My experience at INPO has been many things to me: enlightening, interesting, rewarding, and enjoyable. It was enlightening because it was my first real-world programming experience.
Working with real-world programs, and finding real-world solutions has been a valuable experience. Working on programs that others will use provides a sense of satisfaction at the end of each workday.
It was interesting because I rarely had to do the exact same thing twice. As a programmer analyst, there are numerous job tasks that I had to do, the majority being different.
It was rewarding because of the competitive pay INPO offers as well as the nice break from school. INPO also offers a couple of bonuses each semester that students can take advantage of.
Lastly, my INPO experience has been enjoyable. The INPO IT department consists of a wide variety of people with different ages, ethnicities, and genders. Co-ops work with many interesting, humorous, and fun people.
Looking over my co-op experience, choosing to work at INPO has been a good decision.
Working at the Help Desk at INPO has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. I’ve gained so much priceless knowledge about professionalism, how the corporate world functions, how to deal with real-world issues, personal and professional interpersonal relationships, troubleshooting, and work ethic.
Working here has truly opened my eyes to the diversity that exists in this world, and has taught me how to creatively satisfy the needs of individuals and groups. My confidence, character, knowledge, wisdom, patience, understanding, self-awareness, and social awareness have all grown immensely since beginning here. I had the pleasure of working with a great team of co-ops who were supportive and encouraging to each other. I was fortunate to have an amazing group of IT professionals who were always willing to help me work and learn; they all have such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
Lastly, and most importantly, I was blessed with a wonderful supervisor who is extremely passionate about her job; she motivated me to grow, and pushed me to reach further than I ever thought I could reach. She has been a key source of growth and motivation in my personal and professional life, as she has an abundance of experience and wisdom that she’s always willing to share. I’m very thankful that she is such an approachable supervisor; if I ever needed to talk about anything she was there to listen and provide what help she could.
I made a great decision to work here and will never regret that choice. I feel when I graduate, more so because of this job than school, I will be ready to tackle what lies ahead. I’m ready to make a difference.
Choosing to co-op at INPO is a decision I'll never regret. Working here has been the perfect complement to Georgia Tech's curriculum. The experience I have gained and the relationships I have built are invaluable to me. I have learned a variety of hard and soft skills at INPO that I couldn't have learned in school. I've learned how to communicate my ideas more effectively, how to conduct business in a corporate environment, how to manage my time and work load, and how to build relationships with my co-workers.
Thanks to INPO, I've added a variety of Microsoft technologies to the skill set I've established through school, and my programming knowledge is now backed with a foundation of industry experience. I can't stress the value of the real-world experience that INPO gives its co-op students. I have so many co-op peers with other employers who seem to do nothing too relevant to their long-term career goals.
INPO has helped me discover my career path. They have helped me hone the skills I want to continue using, and they've added ones I couldn't have gained at Tech. The people at INPO really make it worth coming to work every day. I've made friends that I know I'll keep long after I leave. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work at INPO.
Jou John Vue
INPO was my second job in my current career; my first was McDonald’s. The move from fast food to the nuclear industry was certainly a big one. I quickly learned that INPO was very diverse and a fascinating company to work at. My time at INPO gave me a lot of insight on the business environment, which helped me mature. I’ll always remember and keep my experiences at INPO with me.
When I first started at INPO I was still fairly new to the idea of a job as I only had 2 summers of previous job experience. First semester was an eye opener for me. It was always a constant challenge to open up and interact with everyone from my fellow co-ops to customers. I had a lot of technical knowledge but, the most challenging part was getting used to the work environment. There were a lot of rules, polices, and procedures to follow closely. I had some trouble at first, but people at INPO were so welcoming that I was quickly assimilated into this close-knit family.
