Review of the 2005 Explore RochesterIT Summer Rotational Intern Program

Zehra Imamovic

BS New Media Information Technology
Department of Information Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology

The Explore Rochester IT Program has offered amazing experiences for me.I'm not from the Rochester area, so I've learned my way around downtown. The companies I worked with are great, and the people are amazing. I have made so many great connections, and hopefully I will return to one of the companies for another co-op.

The opportunities I've had are priceless. For example, at Energy East(RG&E), I was able to work on the NYSEG web site. I want to be a web developer when I graduate, so it was really valuable for me to geta head start on working with C# and .Net. It's also amazing to think that someone viewing the NYSEG web site will see some of the pages that I have made.

This program also opened my eyes to different areas of IT. I discovered new things that I'm interested in, and somethings that I'm not. But I was appreciative to see how all the departments worked as a whole.

I recommend this program to anyone who hasn't completed a co-op yet, or wants to explore different areas in IT.

Melissa Scott

BS Applied Networking and Systems Administration
Department of Information Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology

Working with the companies involved in the Explore Rochester IT program has been a great experience. I have gotten the chance to work at EnergyEast (RG&E) and Excellus BCBS so far. Both experiences have been a wonderful learning opportunity.

Going into the program I didn't have a clear idea of what area of IT I wanted . My major isApplied Networking & System Administration, with a minor in Criminal Justice. The area I wanted to focus more on was IT security. RIT gives you the foundation and the general knowledge needed in order to get your foot into the door at any company, but this rotational program has given me the chance to see the many different faces of ITand what their actual functions are.

At RG & E we did a rotation for the first two weeks, getting a little taste of all the aspects that make up their IT department. After being able to see the different areas we then focused on one particular area that most interested us. I chose the Unix System Administration department. In that department I was able to build a server and configure it, we also did a lot of day-to-day maintenance. This opportunity has narrowed my focus of school to more of a Unix System Administrator. I now have a clearer idea of what I want to do once I graduate from RIT, thanks to this experience.

Lindsay Simancek

BS Applied Networking and Systems Administration
Department of Information Technology
Rochester Institute of Technology

Working the rotational Explore Rochester IT Program has afforded me many opportunities to not only learn about the community, the workforce, but also myself. The companies that participated in the program which were Energy East, formally RG&E, Excellus Blue Cross and Blue Shield,and Wegmans have different business goals to work towards as well as different controlling, and governing factors.

By working with the vastly different companies I was able not only see how, and where I would fit in when it was my turn in the corporate world, but also how they have their IT departments are divided up. The education we receive as students allows us to work on a great many things, but most companies are so large they divide up the IT field into smaller departments. By sitting in on the different departments Iwas able to see where my own strengths fit in, along with helping me decide which advance track I would like to pursue for the next 2 years of my education.

The people that I worked with were very knowledgeable allowing for myself, as well as the other interns the opportunity to ask questions,and receive thoughtful and thorough responses. Our co-workers took their time to help us make the connection between our classroom knowledge, and their real world knowledge. Labs can only show us so much, by working on projects and with different tools before being by ourselves at a new job, not only provided the safety net to ask the 'stupid question,' but made the gap between my education, and real life experience a bit shorter. After this experience, I able to see beyond my years at RIT, and think about graduate school, and where I would like to be in 10 years.

Adam Norwood

University of Rochester

The Explore Rochester IT Program has been a completely amazing experience.As a student coming to Rochester from the state of Arkansas, I wasn’t exactly sure if my education and time spent in the city would make the area anything more than a hub for other opportunities in the scheme of my life. By seeing and actually experiencing some of the best of what’s available in Rochester (as opposed to merely understanding the city’s reputation; knowing some of the big players, etc) I’m now strongly considering Rochester as a base for my planned future career in IT/IS.With companies like Wegmans, Excellus, Energy East, Xerox, Kodak, and others, each having either corporate headquarters or a large corporate presence within ten miles of my university’s campus, The ExploreRochester IT Program gave me tangible experience to validate Rochester as a place in which I’d like to live and work upon graduation.

Experience for future planning aside, The Explore Rochester IT Program also gave me useful knowledge to work with now, as a student, computer consultant, and network administrator. While working alongside seasoned IT professionals at each rotation, I received professional-level experience and validation of what I’m currently learning both in schooland on my own time by getting a ground-level view of live production environments. Completing tasks like performing a wireless audit and site survey of a Buffalo Wegmans, examining Excellus’ implementation of Lotus Notes, and upgrading of production network switches for EnergyEast’s data center all gave me technical benefits that I can see now while performing duties as a Network Administrator at the University of Rochester. Other activities I’ve done in The Explore Rochester IT Program, such as shadowing, discussing job duties, trading war stories,and attending meetings for various segments of IT in each company have all added to my personal comfort level with corporate IT and have made it a top career choice.

In short, The Explore Rochester IT Program is an amazing opportunity to test the waters for a highly active field in a city with a highly respected reputation for business. Many of the IT professionals we’ve spoken with during our rotations have even expressed that they really could have used a program such as this during their education—it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed by anyone wanting to enter the field.