IST Student Finds Real-World Experience with Google
Information Science and Technology (IST) student Jessica Noland is back in class at Penn State DuBois, and she starts this semester with much more real-world experience under her belt. Noland completed an internship with Google this summer, at the internet giant's Pittsburgh offices. What's more is that Noland did not apply for the internship in the conventional way, but was contacted by a Google recruiter after they saw her profile on the professional networking site LinkedIn. Noland then entered the interview process at the recruiter's urging. It was a one of a kind opportunity for Noland to intern with one of the most world renowned companies in her field.
"There are really only a few words that can describe how I feel about having the opportunity to complete an internship at a place like Google. I’m beyond thankful and appreciative of what I’ve gotten to experience," Noland said. I would say that getting to work here has been purely awesome; awesome in the literal sense, of being in awe of something. I’m still in awe of Google and I don’t think that feeling will ever go away."
As an internal technology intern, Noland provided technical support to Google employees, helping to keep their computers and internal networks running smoothly. She explained, "My main responsibilities were to help support my local users in their daily use of technology and to sometimes support remote users as well. This support ranged from assisting with basic troubleshooting to having to escalate and then assist in fixing issues that were affecting multiple users. I was also responsible for some special projects where I got to work with other support teams to develop solutions for their current problems."
The work Noland describes performing at Google allowed for her to further develop the skills she has been building in the classroom and IST Lab. She said, "I learned a lot of new technical skills. Possibly the most valuable thing I learned during this internship is that you should avoid being stagnant. Whether you’re in an ever changing career like IT, or in any other career field, it’s important that you continue to grow."
"I know that this experience will open a lot of doors for her," said Jason Long, senior instructor and IST program leader at Penn State DuBois. "In the past three years that I have known Jess, she has worked hard at everything she does. She deserves every success she has obtained. Nothing has been given to her. She earned it."
Long hopes Noland's experience will inspire other students to set their sights high. He said, "This internship should be a testament to all of our students. With hard work and putting your mind to do something, you can succeed at anything."
As she enters her senior year at Penn State DuBois, Noland credited the education she has received in the IST program, so far, with preparing her for success in this internship and beyond. She said, "My education from Penn State DuBois helped to prepare me for the work I did with Google by providing me with a well-rounded skill set and hands-on experience. In the Information Technology field it’s important that you understand how everything works together. Starting out by knowing how networking, operating systems, programs, and all of the other different components of IT actually communicate and affect each other is the best position to be in and that’s what my education from Penn State DuBois has provided me. With this foundation, I can get into the area of work where I will either eventually specialize, or I’ll be able to work with all of the areas simultaneously."
The skills Noland developed at Penn State DuBois did not go unnoticed by those at Google.
"I can't possibly say enough about what an asset Jessica has been to our team during this all too brief time that we have had the privileged of having her with us," said Jenn Evans, a corporate operations engineer with Google and Noland's internship host. "Her extensive knowledge and skills were critical components on the many projects and tasks that she completed during that time. She made a huge impact not only on our organization, but also on the productivity and efficiency of many of our users. I am very pleased with the high caliber of work she produced and hope to work with her again in the future."
About the future, Noland said, "Nothing is quite written in stone. At the moment I’m looking to continue growing my own business, Magnus Marketing. There are some big plans underway for the future of Magnus Marketing, so be on the lookout for those. Outside of that, nothing is completely off of the table yet, so I’ll just have to wait and see what the next few months have to offer."