MURRAY - Students in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business at Murray State University are staying busy this summer with local and regional internship opportunities.
Rhea Gibson, Ebony Clark and Andrew Callor are three students in the department of computer science and information who are applying their technical skills to a variety of industries, working hands-on with technology that people around the world use every day.
“Information technology (IT) isn’t just sitting at a computer for eight hours watching the ones and zeroes pass by on the screen — it’s interactive and exciting,” Gibson said. “Working with computers allows a lot of leeway in terms of continuous learning, and I never want to stop learning.”
Rhea Gibson is a junior from Evansville, Indiana, studying computer information systems. Since January 2018, she has worked with Industrial Training Services, a local business in Murray that provides services and support for the energy industry. Gibson works as a quality assurance intern for the company, finding and documenting any problems or glitches while testing applications and products.
One of her favorite components of her work with Industrial Training Services is the inherent autonomy it encourages among employees. Gibson said she and her fellow employees feel trusted to complete their work without being micromanaged and encouraged to take on new responsibilities to further develop their skills.
“I’ve fallen in love with the freedom Industrial Training Services provides,” Gibson said. “Every morning starts with a huddle up and then we’re allowed to work on whatever needs to get done for the rest of the day.”
Overall, Gibson added that she believes her internship has not only been an opportunity to experience the technology industry first hand, but it has also introduced her to a new network of professionals.
“Regardless of what field you go into, it’s always great to have experiences and references before you graduate,” Gibson said. “Connecting with people in your field will give you another leg up against the competition on top of the degree you are already pursuing.”
Similarly, Ebony Clark of Brownsville, Tennessee, is using her own summer internship as a chance to continue learning more about her field of software engineering and data analysis. It’s also a way for her to learn more about an area outside her own: accounting and finance.
Clark, who is earning her degree in computer science, is an intern with Computer Services, Inc., in Paducah. This year marks Clark’s second summer with the company, which is responsible for providing financial technology solutions and regulatory compliance software to banks. Clark works in software support to provide IT services to banks, credit unions and other financial institutions across the country.
“What I really like about this internship and this particular company is that I’m always presented with challenges while learning something new,” Clark said. “Because Computer Services, Inc., provides services to banks, I find myself picking up valuable finance and accounting information.”
Overall, Clark believes her time as a computer science student has prepared her well for her current internship. She has taken courses in software and web development as well as learned about coding languages and building mobile applications. Her internship takes that knowledge to the next level.
“Before my internship, I was already fluent in programming as well as database use, which made it easier for me to complete everyday tasks,” Clark said.
Her ultimate objective is to work as a software engineer or data analyst, which provides a lot of versatility in prospective career fields. This internship is a step in that direction.
“Working as an intern, I am exposed to different types of software, security systems and applications used in business operations,” Clark said. “As an analyst, you have to know how to mine the data that you need. I’ve also learned about the software I can use to create my own applications.”
Andrew Callor is also pursuing his ideal career through his 10-week internship with the UPS Air Group Building in Louisville.
The senior from Lehi, Utah, is putting his computer information systems education to use as the company’s business systems analyst intern, working with user representatives, quality assurance professionals, application developers, user experience designers and other business analysts to create new or update existing applications for airline functions. He aspires to work in a similar field after graduating from Murray State in the spring.
“Internships give you real life experiences and set you apart,” Callor said.
In addition to his coursework, Callor believes that getting involved with extracurricular activities on Murray State’s campus prepared him to succeed in an internship setting, he said. He is currently president of the university’s Phi Kappa Tau and Association of Information Technology Professionals chapters.
“Getting involved in extracurricular activities has prepared me to be outgoing in the workplace,” Callor said. “The people make me want to come to work every day.”