Being a Computer Science major at Georgia Tech, I felt I was lacking in my communication and soft skills. Thus, I applied for the Technical Support Analyst position instead of the Programmer Analyst position at INPO. It turned out to be a great decision, because before I was unsure on whether I should work in systems or application development, and now I know I want to work in system engineering.
After 4 semesters at INPO, I am a lot more comfortable and confident with talking to customers and colleagues on the phone and in person to effectively convey ideas and solutions. From passing the HDI Desktop Support Technician certification, provided by INPO, and the experience I’ve gained, I know how to successfully handle high pressure situation with customers and teammates. With the mentorship of my managers, Brenda Byrd and Randall Culbertson, I have also learned how to work cohesively within a team, and I was even given a chance to be Team Lead my fourth semester, which helped me to understand much more what it takes to be a leader.
As for the technical aspect, I’ve learned a lot about the hardware and software of computers and servers. Starting out at INPO, I knew how to use a computer and do minor tweaking but that was about it. After earning my CompTia A+, MCTS Configuring Windows 7, and MCITP Enterprise Desktop Administrator certifications, all sponsored by INPO, I became a lot more knowledgeable in troubleshooting, fixing, and maintaining computer systems in a Windows environment.
Overall, I have gained a lot during my time at INPO and it’s not just the technical skills but also the soft skills, the kind that you can’t learn from text books but have to experience for yourself. I felt that I have matured a lot and learned from the interaction with other coops, 2nd level IT, and the employees of INPO. The people here are great to work with and the lessons learned are invaluable.