As the semesters went by, I grew more accustom to the work environment and gained tremendous skills in my work ethics. It took a lot of hard work and time, but thanks to my co-workers, supervisor, and customers, I was able to grow and mature. It is a great feeling coming to work and knowing I am prepared and ready. I really appreciate the certifications and training that INPO offered to me. From learning about computer components to crucial conversations, I benefited a lot from them. Not only was I offered great training material, I had to put it into use every day at my job. To me, hands-on learning is the best. I can train all day about something but if I don’t put it to use, then it is useless to me
At INPO I also had the opportunity to work alongside 4 other co-ops in a team of 5. At other companies you’re usually hired on as the only co-op for the company. INPO puts you in a team with other co-ops of various levels of expertise to support the whole company. I was never alone in my job and received a lot of help from my teammates. That was a great aiding factor when I was lost and had no clue on what to do. My team was also there to evaluate and aid in my growth. Feedback was essential and helping each other was one of our number one priorities. Thanks to them, I was able to discover my weaknesses and remedy them before going out to the real world.
While performing day to day work I was studied very closely by my supervisor Brenda. Brenda Byrd is an awesome supervisor to work with. She taught me a great number of things about people and aspects of life in general. If you want to succeed, if you want to learn, Brenda will be there to push you towards those goals. She is always willing to listen and help you. I only regret that I cannot work with her longer to learn even more from this grandmaster of people.
I recommend INPO to anyone looking to co-op. I was able gain confidence in myself, technical knowledge, and great work ethics at INPO. The experiences you gain here will be with you for a life time. You are not only able to gain experiences yourself, but also help others grow alongside you. As long as you have the will to learn and an inquisitive mind INPO will offer you the experience you want.
I’ve heard many stories from Georgia Tech peers that were cooping at different companies. Several of them summed up their duties and experience as menial tasks and odd jobs they would perform for their employers with little hands-on experience on real-world projects. INPO turned out to be the very opposite of that.
From day one I started receiving professional training and guidance not just from my supervisors, but from everyone there that had experience to share. As I progressed through the semesters and gained more experience I took on more responsibility. Throughout my time here I knew my work was appreciated and useful to the company as a whole. INPO gave me that unique co-op experience where I get to see my projects and assignments in action in the real business world solving real world problems. The challenges never stopped regardless of what semester I was in and the work was varied so it always kept me interested. INPO’s work culture is very welcoming and I was never treated as a ‘lowly co-op’ but as a fully capable member of INPO team. I entered INPO as just a co-op college student, and I left feeling like professional.
Working at INPO, you learn many things that you can take with you for the rest of your life. Looking back, I see a dramatic change in my personality professionally and personally from when I joined INPO and when I left. I learned how to work in a corporate environment, how to work on a team with very define roles, and how to work within a diverse environment. As a co-op, INPO offered opportunities to help me understand and plan my career goals. These can range from certifications to working side by side with IT professionals.
While I was working as an IT co-op for INPO, I was introduced to the corporate environment for the first time. I had to learn how to adapt to various types of peoples and situations. Every person at INPO has a different level of competence when it came to technology, and I had to be aware of this. I also had to be aware of their ability to accept and receive help from someone who is almost half their age in some instances. Communicating and working with a multitude of personalities and skill sets helped shape my own personal skill sets. The skills that you can learn in a co-op program, especially one from INPO, are invaluable and will never leave you.
The responsibilities that are given to you as a co-op here at INPO are also an important factor in developing career goals. You are given an opportunity to working in different areas in the Help Desk to see things from different angles. This also helped me “stay on my toes” as you are given a chance to change pace or work environment. While you do get to work with your team in the immediate help desk, working with the second level support staff was a big plus. You were not expected to ask to shadow along or learn from the “pros”, but I took every opportunity that I could to sit next to someone who was a veteran in their field and learn from them. Here at INPO, we have a wide variety of professionals in the IT field that gives the co-op program access a star-studded panel of knowledgeable people.
Absorbing knowledge and gaining experience while at INPO were my two main goals and I think I have reached and even exceeded both goals in many instances. The certifications, experience, and understanding of IT and support that were gained at INPO prepared me to start my career. I am now more confident and skilled when it comes to IT and working in a corporate environment. Going into my first career job, I will bring dedication, leadership skills, communication skills, and IT skills to the table with results. This can be credited to my time here at INPO.
