Philadelphia ITWorks Internship Blog: Adrianus

Adrianus - blog photo.jpg

It's our Philadelphia ITWorks program's graudation week. Hear from one of our students Adrianus on his experience as an intern at Peirce College. 

Peirce College: An Institution for Learning

What do you want to know?

A simple question with so many answers that capture the spirit of learning. No quote can better represent my internship experience at Peirce College. Each day is an opportunity for you to decide what you want to learn. I knew this would be a great place to learn on the day Jim Burns, the CIO of Peirce, entered the ITWorks classroom to give us a lesson and tour of the server rooms. "You're free to come and visit anytime," he had said; a welcome that represents the mission, values, and vision of Peirce College. 

“What do you want to know”- Barron Felder, IT service manager 

The first and only question asked during the internship interview from a supervisor who will do his best to ensure you can learn what you want to. From sharing resources and his connections for post-internship, my success has been a factor in his daily tasks. Ask him any questions about anything you’re unfamiliar with, and he will give you the resources to help you answer your question. Barron, Anita Smith, and Ivan Draper are examples of what it takes to be called “the friendliest IT crowd,” a skill that is respected and required not just at the service desk but for every role in a professional career.

“What do you want to know from me?” -Ben Chhabria, IT Network manager

If you’ve never found love before, you will when Ben introduces you to VSphere and SQL. As someone who hopes to one day become a network administrator, meeting Ben Chhabria was a great opportunity to not only understand the tools and processes a network administrator should know, but also an opportunity to create specific goals for skills development and work ethic for that type of position. 


A project is never finished until there is a maintenance plan. 

“What do you want to learn” - Dennis Barbee, Application Developer

Those applying to entry-level help desk positions will recognize that Salesforce and CRM appear several times, and each individual can choose to specialize in how to best utilize those tools. Thanks to Dennis, I can confidently speak about Salesforce, its advantages and potential, and how a workflow can be drastically improved with specific features.

“What do you want to do? I’ll do my best to show you” - Mike Deegan, Network and Systems engineer 

What if someone is willing to sit next to you for four hours straight, explain and show step-by-step how to perform a task? With Mike Deegan, I was able to learn how to: 

  • Configure Palo Alto and familiarize myself with the interface,
  • Set-up virtual servers on VSphere and optimization (and properly with alerts),
  • Setup VLANs with HP switches. Clarify Trunking,
  • Document and organize information related to network management,
  • Improve my resume for network admin with Palo Alto certifications. 

Every individual of the Peirce IT department is willing to share their skills and knowledge with you. My internship at Peirce College gave me the tools to not only succeed as a help desk technician, but for my greater aspirations.  

Before Peirce, if I were given a job application, the best response I could provide when given a specific application would be “I’ve googled it.” Thanks to Peirce, I’ve not only had the privilege to see them in action, but familiarize myself with controls and functions, and practice with configurations from the resources shared with me for personal study. I can now confidently apply to jobs knowing I have decent understanding on how to utilize, configure, and use the requested application and protocol. Beyond the technical skills, the connections I have made are those that I hope to maintain into the future. 

What I’ve learned from the ITWorks program and Peirce internship

Everything we have learned in ITWorks is being used every day. From professional conduct to technical knowledge as simple as pinging a server, our success stories can be related back to specific speakers or lessons during ITWorks program. Ben Chhabria, Barron Felder, Anita Smith (who is an ITWorks grad), Ivan Draper, Mike Deegan, and everyone in IT are living examples of what can happen if you utilize the skills you learn, resources you are given, and connections you make during ITWorks.

In 10 years, I can look back on this day with a smile knowing this was the place where my professional career started, with some of the greatest professionals in the industry. Next time you’re at Peirce, feel free to stop by. The doors are open.

Over 100 volunteers give their time to each session of ITWorks. Volunteer participation is what sets this program apart and what makes being an ITWorks student such a special experience. There are several ways to get involved in all of our locations: PhiladelphiaDelaware, and Las Vegas.

Become a Mentor

Time Commitment: 1 hour per week for 18 weeks; in-person, via phone or email.

Host a Friday Session

Teach the ITWorks students the “soft skills” they need to succeed in the workplace. 

Time Commitment: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Friday of your choice while class is in session.

Host a Lunch & Learn

Bring in food and open a discussion about your career and how you got to where you are today.

Time Commitment: One hour on any day of your choice, Monday through Thursday.

Provide an Internship

Collaborate with ITWorks staff to host a student (or two) for our capstone: a minimum 5-week internship with local IT organizations. Interns work 24 hours per week, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Our volunteers are such an asset to our programs and make a huge impact on our students. Tech Impact would not be the same without them!

Learn More About Becoming an IT Works Volunteer 

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Topics: ITWorks
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