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What Can I Expect As an IT Intern?

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the here's-a-hint-it-flows-downhill dept.

Businesses 325

p3np8p3r writes "I'm in college and working towards my Bachelors in Computer Science. Last year I passed both my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and now have been offered (via a staffing company) a full-time Internship at a wireless lab of a major laptop manufacturer. The pay is going to be around $8 an hour full-time but that is not my primary motivator. I'm considering this significant decrease in pay from my previous (non-IT) job to be counterbalanced by what valuable knowledge I may gain both in the technical aspects and industry insight while I finish school. This field is all new to me and I don't personally know anyone who has worked in it before who will give me their honest opinions on it. Although I know circumstances differ greatly, in general, what can I expect as an IT Intern? What have been your experiences?"

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Have you looked elsewhere ? (5, Insightful)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363326)

I developed some software on my own when I was in school which allowed to get known. I then did my internship at full salary (20$ an hour back then) for a small company. A "major laptop manufacturer" might seem a little cheap at 8$ an hour even for an internship.

Have you looked for company to do your internship by yourself? It could be important to do your internship in a place that will fit to your career plan, ask questions and talk to the company representatives. In short, don't view your internship as just another academical formality in order to get your bachelor degree. Don't go work there as a governmental clerk just doing another day ;-))

Re:Have you looked elsewhere ? (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363570)

Have you looked for company to do your internship by yourself? It could be important to do your internship in a place that will fit to your career plan, ask questions and talk to the company representatives.

I agree. Submitter doesn't really tell what his career plan is or what the "IT work" means.

In my teen years (and a some after) I enjoyed coding and creating my own gaming projects. It was fun to code them and test out things and I honestly spend maybe way way too many hours with them. That lead me to look for universities and jobs for a game coder and I though I'd be happy doing so always - After all I did enjoy doing it myself as a hobby.

The thing is, I would had not enjoy doing it as work. Even if it still interests me and I'm happy doing game coding as a hobby, I don't know if I wanted to do that as a work. You would ultimately get instructions from the game developers to do what they want - no your own vision, no your ideas, you're just coding what they tell you to. This was different in 80's and first half of 90's, but it's like that today. Today the projects are huge, which means that usual IT and coding and so on works are quite different what you might have though.

Something that sounds fine and interesting right now probably will not be so in the long run (or even small). This is why you should try to get a complete view to things and learn as widely as possible. Doing something less nicer will help to get there, but one shouldn't keep his view just on it.

Now that IT is getting more and more daily part of the world too, don't just view it as IT work as it probably contains things from other areas. Get to know media. Get to know marketing. Get to know designing. Something more upper level, and get to know peoples experience.

Re:Have you looked elsewhere ? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363724)

I'm currently doing work-study for a company as an IT guy. Basically it's just an "every other semeseter" intern instead of the typical "summer intern."

I wish someone told me this advice at the time -- you can always hold out for another job. If you don't land an internship this summer then who the hell cares? Grab a book, program something, learn shell scripting, work a job as a computer tech (not necessarily as an "intern"). Do something. My friend programs websites & iphone apps, and has sold over 15,000 apps.

With regard to your job responsibilities as an intern, it depends a lot on your place of work. You could be running cables, you could be doing support tickets, crawling under desks, in the ceiling tiles, or just doing random ass work with power tools since somehow people think if it deals with electricity and at some point has a computer plugged in IT should do it. At my job the students manage all infrastructure and computational equipment. Basically my company believes students are cheap labor, but if you pay them well enough and give them enough learning opportunities they'll work as hard as a professional and just get paid less. For my most recent work term I was earning ~$20/hr, but with no fringe benefits. When I started work 2 years ago (at a different place) I was getting $14 but had a 401k with employer match, (optional) health insurance, and paid vacation. I think my lowest offer was $10 and that was for a small real estate agent. At $8/hr consider whether you really would like this job, whether you're taking it just because they're offering it to you, or whether you just want their name on your resume and you couldn't care less what the wage is. All 3 are perfectly valid reasons to take a job, but if it's the second I'd personally tend towards finding another place.

