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What Does an IT Intern Do?

Fri, Jun 15, 2012

Internship Information

If you are entering your senior year of college or approaching graduation, it’s time to do whatever you can to improve your chances of landing a great job. It’s a difficult market for recent college graduates, as many experienced professionals are still looking for work due to the economy’s recent downturn. To help your odds, you should consider expanding your resume with an internship. If you’re studying information technology at school, you’re certainly preparing yourself for a growing, high-paying and in demand career. But with all the competition out there, getting yourself a bit of real world experience with a reputable company will help raise your resume to the top of the pile, while giving you a set of measurable results you can refer to when interviewing with a hiring manager. However, you’ve got a busy workload at school, and may be wondering exactly what you will be responsible for as an intern. So what exactly does an IT intern do?

The answer might depend on the scale of the company you intern with. Smaller organizations will offer you a great deal more hands-on experience, and will expect you to bring value and create some real results. Larger corporations may have massive IT departments, and the expectations of your learning curve could be much lower. Either way, you should make sure that you will be gaining experience in the areas you hope to work in after graduation. An internship getting coffee and making copies won’t help you during a job interview, so make sure you find the right fit of responsibilities and expectations.

If you do find that perfect internship, you will be getting right down to work. If the company manages a great deal of data, you may be called upon to extract that data from storage and analyze it. That means you’ll work alongside other departments, determining exactly what they need from the information, and when and how they need it presented. You’ll develop appropriate SQL for database work, and use a wide range of reporting tools to pass along the results of your research.

You may also have the opportunity to work a bit with data modeling. You’ll have to define the data’s context and structure, and synchronize it between various databases. You’ll be asked to determine the validity of informational relationships, and even print out models in a visual presentation to be used by other departments in developing new projects, or assessing the success of previous projects.

You’ll also gain a familiarity with automated software archiving tools, utilizing them to match up source code with its production executables and how it is stored within the database. You can also expect to write and execute test-scripts, and possibly author some technical or customer-focused documents. Don’t worry; it sounds like a great deal of work, but you’ll be acting as part of a team, under the guidance of an experienced manager.

Finally, you can expect to take on some Video WAN troubleshooting tasks, or possibly phone and computer repair. You may get your hands on some Cisco transceivers, or other high-end hardware. All in all, it will be a great way to see how your studies work when applied to actual corporate issues, and test how much knowledge you’ve successfully processed.

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