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Blog | Mar 27, 2024

Intelligent Automation Education

Intelligent Automation Education
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Build Future Careers in Business Automation

Want to help your students step into a career in automation? Why not start by developing their robotic process automation (RPA) skills! Dive into our conversation below with Victoria Wieloch, a senior developer for robotic process automation at the ComTS Finance in Halle (a subsidiary of Commerzbank), about teaching intelligent automation (IA) to University of Leipzig students.

The Intelligent Automation Academia Program

This is the third of a series of conversations with faculty who have introduced IA into their courses and programs using the SS&C Blue Prism Academia Program. By sharing experiences from these faculty members, we hope to encourage other schools and faculty to take the plunge and start teaching this very exciting technology to their students.

Our program will help students develop in-demand business-critical skills that will make them job-ready and competitive in the market upon graduation. The SS&C Blue Prism University team collaborates with universities across the globe that are interested in teaching RPA to their students using our Academia Program, which includes courseware, software, certification and RPA training.

Teaching Intelligent Automation in the Classroom

A conversation with Victoria Wieloch

Q: Hello Professor, please introduce yourself, a little bit about your background, where you teach and what you teach.

My name is Victoria Wieloch. I’m a senior developer for RPA at the ComTS Finance in Halle, which is a subsidiary of Commerzbank. Earlier I studied mathematics at the Martin Luther University in Halle and also did my Ph.D. there.

We cooperate with the University of Leipzig, where I have taught, as a part of the lecture “Geschäftsprozessmanagement”, the corresponding exercises about how RPA is used in the context of a financial institute.

Q: When did you start to hear or learn about RPA/IA and what were your initial thoughts about the technology?

The first time I heard about RPA was when I wrote my job application for the position of RPA developer. I thought it was cool to imitate all the actions that a human does on the computer, to capture their mouse clicks, inputs and all the stuff that is possible with RPA. I couldn’t imagine how it is possible to interact with a lot of different types of applications, but I was also excited to learn more about it.

Q. How did you prepare to teach RPA to your students?

A colleague of mine did the same lecture in the past year with the University. Therefore, I took a lot of his material and only made some minor amendments.

Q. Tell us a little bit more about your course and how you designed it to include RPA.

We used the SS&C Blue Prism Foundation Training to introduce RPA to the students. They used this training to get in touch with this technology. I also explained the main features [of SS&C Blue Prism] in the lectures on-site. We also recommended that the students should try to complete the Consolidation Exercise, but this was not a requirement. Afterward, we introduced two use cases within the context of a financial institute during the pandemic. They divided into groups of four to five people and worked on these use cases for some weeks. At the end of the semester, they handed in their results and presented them to the rest of the class.

Q. How did you leverage SS&C Blue Prism’s Academia Program to support your course objectives?

We used the program to introduce the topic of RPA to the students. This was very useful to convey the main features in an efficient way. After, they had a good overview of what is possible with RPA, and they were sufficiently prepared for the use cases we wanted them to work on.

Q. How did your students respond to learning about RPA and your course in general?

The students were very interested in it because, in contrast to other topics at the University, this was a more practical one. They directly saw how RPA is used in the real world in the context of a financial institute and gained their own experience with it.

The results they handed in also showed that they had a lot of fun in trying to make the use cases work and some of them had interesting ideas, although not every solution was executable in the end.

Q. Can you tell us a little more about the Consolidation Exercise and how your students faired with completing this assignment?

The Consolidation Exercise was not obligatory. We recommended they occupy themselves a little more with it, but the main goal of the lecture was to work on the use cases.

Q. Were any of your students keen to go take our SS&C Blue Prism certification exam?

We introduced the SS&C Blue Prism Associate Developer Certification to the students as something they could complete in self-study mode and in their own time.

Q. Do you have plans to teach the course again shortly?

We’re in discussion with the University about whether we’ll continue working together this year.

Q. How would you sum up your experience using the SS&C Blue Prism Academia Program and what it means for your students to have acquired job-ready skills with this technology?

All in all, my experience in teaching RPA to the students was mostly positive. In contrast to a usual lecture at the University, the topic is more practical and the students experienced how RPA is used in the economy. They got an idea of how the theoretically conveyed contents are used in the real world. Even though the students will not all work with RPA in the future, they experienced how to work on a formerly unknown technology. Skills like implementing new software (for them) and coming up with a logical sequence of steps to automate a business process have widespread business applications and can certainly help them in their future professions.

Q. Any words of wisdom to other faculty looking to teach RPA/intelligent automation in their courses/programs?

Teaching RPA at university is a great opportunity to show the students a technology that they otherwise would not come into contact with during their lectures. They can apply the theoretical information in a more practical way.

Furthermore, as an industry partner to the university, you can introduce your company to the younger generation and have the chance to recruit students directly from the university if they’re interested. In general, I had a lot of fun during the lectures at the University, and enjoyed looking over the students’ results.

Bring SS&S Blue Prism to Your Uni!

The SS&C Blue Prism Academia Program helps deliver on the promise of a better future of work by supporting its academic partners. Pathways for students are created, from skills development to job opportunities, helping them with the job-ready knowledge they need to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Learn more about our program and how to become an SS&C Blue Prism Academia Partner today.

Get Inspired!

Intelligent automation (IA), along with the technologies that support it, like machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA), is transforming how organizations and their business processes work for the better. It’s helped real businesses deliver real results, like assisting one logistics company complete critical tasks 5x faster or enabling a hospice to save the equivalent of 45 days' worth of work.

Get inspired by more digital transformation stories.

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