Juan Antonio De Cardenas
Working at INPO has been one of the greatest learning experiences I’ve had. In the three years I’ve been here I’ve grown more knowledgeable in both costumer service skills and computer hardware and software troubleshooting. When I had first started here, I wasn’t very confident with my ability to communicate appropriately to customers, especially when on the phone or through emails. Now I have no problem effectively explaining exactly what I need to and respectfully communicating with customers. Part of this is thanks to one of the certifications that INPO offers to co-ops which is focused on customer support skills, but the biggest thing that helped me were my coworkers.
The people here are the nicest and most fun group I’ve ever had a chance to work with. One of my favorite times of the year is Halloween, because almost the entire IT department will dress up, and then spend the day working in costume. I was also impressed with how much people were willing to teach me about their jobs. Just from talking to other people on the floor I learned about networking, server management, virtualization, and our telephony system.
Another aspect of this job that impressed me was the certifications offered; INPO paid so I could train and get certifications that I will now be able to show off to any future employers. All the training I received increased my understanding of a computer’s hardware system, and windows operating system. The information I learned from my A+ training is what helped me get started with building my own personal desktop.
This job has also helped me develop leadership skills. During my last semester I was able to be the co-op Team Lead, which meant I was helping manage the other co-ops and they would come to me with any questions. The decision to take this job is one I will never regret, and is one I would recommend for anyone interested in the IT world.
It is hard to put in words all that I have gained from my time co-oping at INPO. The first hint that I would enjoy this job came when I interviewed with my supervisor. I found out that I would not only develop my technical abilities and communication skills, but also get the chance to work with an amazing group of people. The individuals that I worked with truly made this job worth waking up for every day. From this job, I have gained many new professional relationships that I can use in my career, but more importantly many new friendships that will stay with me long after I finish the co-op program and graduate from college.
I believe that the most important skill this job has helped me to develop is leadership. I was given the opportunity to be the help desk team leader for two semesters, which I enjoyed immensely. Taking on projects such as companywide hardware and software upgrades, help desk ticket trending and analysis, and building strong relationships with other co-ops allowed me to gain invaluable knowledge on how to be a leader. Even though I was not a full time employee, my input on projects was always considered and many times implemented. I also had the chance to work closely with my supervisor, and other IT professionals in the department. There is no better way to develop your own skills than to learn from the best, which I am thankful for every day. Most co-ops in technical support are given the chance to be a team leader, and I highly recommend the experience as it will force you to step outside of your comfort zone and discover skills that you did not even know you possessed.
I strongly encourage anyone interested in co-oping to consider INPO, because you will come out of it prepared to take on anything. There are many opportunities to succeed in this program, and the environment here is setup for you to thrive no matter what your previous experiences are. I could not imagine a better co-op experience, and I am thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of INPO.
I thoroughly enjoyed my four semesters at INPO. The main reason it was so enjoyable was the people I got to work with. All of them were always very helpful and supportive of what I was trying to accomplish at the time. I could always stop by someone’s office and ask what they thought or if I could do something better. The other coops have been very easy to get along with, and they help create a pleasant working atmosphere. There’s always a work “family” that forms in a job, but this just seemed stronger and closer than others I have witnessed. It made the job easier and more exciting. I actually looked forward to heading to work for a coop semester.
The second reason I enjoyed INPO was the wide variety of languages that they use. It was a terrific experience learning languages such as C#, VB.NET, SQL, and ASP.NET. It was very helpful to know that INPO tried to stay up-to-date with new technological advances. Sure, there are still some applications that use VB6 and classic ASP, but I needed refreshers in those languages also. Basically, I received a wide knowledge-base in many different current languages. This is terrific knowledge to have in future job interviews within the Computer Programming field.
Lastly, I learned how to act independently on projects. Working as an Apps Coop, I was able to completely control my time, and had to make decisions on how to manage different work requests and help desks. I was able to gain trust with my superiors and get placed on higher level projects, which allowed me to work closely with full time employees. This helped me see how the exempt employees handled their everyday projects. I feel that I learned a lot just watching them do their job. It helped me see how to successfully manage my work load and accomplish things in a very reasonable amount of time. Overall, I feel that my position at INPO has completely prepared me for a future job.