See if your school doesn't have a co-op/internship office that will help you find jobs in your field. Our school has a website where you can search jobs and internships for particular semesters and in particular fields. It's incredibly useful when job hunting.

Re:Have you looked elsewhere ? (3, Interesting)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363756)

I can second the OP's statement. Every co-op that I've had, including the one that eventually turned into my full-time position, has paid at least $18/hr, with the average holding at around $20/hr. $8/hr for an IT internship is close to minimum wage here in New York, so that makes me question what kind of internship this is.

What's the description of your internship? If you're getting paid this little, I'm going to assume that you're taking a help desk role (I hope you're not). In that case, at the very worst, expect to be answering phone calls all day and reading from a script, performing the most rudimentary of technical support tasks almost monotonously. You'll probably have to assemble reports as well, which isn't terribly exciting, nor is it contributional to your goal (ref: Office Space).

Additionally, a description of your work would be helpful for us because IT is an extremely diverse field. Most people assume IT to mean computer support, but there are so many non-technical roles that coalesce with these support roles that appropriately belong in IT (Project Management being one of them). For instance, one of my co-ops, which was also one of the ones I enjoyed least, was as a business analyst, where I was responsible for assisting in getting software projects off the ground from conception to "go live." I was intrigued by the fact that I never had a role like this, but was quickly turned off to it when I realized that while I was discussing technology, I couldn't touch it. Having to work on boring HTML all day didn't help either.

Nonetheless, in most good internships or co-ops where your manager actually lets you play with stuff and, even better, allows you to possibly break things (which hardly ever happens, especially in critical IT roles), you'll be expected to assist in low-risk projects that should be educational to you, but not be a terribly significant contribution to the company or division overall. I know that might sound discouraging, but you really do learn in some of these projects, and they give you a chance to show your managers what you're capable of IF you like what you'll be doing. I've done projects that were so dull (to me) that sleeping on the job and/or reading Slashdot OFF lunch-hours (that's when you know it's bad) was preferable to actually working on my assigned tasks. However, I've had projects that I really enjoyed and ran with them, with excellent results at the end.

As an aside, if you find that you're not enjoying your gig, try your best to finish on a good note. It really helps make you look more professional in the end, even though most managers expect the worst from their interns (i.e. wasted space). I know I've ended on sour terms with some of my previous managers, and looking back to it, I wish I hadn't. It didn't affect me too much in the grand scheme of things, but it still sucks to look back at those experiences and realize how undesirably they've ended.

Good luck, and enjoy! (Unless you're gonna be help desk; that's a lost cause. :-p)

I was hired where I interned (4, Interesting)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363350)

And have worked here about 2.5 years now, including my year as an intern. It was alot of fun, and I learned an immense amount.

Plain and simple, kiss your bosses ass. If your lucky enough to be liked, you may end up getting a job offer when your hired, and in this economy, you'd be considered lucky.

Expect to be doing alot of grunt work. Your coworkers are going to use you as a "gopher". Don't take it personally, but also be insistant on wanting to learn their jobs, not just get their coffee. Alot of people are going to be afraid to give you an indepth look at what they do, their afraid if someone else knows their job, they'll be fired. This not much you can really do about it, besides just pick up what you can from the sidelines.

Be outgoing, and don't slack. If that means working through lunch everyday, it'll be worth it in the end when you come away with a better knowledge of whats going on.

Try to ask intelligent questions. You'll catch people off guard and look alot more intelligent by asking "How could I use cat and grep in order to do..." instead of "Whats grep?"

