It’s interesting to think about what early lessons or experiences help . Education can take skills only so far, of course, and for me an internship brought opportunities that offered insights and skills that I’ve drawn on ever since.

During the last year of my IT education, all first-semester seniors were encouraged to apply for paid internships. Several positions were available at different companies, each for three months. One of the opportunities was especially good: an internship with an international corporation headquartered within an hour and a half of campus.

Everyone applied, and I found myself in the final dozen who interviewed for the plum position. I jumped through the rest of the hoops and was thrilled when I was the one who got it.

Networking newbie

The intern position was for , particularly data retrieval from unused and unsupported software and additional programming. When my three months were up, I was asked to stay on since it was then summer and school wasn’t in session. I gladly accepted.

arose to further my : The current network administrator was scheduled for vacation. As I had prior experience at the university as a student admin and had been doing a lot of assisting in my current position, they decided to grant me admin status for the two weeks that the administrator would be off.

Apparently, there had been quite a discussion as to whether I should be granted so much authority over such a large network and 200 users on our floor, as I was only an intern. Fortunately, my past performance and recommendation from my peers sealed the deal.

The two weeks passed with a few problems that I quickly rectified. I lived up to the trust that I had been given, and I learned a lot. The day the network admin returned from vacation, I was called into the GM’s office and thanked for filling in. My admin status was of course revoked, and I went back to my role as in intern, which was extended for another three months.

When I’d completed the internship, I was offered a position upon graduation, which I turned down as it would have entailed many years in many different countries.

, and if we publish it we’ll send you a $50 AmEx gift card and keep you anonymous.