#UDIntern: Past and Present CAI Intern Perspectives

BY: ELYSE HENNEWINKEL (Current Intern):

Junior year can be one of the most stressful time periods for many students during college. Along with taking some of their most challenging courses, the majority of kids are struggling to find a summer job or internship. I am a psychology major at the University of Delaware and have changed my mind about what I want to do with my life at least ten times over the past four years. It was extremely difficult to look for an internship without having specific career goals. Scrolling through opportunities on the UD Career Services web page, I found an opportunity that interested me at Computer Aid, Inc. Originally I was just looking for an internship that would build my resume and provide me with a full-time opportunity for 3 months over the summer. Almost one year later, I am still interning with CAI and continue to learn something new every day. I can honestly say that choosing to intern with this company was one of the best decisions I made during my time at the University of Delaware.

One concern that many students have about pursuing an internship during the school year is that their grades will fall. At Computer Aid, everybody is extremely flexible and managers are more than willing work with your class schedule. Anytime I have an exam coming up and need to switch my hours to study, I have never been nervous to ask for time off. Managers are all very understanding that school comes first. My fall semester of senior year, CAI even worked with one of my professors so I could get credits for my internship while I was also getting paid. All of the positions at Computer Aid are paid including all internships within any department.

Another reason I have loved interning at CAI stems from its very convenient location. Computer Aid is located at 500 Creek View Rd., which is right next to Timothy’s Restaurant. Depending on where you live on campus, this could be a simple walk. In fact, I didn’t have a car when I began working and just walked. It would have taken me only 10 minutes to get to the building every morning if I hadn’t stopped at Hot Bagels on the way. Slowly, I learned that I should stop getting bagels every morning because Computer Aid has multiple food trucks that come every week with delicious options. The culture at CAI is another reason that interning here has been so enjoyable. Once a week we have a popcorn day with free, all-you-can-eat popcorn. My favorite goodie day at CAI comes once a month; when we celebrate all of our monthly birthdays, free cake is provided for anyone in the building. Being an intern in the Human Resources Department, I help out with all of these goodie days and a bunch of other fun events. This has been a very rewarding experience because exciting events like these are part of the reason for CAI’s upbeat, cooperative, and inviting atmosphere.

Interns quickly become incorporated in the culture here as they gain knowledge about the company and meet their co-workers. I felt at home at CAI within a couple of weeks, which is why an internship that I intended to pursue for only three months has lasted me almost a year. Working at Computer Aid, I have acquired skills that are necessary to have in any career I pursue after graduation. I have gained many professional skills over the past year, as well as life skills that I could not have simply learned in a classroom setting. Coming in as a psychology major, I knew absolutely nothing about IT consulting and very little about business as a whole. After settling into my HR internship, I am amazed at how much I have learned about Computer Aid, IT consulting, Human Recourses, and the business environment as a whole. Every manager I have had has been tremendously helpful whenever I have a question or concern about any project or task that I am assigned to complete. CAI’s environment has allowed me to comfortably grow into a professional. Their internship program has done an incredible job preparing me to hop into the real world following graduation.

 

BY: THOMAS JULIAN (Former Intern) :

During my undergraduate career, working as an intern was a great experience. I was brought on to CAI as a Service Desk Intern, but in reality I was not doing any Service Desk work. CAI leaders noticed my skills and interest in metrics, documentation, and data quality. They had me work on a few different projects, ranging from building metrics, creating data charts, and implementing process manuals. To me, this was far more business experience than I would have acquired answering phones and e-mails. During this internship, CAI was very flexible, they allowed me to only work 1 day a week during my semesters, so I could focus on my schoolwork as my primary goal. CAI was extremely close to campus, which was great for the life of a college student. I left CAI to continue to pursue my undergraduate career in Psychology and Cognitive Science. A few years later (after I graduated), I heard about a partnership with a Danish non-profit organization, Specialisterne and CAI. I inquired about this, with some connections I had made during my internship and low and behold, I was brought on full time to help with this partnership. This was a great opportunity, as I was working with Specialisterne (training adults on the Autism Spectrum) as well as gaining a variety of skills within CAI’s business units. I believe without my experience as an intern, my entry back into CAI would have been much more difficult. CAI had provided me with many learning opportunities and chances to build upon skills that I previously did not acquire.

 

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