Re:I was hired where I interned (4, Insightful)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363478)

I would broadly agree, but I would personally advise against kissing the bosses ass. Any boss you have to kiss the ass of to succeed isn't a boss worth working for.
A good boss will be happy if you (or any employee) work diligently for the COMPANY, not just the boss personally. This means sometimes professionally disagreeing with the boss, and letting him know that (politely!). This has worked very well for me before, but of course YMMV.
As for paying attention and learning what you can. thats excellent advice. I have turned a year working in warehouses (forklift driving, general box shifting) into valuable career experience just by looking around, asking questions and taking everything in. Good bosses will recognise when you are doing this, and appreciate evidence of you having done this before in any job.
I know theres a lot of "a good boss.." in this post and I am aware that there are thousands of abysmal bosses out there, but the bad ones are the ones to avoid working for whenever possible. IMO Its better for your career (in the long run) and sanity to work in some hypothetical burger joint on $6/hr for a GOOD boss than somewhere on $60,000 for an asshole who won't let you get any useful experience under your belt or otherwise let you progress.

Re:I was hired where I interned (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363508)

I disagree with most of this guy's advice.

First off, if you want to be outgoing and "kiss your boss's ass", for goodness' sake don't work through lunch. Lunch with your coworkers is your most valuable tool in getting to know them and, more importantly, making sure they get to know you.

If people keep using you as a "gopher" and keep fighting you while you're trying to learn, report this to your advisor and ask him what to do about it. If it keeps up, leave and get a decent internship elsewhere. The best way to prevent this is to make sure, in advance, it's clear what your responsibilities are. If you don't get any responsibilities of your own, that's a big red flag right there.

Don't worry too much about not asking dumb questions, or making your questions sound more intelligent than they really are (whatever that means). You're an intern, nobody expects you to know everything. Do some research on your own if your question is about general tools like cat and grep, but if you need to ask a question, just go ahead and ask it. Chances are it's not as dumb as you think it is.

Finally, I'd say you should probably determine in advance which is your primary goal: learn stuff, or get a job offer. If all you're interested in is the latter, then sure, kiss your boss's ass. I'd say your primary goal should be the former; if you actually learn something from your internship and perform well, people will notice and the job offer will arrive on its own without too much ass-kissing.

Re:I was hired where I interned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363746)

In theory, I agree but the reality is that the poor kid needs a job and they aren't there.

For all we know his world has nothing to do with cat and grep. He's probably feeling out /. for places to go to look for work. He probably knows all about those commands or hasn't even been studying UNIX. An MIS degree that consists of MS Office classes and some business math is NOT a track that /. people would take seriously. You can mostly get that info from his post. A+? Network+? Come on! Most people here could pass those without ever buying the books.

The reality check for all job hunters is that the universities have been shaking people down. The first thing a kid in school should learn is how much they DON'T know, and not to get hung up on what they do. As long as he has learned how to learn on his own, he's on the right track.

You're right. If the office is full of IT hillbillies, don't unpack your bags. Just don't burn bridges if you can help it.

Re:I was hired where I interned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363932)

You should definitely take a bit of both from each of these posts!

If the atmosphere is informal, then makesure you socialise, do lunch, go for an afterwork beer but if the place is a knuckle down and get it done place do that. I'm sure you bright enough to work that out though.

It is important to lean the products and processes. Ask as many question as you want, but never ask the same question more than once! If you have to write stuff down do that, having worked with interns before there is nothing more fustrating than explaining the same task over and over again! If you have time read around the stuff you are being given to do so at least you can frame any questions you do have in a vaguely intelligent way!

Oh and $8 an hour sounds like terrible money, but then I'm in the UK and here that means you would be working for more than an hour just to get lunch each day!

Re:I was hired where I interned (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363550)

"Plain and simple, kiss your bosses ass. If your lucky enough to be liked..."

Rubbish, be yourself. If you're an arse kisser then kiss arse, if not then don't.

Re:I was hired where I interned (1)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363612)

Ok, maybe I should rephrase what I was trying to say.

I'm not necessarily saying he should brownnose. But try to get on his good side, and if this means picking a crap job over a cake job, then do it. Make yourself visible. The majority of managers don't see the guy that sits in the corner and makes beautiful code, but the guy sweating and working they think is working his butt off.

Re:I was hired where I interned (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363660)

But try to get on his good side, and if this means picking a crap job over a cake job, then do it. Make yourself visible. The majority of managers don't see the guy that sits in the corner and makes beautiful code, but the guy sweating and working they think is working his butt off.

