By: Star Radzom, University Internship Program (UIP) assistant
DePaul Diaries is a day-in-the-life blog series written by DePaul students. The series unveils DePaulians’ experiences as interns in their field of choice. Students share their honest thoughts about their experiences, what they learned as an intern and advice for students who are interested in the same field.
Abdus Saleem, a finance and management information systems major, had the opportunity to work as a technical specialist intern at AKA Comp, a small company that specializes in IT support for educational institutes. Abdus had a variety of responsibilities in his role, including installing printers, wireless access points and safeguarding against potential viruses and security threats. Abdus secured this internship through his LinkedIn profile after the manager of the company reached out to him after reviewing his profile on the site. By keeping his profile up-to-date, Abdus showed that he was a good candidate for the opportunity and employers took notice.
When Abdus started his internship, he was given a lot of responsibility right off the bat and was allowed to make decisions where he thought appropriate. AKA Comp also gave him the freedom to contribute his ideas and thoughts on projects. “My favorite part was that I was considered a full-time employee. I was an actual participating member of the team,” Abdus said.
In addition to the responsibilities and work experience, Abdus learned a lot of great skills along the way. According to Abdus, the biggest skill he learned was time management. Juggling five classes and also working 27 hours a week was no easy task, so Abdus said he had to take the time to set up his schedule accordingly. Abdus confessed to not having much time to socialize, but it challenged him to do better; “This really challenged me to push myself and to make sure that I was on top of my school work because school is a priority,” Abdus said.
The biggest skill he [Abdus] learned was time management.
He also had the opportunity to learn about a business he previously had no idea about and how big of a role technology plays in the day-to-day life of organizations. In terms of compensation, the internship gave Abdus a stipend, but the experience he is receiving is much more valuable than the money, in his opinion.
His internship wasn’t the only place that offered learning opportunities, though. Abdus also took the UIP 350: Navigating the Changing Workplace course alongside his internship. The class is for students who already have internship experience and are looking to build upon their knowledge. Abdus took the class online and really enjoyed the experience. “Our weekly discussions allowed me to think more critically about what I wanted to do after college and what kind of career I wanted. This is something that I had not given much thought to prior to taking this class,” Abdus reflected.
Want to learn about DePaul’s University Internship Program? Check it out, here, or send inquiries to UIP@depaul.edu. Need help finding an internship? Visit depaul.joinhandshake.com, or come into DePaul’s Career Center to meet with an advisor.