Interview with IT Student Interns from Philippines

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Anfemy Vanta (left) and Charles Ventura (right) at the Fordham IT office at 1 Fordham Plaza.

 

Each summer, Fordham IT is honored to host student interns from Ateneo de Manila University, located in the Philippines. This year, we were thrilled to have Charles Ventura and Anfemy Vanta.

Charles is in his fourth year and studies computer science. He’s interning for Fordham IT’s department of Software Services and Information Architecture, under the direction of Joli Patino and Bobby Espiritu.

Anfemy is also in his fourth year and studies management information systems. He’s interning for Fordham IT’s Project Management Office, under the direction of Ally Spencer.

Fordham IT’s current communications intern, Meiren Park, a senior majoring in engineering physics, recently sat down with Charles and Anfemy to see what it’s like to visit New York City for the first time and to intern here at Fordhm.

 

Anfemy Vanta receives a certificate of appreciation from Ally Spencer

Anfemy Vanta receives a certificate of appreciation from Ally Spencer

Meiren Park: You’ve been in New York City for several weeks now. What do you think of the Big Apple?

Charles Ventura: New York’s great! Lot’s of things to do – of course you have to find them first. Our suitemates at the residence hall where we’re staying at Lincoln Center have helped me decide what to do.

Anfemy Vanta: I feel free in the land of the free. For the first time, I am independent, so it’s new and at the same time, I feel like I’ve grown. The food and work is good, and in general, life’s good. I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.

 

MP: What’s it like to work with Fordham IT staff and other interns?

CV: I find my co-workers pleasing to work with. They guide me with assignments and teach me new things. We’re always working together.

AV: At first I found it a challenge to communicate. There’s a different vibe and way of speaking in the Philippines. But I adapted. My co-workers and I have created a synergy, and my English is improving.

 

MP: What experience and skills do you bring to Fordham IT?

Charles Ventura receives a certificate of appreciation from Joli Patino and Bobby Espiritu

Charles Ventura received a certificate of appreciation from Joli Patino and Bobby Espiritu

CV: This is my first real work experience. What I’m bringing to this internship is my experience in programming and software engineering.

AV: I bring my problem-solving skills and ability to find out how things work and why they don’t sometimes work. This internship is my first real work experience, too.

 

MP: How do you plan to use the experience gained from Fordham IT in the future?

CV: I’ll use my experience here to become a better professional in the IT industry. Others at Fordham IT have told me that the environment here is not as intense as compared to working in the corporate world. Even so, this internship is preparing me for that world. When I first got here, I wasn’t sure about my skill set; but I’m learning more about what I have to offer the future company where I’ll eventually work.

AV: My experience has reinforced to me the value of communicating with people and getting things done. In my role right now, I meet and brainstorm with other interns and my boss, Ally Spencer (director of Fordham IT’s Project Management Office), and that’s been a good experience for me. I’m developing my ability to coordinate with people in order to achieve a goal in an efficient manner.

 

MP: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to apply or is just starting a job at Fordham IT?

CV: Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s OK if you don’t know everything. Take it slow to make sure you’re learning something. If you take it too fast, you might end up learning nothing.

AV: “Thou shall not be scared,” because most of the wonderful things that we get in life are on the other side of the fear. At first I was really scared. Then I realized that I don’t have to be. Nothing in the job is going to endanger me.

 

MP: Did you have any expectations for the internship?

AV: I expected a heavy workload, to the point where I would be exhausted yet satisfied. But reality didn’t meet my expectations.

CV: He wanted more work!

AV: The work has been lighter than I expected. And a lot chiller. That’s different from the the pressure I went through the last semester at school.

CV: The tasks are new, so there’s pressure when I’m learning. We’re expected to do things in a certain amount of time. I think that’s good. We’re getting guidance, too, so it’s not so difficult.

 

MP: What are some work challenges and how are you handling them?

CV: The toughest challenge I’ve faced so far is learning the architecture behind the technologies used at Fordham. At first, everything seemed so complicated. But now that I’ve learned about it, it’s not as complicated as it looks. It’s still not easy, but at least I can understand it now.

AV: My toughest challenge so far here is keeping up with what’s being said. I understand in general what’s being said, but there comes a point where the details come so fast I can’t absorb everything. That’s tough, but I’m adapting.

 

MP: What projects are you working on now?

CV: I just finished migrating some web services from legacy code to new code. I’m integrating a third party application called CAS, which keeps Fordham IT from having to maintain multiple databases for the same username and password.

AV: For the most part I have been working on this website called IT PPM – IT Project Portfolio Management. It shows information about the status of current projects. Fordham IT’s CIO and senior leadership team consult it so they know what’s going on. Specifically, I’ve checking that the data is clean and accurate.

 

MP: What advice would you give to someone who is looking to apply or is just starting a job at Fordham IT?

CV: Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s OK if you don’t know everything. Take it slow to make sure you’re learning something. If you take it too fast, you might end up learning nothing.

AV: “Thou shall not be scared,” because most of the wonderful things that we get in life are on the other side of the fear. At first I was really scared. Then I realized that I don’t have to be. Nothing in the job is going to endanger me.

Charles Ventura and Anfemy Vanta at an appreciation lunch

Anfemy Vanta and Charles Ventura

 

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