But never ever leave doing that once you've got the place in. It's not just about visibility and working your ass off. It's about making your management know you're the man and actually intelligent, can contribute in better ways and are more suitable for more intelligent jobs. Many times taking the crap jobs and kissing ass will do just the opposite, it will show you're not really that. And if you were intelligent and worth the good jobs, why would you be taking the crap non-intelligent jobs all the time?

Re:I was hired where I interned (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363698)

I was a boss for many years, I was the one who picked who got cake and who got the shit sandwich. Most of all I appreciated people who cheerfully and efficiently did either, I didn't care half as much as to how they did it.

Re:I was hired where I interned (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364020)

Make yourself visible. The majority of managers don't see the guy that sits in the corner and makes beautiful code, but the guy sweating and working they think is working his butt off.

Again, this is one of those pieces of advice that applies differently in different places. I didn't do an internship, but a lot of people here did. I'm one of those who sat in the corner writing beautiful code rather than making a big song-and-dance about what they were doing. When it came to put all the software components through acceptance testing, it was noticed that my component was the only one that went through testing first time with only a couple of minor fixes to be made - every other component failed with major problems. Doing your job well may not get you noticed as quickly as making a fuss about it all the time, but you will get noticed at some point and it will be far better than trying to sell yourself at every step of the way - especially if you're an intern (who they don't expect to come out with great results).

Re:I was hired where I interned (3, Funny)

dzafez (897002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363722)

Oh yes and make yourself a list on how everybody likes his coffee.

First thing in the morning make sure everyone et a cup before asking.

It might help to be there a little early.

Get a little rolling bolster, so delivering coffee will be easier.

It might be funny for your co-workers, if you get a little starbucks cap.

Re:I was hired where I interned (1)

matang (731781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363778)

i agree. an internship is exactly what you make of it. i've had both IT and non-IT interns work for me and universally i'd rather hire the intern who works hard, asks questions, and realizes that some of the stuff they are doing is menial crap that we all had to do when we started out. you can do your internship just to say you did one (which honestly won't matter to most potential employers that much) or you can really try, ask questions, try to be involved, etc. a lot of the busy work they ask you to do does help, but mostly it's to keep you busy while they work on important stuff. if you show you can be trusted (even just to grab a screwdriver when needed) they'll start bringing you along for fixes, start showing you the ropes, etc. if you pay attention you'll likely be surprised that you can be an asset relatively quickly. when you're standing in the server room looking over someone's shoulder, pay attention to what they're doing. it's easy to let your mind wander but you might just happen to notice the thing the guy in charge is missing. if you're smart, you'll notice it, let him/her know by asking something like "is that screen configured correctly? i've never done it before", and then reap the benefit of having helped without seeming like a know-it-all. in my experience it's a tight-rope walk at first to be accepted as knowledgable without coming across as someone "dangerous" to everyone else, but if you can be helpful, personable, and willing to spend several months doing gopher stuff you'll be fine. just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary, etc.

Re:I was hired where I interned (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363800)

Plain and simple, kiss your bosses ass. If your lucky enough to be liked, you may end up getting a job offer when your hired, and in this economy, you'd be considered lucky.

So basically your advocacy is that this kid acts desperate on the job because the economy sucks and he's already hopeless? If you don't enjoy your job, then why help another person join your boat?

Don't ever "kiss ass." Ask the stupid questions (trust me; the team you'll be working with is expecting them by the dozen. They only hope that you'll get it eventually...). Have lunch with your coworkers AT LEAST ONCE to see if they're a good fit for you. Having a good set of coworkers can make bad jobs good and good jobs fantastic.

Why go IT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363364)

Why would anyone go IT? In the nearby future there will be little improvement in the situation of the many IT-workers. You are still young, why not do something else? I would only do IT if it was my passion. And even then I might consider another carreer if they would want to have me. Marketing, communication, anything just to get out of that god-forsaken-hellhole called IT.

Re:Why go IT (3, Insightful)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363472)

Marketing, communication, anything just to get out of that god-forsaken-hellhole called IT.