Before INPO, you could say that I was quite a hermit crab, in the sense that it was easier to climb Mount Everest than to get me to talk. Everything changed, though, when I started co-oping at INPO. Working at the IT Service Desk has not only helped me gain basic knowledge about computers and other IT equipment, but it has also gotten me out of my shell. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't just the customer service portion of the job that got me to speak up; it was also the great people whom I worked with.
One main reason why I chose to work for this company was because of the people and the environment. It is impossible not to make friends in this company, whether they are in the same department or not. The fact that this is a smaller company helps foster such friendships. I have not only worked with a bunch of crazy, full-of-life, kind, and smart co-ops and IT folks, I have also worked with kind and compassionate INPO employees.
The customer service and the computer repair sides of the job have increased my knowledge of computers in general, since I came into the world of computers as a rookie. Troubleshooting skills, problem solving skills, and leadership skills are only just a few examples of what I've learned here, and those are key to succeeding in any part of my life whether it be college or any other job.
I will value each and every experience that INPO has given me, and in the future, I hope to work for a company that has the amount of integrity and excellence as INPO. As one of my favorite song says "Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road, Time grabs you by the wrist directs you where to go." Well, for me, I will always be happy about the day I chose INPO. INPO has been my major stepping stone for my future, and I will never forget the people I have worked with and all the good times we have shared.
Have you ever heard of the expression, “Where you end up has a lot to do with where you start?” You might not care but this simple expression has been repeatedly drilled into my brain over the years. But I never actually bothered to understand what it meant until a couple of years ago. I heard it when people said it but I never really listened to what they were trying to say.
I came to the realization midway through my college career that I do not know where to start, when to start, how to start, or even what to start. I thought high school and college were supposed to prepare me for the real world, to help me hone in my skills in order to determine the best possible path for me. But studying, researching, and listening to someone only goes so far. These tasks get mundane and repetitive but an actually hands-on experience is totally different. This is what cooping is to me, an actual hands-on experience.
Initially, I was mainly interested in obtaining a coop position related to my field. I was able to obtain that. I heard rumors about other co-op jobs where coops were given meager tasks like stapling papers or making copies but I wanted my coop experience to be more than that, which it has proven to be. My coop job allowed me to develop leadership, communication, and customer service skills among other skills.
I worked as a PC Support co-op for four semesters at INPO. When I first started at INPO, I was extremely shy and knew very little about troubleshooting computers. Working in the helpdesk proved to be a good experience for me. Not only has it allowed me to work with a very diverse group of people but it has allowed me to learn a lot about computers, the importance of customer service, project management, and various aspects of the information technology field.
My experience cooping at INPO has been a beneficial and practical experience. If you put into the program what you hope to get out, it can be very rewarding. It has served as a learning experience, a starting point for me to determine where to go in my field. INPO has taught me the importance of teamwork and a friendly working environment.
It is hard to describe my co-op experience in just a short paragraph because I have taken away so much from it. What started out as a simple internship, turned into one of the most memorable experiences I have had the pleasure of being a part of. INPO has a very unique program that allows its Co-ops to get leadership experience by becoming a Team Lead for a semester.
This position alone has given me such an edge over my competition during interviews that I cannot stress how valuable it is. It is such a rare thing to find; a new college graduate with real-world leadership experience. INPO is an amazing learning environment, but what you put in is what you get out of it. Push yourself to see how much you can get out of it, and I know that you will find it just as rewarding as I have.
When applying for permanent jobs, there has never been a situational question asked that I did not have multiple perfect examples lined up. And employers are thoroughly impressed by the depth of your understanding of how business works.
Not only does INPO teach you the technical skills you will need in the future, but most importantly it teaches you how to interact with people, which you will learn is the most important skill of all.
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.
It is tempting to want to find a co-op position at a large company. From what my friends have told me, they often find themselves lost in a sea of thousands of co-workers to do remedial work. INPO’s greatest asset is the small nature of the company. Co-workers in the IT department, and the people throughout the company as a whole, are nothing but supportive and willing to offer advice and words of wisdom. Being a smaller company, a co-op job at INPO is one of importance and people will look for you to solve real problems in a timely manner. The team of co-ops you work with will prove to be friends for life by the time you complete your co-op assignment.
