After 14 weeks of working on various projects, students in the 2019 Information and Technology Services Internship Cohort lined the Michigan League with posters at the ITS Internship Showcase on Friday. The showcase featured a poster session, a student panel and closing remarks from Ravi Pendse, vice president for information technology and chief information officer.
This year, the Internship Cohort was comprised of 47 university and high school students. While many were from the University of Michigan, there were also students from University of Southern California, Michigan State University and surrounding Ann Arbor high schools.
DePriest Dockins, co-chairman of the ITS Internship planning committee, stated there was a jump in the number of applicants this year.
“We went from about 130 the previous year to 320 this year,” Dockins said. “We were astonished.”
According to Dockins, many students selected stood out in enthusiasm and ability to grow. Dockins stated many of the candidates come in with little to no hands-on experience, so the program administrators hope the ITS Internship provides interns with the perfect complement to their strong academic background.
Diane Jones, executive director of operations in ITS, serves as a sponsor for the program and worked with the planning committee to expand and improve the program. This year, Jones explained they integrated the Wolverine Pathways Program to introduce high school students to technology-oriented fields. The Wolverine Pathways Program is a free local program that helps seventh through 12th grade students prepare for college.
“We’re hugely proud that we’re able to contribute to that and bring students from surrounding areas,” Jones said. “The Wolverine Pathway Program is so important to helping students understand how to manage life.”
Tamariah Davis is a senior at Ypsilanti Community High School and was a participant of the Wolverine Pathway Program. She said she learned how to use adobe, manage responsibilities and become more self confident.
“I’m very undecided about what I want to do in life,” Davis said. “I want to be a nurse, I want to be in ITS, I want to be a teacher, I want to be so many things … This helped me narrow down what I wanted to do.”
Michigan State University senior Raisa Morrison worked on creating the ITS Intern Portal to improve and centralize intern communication. As an English major, she said she was able to apply what she learned in classes to being the project manager for her group.
“Being nontechnical, I was really nervous,” Morrison said. “But they create a lot of space for technical and non-technical students.”
LSA senior Joseph Lisi, on the other hand, was exposed to many different experiences that improved his technical skills. He worked on a project about significant incident automation to improve the coordination and responsiveness to various information and technology issues.
“I was able to take a professional business process and learn about it and learn how to improve it,” Lisi said. “It’s not really stuff you can learn in school.”