I'm working as a consultant developer. Been offered to be "Technical lead", but I didn't want to commit to "one company" or end up "jobhopping".
At HQ they offered me to become a "sales & marketting"-guy but it felt it would be too boring, even let a big ass car sit on the driveway of the company which would come with the job.
Then I got an offer to be an account manager and fly across Europe and on and off to Canada for networking and representing their product and creating technical requirement documents, but my current commitments and professional strategy would collide and I'd give up something I've build up.

So what's my point here? I'm still in the "god-forsaken-hellhole called IT" and love it. People see potential in me which reflects in the "offers" they throw at me, yet I don't bite just because it's "something else" or "pays more". I believe you love IT or you don't. If you don't, drop the keyboard and stop writing messy code or creating self-"jobsecurity". If things aren't the way you like them, try to fix them, be verbal and communicative or find another place to work (as long you take crap, you'll be given crap. Management will use the same tricks you're teaching them in your behaviour that work; if you get productive after you've been humiliated and shouted at for an hour, compared to an investment of 1,5 hours of "backpadding", you'll be humiliated and shouted at, it's more efficient and it works. In psychology that's simple operand conditioning.).

Its personal attitude and ability which makes the difference between a "sucking job" or a "challenging job". It's not about grabbing money and sitting out 8 hours a day, it's almost half of your waking time in the week. Why not make something of it and put yourself into it?

This kid wants to learn, his attitude will ultimately be noticed and if he's good and delivers doors will open. And they'll stay open as long he's respectful to the people that pay him and he's working with. What he can expect? I could write hours on what he could expect, but the most important thing is to experience it himself and find a way which makes sense and has meaning to himself to manoeuvre himself in that enviromnent. His ability to do so will create his personally defined success or not. There's no static or predetermined way to achieve that and no "add water and stir"-recipe. That's the beauty of the challenge (of life in general), to me; it's a playground. Go play and do whatever has meaning to yourself and you feel or think you have to do in order for it to meaningful for yourself.

I don't want to overly romanticize it, I have my days of misery as well, but it teaches me alot about myself and how to operate in a certain situation or environment. Those "negative emotions" are just red flags and indicators to me to make a change, and a clear choice wherever I'll allow myself to feel as miserable or define a way or plan to get it resolved, by being self-critical, asessing the situation or trying to identify the rootcauses. Even if it's my own idiocy or attitude which becomes resolvable once I'm having enough overview to notice and admit it.

Expect what you are paid (4, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363374)

The reason why payment is important for IT people is because your pay is proportional to how interesting your job is. Academia excepted. If you are only paid $8/hour, expect to keep doing $8/hour tasks. Like brewing coffee, boring testing work and stuff like that. On the other hand if you were paid $80/hour, you wouldn't have to do any of that because your time would be way to expensive to be wasted on such menial tasks.

Re:Expect what you are paid (3, Informative)

EEDAm (808004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363462)

It is for IT people but it's not really relevant here. He's going in for an internship in the middle of a huge recession so he's gonna make $8 an hour. Fairly meh but so what - there are plenty of people doing 'internships' for free just to get the xp. When you're an intern - be bright, enthusiastic and don't mind mucking in menial tasks ALL THE TIME. The attitude of the intern is a huge consideration of how we see our interns and whether we feel like having them back in full time employ. Everyone will be bright(ish) but you have no practical xp to trade yet so attitude and approach count for an awful lot. It may sound trite but if I had one piece of advice to any intern and anyone in their first 5, hell for the *rest* of their careers, it would be this.

Re:Expect what you are paid (2, Informative)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363806)

Counterpoint: Most of the folks in my school that are going into IT are still getting the $18+/hour salaries I got before the economy really tanked, with some making $25+/hour. Depends on your network and who's helping you.

Re:Expect what you are paid (3, Informative)

mark99 (459508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363498)

Not completely true. The most interesting jobs (high tech dev) don't pay anywhere as well as commerical dev crap.

Sigh.

Re:Expect what you are paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363568)

Like brewing coffee, boring testing work and stuff like that.