My time at INPO has literally taught me everything I know about computer troubleshooting and computer configurations. While the job would otherwise be filled by permanent employees at other companies, INPO decided long ago to take college students in to give them professional education. From the day I first interviewed with INPO, it was stressed that I was there to learn and that my mistakes, if any, were part of the learning process. Part of the education process was growing my leadership skills and communication skills, for which I am thankful for and will serve me well as I apply for my first job out of college. The permanent employees of INPO never treated me in any way other than as an equal, and the experience you can glean from them is limitless. Expressing desire to expand your knowledge outside of your job description is not only encouraged, but someone will be there to help you grow if you show the interest to do so.
INPO is the best thing that happened to me, because it prepared me not only as a professional but as a person. INPO gave me every resource necessary to grow in exchange for a good attitude and good effort. I could not imagine a better job to start my career as an IT professional than in one designed to foster the way INPO does.
Before I started working at INPO I held a Co-op position at another company where I made cables and organized shelves of equipment. Fortunately, I left that position after one semester and was able to secure a position at INPO. As a Co-op at INPO I had the opportunity to work with 4 other Co-ops in the IT Service Desk. This meant that I no longer had to work on menial tasks like making cables. I was now a part of the front line of defense for any calls that came into the INPO IT Department. This experience gave me a lot of knowledge that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Although the technical knowledge that I learned at INPO is great, even greater is the mentorship that I received from my manager. My manager took a personal interest in our growth as professionals as well as individuals. This allowed us to take a look at who we truly were and gave us an opportunity to grow in a way that would both interest and impress possible future employers.
On top of this, I had the opportunity to gain valuable contacts and work with people that I can genuinely call friends. Unlike many work places, INPO has a close-knit family like culture. I often received encouragement from my coworkers, and had the opportunity to gain insight into their “outside of work” lives. I was even assisted on several occasions when I built my own desktop computers.
I can truly say that as an employee of INPO I never woke up dreading to go to work. I enjoyed my time working at INPO and would recommend this to any student who is looking for growth and experience on a technical level as well as on a personal level.
I truly believe the INPO IT co-op program will leave an amazing lasting impression on anyone. INPO is a place where you can live, laugh, love and learn. It truly is a joy working with all of the people at INPO.
While working as a co-op, I was able to receive a first look into a diverse professional environment. I sat back and watched everyone around me; doing so provided me insight to what the business world looks like on the inside. INPO has an environment where people can grow and develop skills that can be carried throughout all walks of life. INPO taught me the skills I would need for any situation. The program allowed me to hone in on my interpersonal, problem solving, leadership, and professional skills. And there were years of knowledge and experience walking around me. If ever I needed to know something, there was someone to turn to.
The INPO IT co-op program gave me the keys to success and room to grow professionally as an individual. Then it fostered any talents and gifts I had to offer to give me the best co-op experience one can imagine. I am now ready for whatever lies ahead.
I was a co-op at INPO for about 6 semesters. What I like most about this company is that they are a people company, the environment is typically always positive, and INPO sincerely cares about your success. In the co-op program, you’re not expected to know much when you first arrive, in fact I knew very little. I barely knew about the hardware components of a computer, knew little of the ins and outs of Windows OS, aside from how to navigate it through childhood experience. I was essentially your average computer user that had an interest in Information Technology. If there is a certification you would like to add to your resume, INPO will help you achieve that goal by providing all the resources you’ll need, including paying for your exam. By the end of my co-op working at the service desk, I could honestly say I gained a plethora of knowledge that I am able to apply in my daily life whether it be personal, or IT related. I gained experience replacing parts of a PC or laptop, to see how projects flow from beginning to end, basic troubleshooting in various areas, i.e. basic networking, basic security, and in-house built web applications, and much more.
Through this co-op program, you are not treated as if you’re an afterthought. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in real work that affects INPO and the Nuclear Industry on the daily basis. I would highly recommend this program for all of these reasons and many others that were not mentioned. Apply yourself and challenge yourself daily to learn something new and the outcome will be positive.
I am happy to say that I am now one of the many fortunate co-ops who has a full-time position here at the company where we continue to grow with INPO and as IT Professionals.