ITWorks Philadelphia students Tiffany Le and Ralph Soto with their supervisors at PNC Bank.
ITWorks Philadelphia Fall 2016 students are graduating this Thursday, December 15th. Two graduating students, Tiffany Le and Ralph Soto, spent their 5-week internships at PNC Bank. Read on to learn more about their experiences and lessons learned!
Prior to the ITWorks program, the idea of entering the professional workforce seemed like a daunting and difficult task. Throughout the program, there were certainly moments of intimidation that presented themselves while visiting large corporations for our Friday Sessions. Despite all of that, after starting our internships, it certainly felt like we began to develop the courage we needed to succeed. We were both very surprised by how much we could grow given the opportunity to challenge ourselves armed with the new skills we had acquired through the program. ITWorks served as a mold to structure our knowledge; however, the internship provided the experience we needed in order to apply that knowledge in a work environment.
It took some time to get accustomed to the transition from a classroom environment to a large corporation. The biggest adjustment was being able to handle tickets and requests with the freedom of working independently; it was less monotonous than the roles we were used to. We hadn't realized how much critical thinking would be involved. Even though we knew the material, applying that knowledge in real ways was a challenge. Now that we have experienced that transition period, we will be better prepared for future positions.
- Time Management
There is no one micro managing you every second, seeing if your work was actually getting done. With the vast amount of freedom, we had to control our own time and chose how we would handle our tasks – which will be a huge plus with employers down the road!
- Simply Asking for Help.
We could spend hours on an issue, doing research on the Internet or searching through previous tickets for a solution. Something that would’ve taken hours to research could’ve been solved within a few minutes if we had asked someone. Our supervisors at PNC were always kind and were open to questions; this put us at ease. Knowing when to ask for help is a big factor, especially in the workforce. There is always someone with more knowledge and will probably have the solution for an issue, so do not be scared to ask for help!
- Keeping Tidy
Being organized is critical in a team-based environment. Not only can it dictate workflow but also ease the transition within a shared workspace. At PNC, our resources (computer parts/assets) are shared within our department. It can get messy at times, and when this happens we start to lose track of inventory. Much like taking good notes in the classroom, keeping a sorted inbox on Outlook and keeping sticky notes uncluttered helped create an ergonomic rhythm.
- Knowing What to Prioritize
Learning how to prioritize our tasks will prep us for the next stages in our careers. It is okay to put certain problems to the side while putting more attention into urgent ones. Sometimes having a quick and easy solution won’t be as effective as solving a problem the right way, even if it takes much longer. Finding that balance and knowing the best way to begin working when taking on multiple requests at once was something we could only learn by doing.
Transitioning into our internships was a real eye-opener on what the IT industry would be like. It prepared us for many opportunities in the workforce but also taught us tremendously. We feel incredibly lucky to have been given this valuable experience. Without ITWorks, we would not have had such an amazing opportunity to intern at PNC Bank and wouldn’t be as ready as we are to tackle any future challenges.
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