Hahaha, I do testing work & I get paid *way* more than $80/hr. Testing work is hard to do right & good people who are willing to do it are as rare as hens teeth.

Nope. (2, Interesting)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363850)

Sys Admin jobs in banks are very boring. But you earn more than most IT people.

Research jobs are very interesting (I was tangentially involved in some in my early years) but you are paid peanuts.

At the end you have to use common sense, be realistic about what you want and be willing to compromise in some aspects in order to achieve what you want (if you want money don't whine about a well paid albeit boring job).

Cut t3h 733tsp34k alr34dy (2, Insightful)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363406)

Expect to be told to stop all that substituting letters for numbers crap.

P.S. What is pateper?

Read Dilbert (4, Funny)

dzafez (897002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363412)

Dude,

read Dilbert [dilbert.com] to get more insight into the Industry then you ever wanted.
Also you may want do have a look at Userfriendly [userfriendly.org] , Hackles [hackles.org] and early Reallifecomics [reallifecomics.com] .

Maybe all this wisdom can help you picture, where you are going.

For your Internship, be ready to be the *** of the Company.

Do not stop looking for more internship opportunities.

Re:Read Dilbert (3, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363680)

And don't forget the Daily WTF [thedailywtf.com] .

Stuff your head with wisdom.. (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363426)

Ask about retired engineers at the company. Look them up and ask about who to avoid. A negative relationship can poison an otherwise ideal place of work. Try to look at all available procedures including hazmat warning sheets. Fire drills should also be a part of the workplace.

Re:Stuff your head with wisdom.. (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363526)

WTF?

Stalker behaviour! Figure people out on your own like a big boy. Asking about and then looking up retired engineers is creepy and weird. Besides which, different people find different things difficult to deal with. Those retired engineers might be social misfits and you might not. Or vice versa.

What I experienced... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363430)

I did two co-ops during college, one for a small not-for-profit called the Devereux Foundation, doing first level helpdesk type stuff, the second with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, doing second and third tier Windows Server support and server engineering.

The first paid me about $14.50/hr in 2002/2003, and was a lot of menial, grunt type stuff; moving workstations, PC repair, cleaning out computer cases, handling helpdesk calls, swapping out monitors, etc. All our computers were extremely old, even for that time, so we did a fair amount of searching for decent parts. I did, however, get to work with the network and infrastructure guys when we moved to a new facility, running network patches, installing switches and servers, etc. Perhaps the best experience I had while there was managing their upgrade from Windows 95 to Windows XP, and devising a plan to test every app known to be used.

Working at Wyeth was a complete change. The computers were brand new, the servers were brand new, the server room was immaculate (and MASSIVE), and there was plenty of money to buy test equipment/software. I was responsible for much more at this position, though the people I worked with didn't give up tasks easily. For the first few months, I had to hustle constantly to prove to them that I could do the work. After that, I was usually given decent assignments, but I felt like I never really found a niche there. That one paid better, though...roughly $19/hr.

For you, at $8/hr, you're going to be doing the really shit stuff...getting coffee, cleaning keyboards that have had coffee spilled in them, schlepping workstations from building to building in the rain/snow, etc. As long as there are good people working there, you'll get a good experience, if only seeing how an IT shop works. Since you're completely new to the industry, you'll probably have high expectations of how things will operate, but you'll probably be let down (sorry)...most IT shops are on shoestring budgets, and IT people are, in many cases, jackasses. If you get a bunch of young men/women with small egos, you'll be in good shape, just make sure you're always pounding the ground, looking for more work, and proving to them that you can do the job.

May the force be with you...

Eight bucks an hour..... (2, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363432)

...is that typical? Here in Oz the federally mandated minimum hourly rate for any worker is roughly $12.50US/hr.

Re:Eight bucks an hour..... (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363590)

Florida (Orlando) here, $7.25/hr.

That being said, an $8/hr intership is right next to a face slap. I made $10 doing dishes, and $12-$13 (underpaid, friends made 18) at my first internship.

Re:Eight bucks an hour..... (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363978)

Florida (Orlando) here, $7.25/hr.

