Learning the IT Ropes

Patrick-2016 Viterbi Summer Leave a Comment

Hello everyone! I hope y’all’s summers are going well, I know mine sure has! I thought that I would come home to a nice relaxing summer after the flurry of freshman year, but it’s really been a roller coaster down here for me – and I’m having the ride of my life.

Last time I told you guys about my amazing trip to Germany and the Bavarian countryside, but I only briefly mentioned my internship at Fluid Consulting. Coming out of freshman year, it’s hard to find a structured internship for engineers. Most of what we use in the commercial world comes from upper level classes that we haven’t taken yet, which proved to be an interesting obstacle to overcome for me. I’ve always been interested in how the computer world and the business world intersect, and while much of IT isn’t strict coding like I had thought, this has proven to be an incredible experience for me.

When I began my internship, I was a little overwhelmed. I was given a cubicle and no instructions other than: Ask around and see where you can help. I hardly knew who my coworkers were or what I was expected to do. However, I like to consider myself a fairly outgoing individual, and so I decided to go around and introduce myself, asking for anything I could help out with. Turns out, they had no more of a clue about what I was supposed to do as I did! It made for a pretty slow day that first day, mostly looking over the shoulders of a few technicians as they helped customers with various Outlook and server issues.

However, in the weeks following, I have gotten a firsthand look at how the entire accounting process works, from advertising through email marketing and web development, to meeting with potential clients, and even all the way to billing clients and turning in their checks. On the technical side, I’ve helped solve various issues with permissions on the company’s server and outlook sharing systems; I’ve gone onsite to set up brand new workstations for clients and fix their network printer errors; and I’ve even worked with senior engineers to code automation programs to help with routine in-house tasks like tracking clients’ data usage and creating quotes/invoices. Finally, on the management side, I’ve met with current and potential clients and helped organize and chart their current business model in order to improve upon it and put a new technology management system in place; I’ve acted as the face of Fluid in working with customers to design a system to best suit their needs; and I’m now even running as one of the point men in developing a solution for my dad’s own company as they look to deploy a customer resource management solution! I have truly been able to see all aspects of the company, allowing me to get a feel for the type of work involved in the IT consulting industry from any angle.

Of course, summer hasn’t been all work and no play though! Sarah and I went down to the lake for Donnie Nelson’s Fourth of July party

Enjoying the summer sun!

Enjoying the summer sun!

and I’ve been plenty busy catching up with my friends back home!

Oh! And I also forgot to mention, I’ve got braces now! (For the second time – wear your retainers!) Unfortunately, it is a mark of my upcoming jaw surgery, but that’s a story for next time! Until then, fight on!

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