’t know what to expect on my first day. Would I be onboarded by interacting with a screen and robots? Would I have any human contact at all?
I didn’t need to worry. When I walked into the UiPath headquarters in New York City, people were waiting to welcome me. They walked me through things. Looking back at my first day, with what I now know about automation, AI, and bots throughout my internship: these are tools that handle more mundane tasks, enabling employees to focus on the things humans do best. For me, that was the warm welcome and help I received from my new team.
But little did I know that my warm personal welcome—and the smooth onboarding process that so quickly got me up and running with all my equipment, permissions, and forms filled out and filed—was due to all the automation happening behind the scenes. People had the time and the energy to interact with me because robots were doing so many things for us:
The Rocketeer, a Slack bot, has been a great way to stay organized and focused during my internship. The Rocketeer sent a checklist on my first day of the internship, advising me to meet with managers and sending useful information so I could get more familiar with the company. Even after onboarding, The Rocketeer sends me updates on Slack and celebrates milestones, like interning for two months at UiPath. It’s a great tool to help keep me focused on goals and stay involved with UiPath as well as being a little personal cheerleader.
The IT Service Desk Slack bot is one of my favorite robots—it provides quick help to IT questions and issues. A couple of weeks into my internship, the Zoom app on my laptop crashed and I couldn’t join Zoom calls. After messaging the IT bot and describing my problems with Zoom, I received a GIF with Leonardo DiCaprio “cheers"-ing his champagne. The GIF let me know the bot was troubleshooting my Zoom issue, and soon my Zoom was magically working again.
Officevibe, another Slack bot, is a great way to gain feedback from employees. Officevibe sends surveys and opportunities to voice my opinion or feelings anonymously. Being a new intern at a global company, I feel validated and supported knowing the company is interested in my feedback.
I didn’t know it then, but I do now: automation and AI is woven throughout everything UiPath HR does. And 35% of the employees in the department are certified citizen developers! Citizen developers have been so successful within the department that they’re dong a ‘lite’ version of the citizen development program for HR interns.
Here are a couple of the AI-powered automations the HR department uses:
Learning certificates are created for UiPath employees after they've completed various learning events. The Talent Development team had been manually filling out each certificate, until the Learning Certificate Generator was implemented.
The Learning Certificate Generator is an automation that creates over 400 learning certificates a year. The bot extracts participants’ details to generate personalized certificates. Participants don’t have to wait as long to receive their certificates after a learning event, and the Talent Development team saves 20 hours in manual labor annually.
Another automation developed by the People Team is the People Team Notification, an automation that streamlines communication among employees on the UiPath People Team. The automation reduces the risks of misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and compliance issues by keeping members of the People Team informed and engaged. With over 11,000 notifications sent annually, the People Team Notification saved 100% of total process time.
Throughout my time here, automation and AI have made so many things that I was doing as a college student easier and faster for me. Take, for example, how AI has made proofreading my work much easier. Easier proofreading is thanks to software that goes beyond flagging general grammar and misspellings—it also applies the specific rules in the UiPath style guide to documents, so I can easily create consistent documents.
And I am in love with a software tool that uses AI to transcribe videos and allows you to edit your video with ease. Before being introduced to this AI-enabled tool, editing and transcribing full videos took me days at a time, splicing and configuring on different editing apps. However, this tool transcribes videos in seconds. The software even allows you to overlay different speakers or publish the video in different formats. It further opened my eyes to the aide and freedom that AI can bring. Video editing, something that used to be my weakness, is now a strength.
As you can see, I am now a proud convert to automation. Over the course of three months, I was able to create web pages, video testimonials, blog posts, and more. I have done more than I thought I'm even capable of over these last few months, and I can’t wait to learn more.
According to the UiPath 2023 Automation Generation report, 35% of Gen Z-ers reported feeling burnt out in their workplace. Despite having just entered the workforce, many aren’t content with their current jobs.
It turns out that feeling overwhelmed at work isn’t specific to my generation. In India, Australia, Germany, and France, more than 30% of respondents in each country said they feel “extremely” or “very” burnt out.
I’ve seen first-hand much automation and AI can help throughout a workday. Having your own robot to delegate tedious, manual tasks to allows you time to focus on the parts of the job that you love.
And I’m not the only Gen Z-er who recognizes the benefits of AI-powered automation. Sixty-nine percent of Gen Z respondents think that automation improves job satisfaction.
Over half (57%) of global respondents said they favor employers who use automation over those who don’t.
For companies looking to attract and retain Gen Z employees, implementing AI-powered automation within the company (and enabling us to use automation) is a big opportunity. And, honestly, being able to use automation in our day-to-day work is critical to keeping us happy, productive, and engaged.
When I was accepted as an intern at UiPath, I didn’t expect that automation and AI would end up making my entire internship experience more human. But that’s exactly what happened. AI-powered automation helped me do everything from connecting to people at the company to troubleshooting IT issues.
Not only did automation connect me to more people, but it connected me to myself as well. I gained confidence through completing tasks and learning new skills. I unlocked more potential within myself.
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