Meiren Park and Timothy Kelly, undergraduate students at Fordham University, both intern at Fordham IT. Meiren is IT Communications Intern and Tim is our Media Intern. They interviewed each other about their experiences and shared the following responses.
Meiren Park and Timothy Kelly – IT Interview Q&A
Tell us about yourselves.
Meiren Park: I’m a sophomore, and I’m planning on majoring in engineering physics.
Tim Kelly: I’m a junior at Fordham College Rose Hill. I am currently in the Honors Program and am an engineering physics major. I haven’t decided on a concentration, but I’m leaning toward biomedical or mechanical engineering, with a possible minor in mathematics or physics.
What skills have you gained while working at Fordham IT?
MP: In addition to the technical skills, such as learning new programs and editing newsletters, I’ve gained an appreciation for the advertisements that I see around campus. When I look at them now, I don’t move on without a second thought, because I know the work involved in making them. I’ve developed an appreciation for the process, and a critical eye for advertisements I see outside of campus.
TK: Before working for Fordham IT, I knew the basics when it came to Microsoft Office programs, iMovie editing, and other common software applications. Since working at Fordham IT, I’ve delved deeper into these programs to learn more about their capabilities and how they can be used in innovative ways.
I’ve also gained a sincere appreciation for the process that goes into creating a product that represents an organization much larger than myself. Striving for perfection with the use of a critical eye is mandatory when you attempt to do such a thing. Working for Fordham IT has taught me to be critical of my own work. That is not always an easy thing to do.
What are the strengths that you bring to your job at Fordham IT?
MP: I’m adaptable. When I started this job, I was not familiar with InDesign, and I had to pick the program up very quickly. Now, I’m very comfortable with it. I’m also a creative thinker. I can take a “vision” and form it to reality.
TK: I bring a student’s perspective to Fordham IT. At Student Technology Services, I’m aware of how we support various ways students use technology. I’m not the “techiest” student out there, but I try my best to stay informed on the ways that students use technology today, inside and outside the classroom.
A large portion of my job deals with designing publications for the Fordham community. Everyday, I bring my creative strengths to the table. I am always intrigued by the idea of packaging information in a clean and simple, yet sophisticated way.
What’s a regular work session like for you?
MP: I receive my duties for the day via Google calendar. Otherwise, I meet with Elizabeth Cornell, Director of IT Communications, to discuss her plans and visions for each project. Then I head over to Keating’s Faculty Technology Center, where I work on each project according to its priority. When I’m done, I submit a summary of my progress, and upload the projects to Google Drive.
TK: It’s hard to describe my normal work day because new projects come across my desk every day. The majority of them deal with editing the IT section of the Fordham website, preparing advertisements and publications for posting around campus, and working on special projects within the IT department.
What challenges have you encountered while working at Fordham IT?
MP: When I did a stint in project management for two weeks this summer, it was like a “fish out of water” experience. I was used to working as a communications intern. I had no idea what to expect or do. However, Ally, Mary, and Sena were very kind and helped me settle in the best that I could.
TK: One of the hardest obstacles is knowing when to ask for help or clarification. Juggling different tasks at the same time leads to confusion and it isn’t easy to know when to reach out for help. Once you ask, however, guidance is available.
How will working at Fordham IT help you in the future?
MP: Even though I don’t plan to work in IT specifically when I graduate, the whole experience at Fordham has given me skills that I will need in any future job I pursue. In my field, engineering, technology and computers will play an integral role.
TK: I probably won’t work in IT for the rest of my life. But every field is somehow affected by technology. Working at Fordham IT has given me knowledge of how IT works and what it can do. The professional experience of working in an office with other IT employees is rewarding, too. I will bring the experience of being on a team working towards a common goal wherever I go.
What are some misconceptions about IT that you have come across while working?
MP: When I tell people I work in IT, their main misconception is that IT work only involves computer hardware, and that I know everything there is about computers. That is not true. IT is more than just fixing computers. It involves working equally with people and all aspects of technology.
TK: People assume I know everything about computers in order to work in IT. I don’t, but still enjoy working in the field. To work in IT, you have to be open to learning.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a job at Fordham IT?
MP: Don’t try to digest everything at once. Start small and build yourself up bit by bit. Before you know it, you’ll be comfortable in your job and your duties. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, because how else will you get an answer? And don’t be afraid to change your habits to suit your needs.
TK: Keep an open mind, because technology changes so quickly. For example, I was working with Fordham IT for about a year when the new website was launched. Understanding the site’s new software showed me how learning something new is part of the job.
Also, take a chance. If you are unsure whether to apply for a job at IT, remember that the worst thing that could happen is you don’t get the job. However, the best thing that could happen is you get the job and it will help you make the most out of your future experiences.