Internships Link Students to Real World Experience

December 9, 2014

Topeka, Kan. – Keeping state government online is a lofty undertaking and two Washburn Tech students are getting a bird’s-eye view. Sam Holliday and Kyle Stockman, students in Washburn Tech’s Computer Repair & Networking program, are paid interns in the Office of Information Technology Services (OITS) for the state of Kansas. Their part-time stints began this fall and have opened a world beyond the classroom.

“It is a unique opportunity as I start my career in the IT field. I get to work with very expensive software and in a very large and secure network environment that cannot be duplicated in the classroom. I get hands-on experience with security strategies and see them in action across the network,” said Holliday. “This experience is giving me an advantage over others who are entering the workforce."

"At OITS, I am responsible for general help desk tasks. Some of these tasks include reimaging and helping with the deployment of computers to agencies,” said Stockman. “This job has helped me learn a great deal more about the IT field. It also allows me to apply what I learn in the classroom to work and vice versa."

State officials say they are pleased with the interns’ progress. Holliday and Stockman are being exposed to new technology and are utilizing their abilities to work through problems. Future training will include troubleshooting, understanding critical protocols, taking inventory and customer assistance.

“Kyle and Sam are progressing well,” said John Jones, OITS Professional Services Unit. “They have a long way to go but have positive attitudes and are willing to learn.”

Washburn Tech anticipates more internship opportunities with the state in the future. OITS works closely with agency leadership to assist them with operational and strategic needs and with the fulfillment of their missions, while ensuring the security and viability of their systems and data.