That being said, an $8/hr intership is right next to a face slap. I made $10 doing dishes, and $12-$13 (underpaid, friends made 18) at my first internship.

It's this sort of attitude that I've found common as the "millennials" apply for internships. I've been an IT professional for 16 years now, and I started at the bottom, raw, and learned from experienced people when I started. I didn't make $10/hr, nor even $8. Expect to be "underpaid" as an intern because most of your compensation isn't in money, it's in invaluable experience. You will learn more in a month on a real job than you will in years in a classroom.

Back when I started, they didn't have IT degrees, or even programs in colleges. And, I wish they still didn't, a lot of what they teach is garbage that has to be unlearned in the real world.

My advice to anyone wanting to get into this field: In your first job or internship, don't worry about money. You arent' going to make much, because, frankly, until you have a year's experience on the job you aren't worth any. Be prepared to work, and work hard. Soak up everything like a sponge, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Be prepared to work all hours, we don't only work 8-5, we work whenever there IS work. Above all, though, this is a career for those who love this sort of thing, it's challenging beyond most any profession, as there are OFTEN difficult problems to solve. You are paid not for what you know, but what you are able to solve.

Re:Eight bucks an hour..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363610)

You forget that being an intern you don't classify as a worker. You're a student and learning while the company gets a freebie.

At IBM I've gotten as little as $3/hour. $8? That kid is lucky.

Re:Eight bucks an hour..... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363768)

Ah yes, it's coming back to me now. I did something like that toward the end of my BSc (20yrs ago). IIRC it was $5/day.

Re:Eight bucks an hour..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30364036)

TapeCutter is right. I get around $13.50 AUD per hour. (I finish in a week or two!)

I was looking for a Traineeship (like an Internship, except you gain qualifications on the job) and I asked everywhere for work experience - I was offered a Traineeship afterwards and it has been excellent. Could not be better.
But $8 USD/hr?

I don't have a good feeling about that dude's Internship.

Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363436)

That's what happened to me. I eventually quit and went into health care; still do IT work on a volunteer basis. I now make good money but seeing misery all the time is beginning to have an effect on me.

Folks, you never know there is tons of suffering till you are working in a hospital. At that point you praise God for what you have.

Re:Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (3, Insightful)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363534)

but seeing misery all the time is beginning to have an effect on me

And this is different from IT how? Only joking...

Re:Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363560)

At that point you praise God for what you have.

Keep in mind, if you believe in god he was also responsible for all the suffering you mentioned.

Re:Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (1)

Nevynxxx (932175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363706)

No, you have "free will" He was only responsible for the Good Stuff, *you* are responsible for everything else.

Re:Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363942)

Keep in mind, if you believe in god he was also responsible for all the suffering you mentioned.

Well duh! He's thanking God that _he_ is fortunate. These other people should be cursing God for letting them down. What's wrong with that?

Re:Please expect to do lot's of manual work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363704)

Somewhat of the same story here,
I Interned in the IT department of manufacturing company back in 07. However I stuck through my
internship, but recently, couldn't find another job
when it ended. Now I'm working as a nursing assistant in a residential home care facility, and it's very sad and heartbreaking seeing what the majority of people that age group have to go through.

Anyways,
There's several things you should expect from your internship;

First, expect to get what you're paid, it's an internship, not a "full-time position."

Second, expect to get hazed a bit by the old timers that work there, they'll probably dump off a lot of dirty work on you, don't ask questions, just do it. (When I got started they had me untangling and organizing about 2,000 Ethernet cables in the server room.)

Third, don't expect over-time, they don't want to pay you for it, and the work they have you doing when you start off, probably isn't relevant enough to keep you late.

Fourth, always be looking for/asking for something to do. They don't want to pay you for sitting around, facebooking, or anything like that while you're there.

Fifth, over-time, expect to have fun, and continue to lean/gain experience while you are there, despite the interesting types of work when you start, within time, they'll start giving you bigger/ more important projects to manage.

Lastly, be inquisitive, don't be afraid to ask questions, especially if you're confused, or don't fully understand something. If you "think" then go ask until you "know". Always double check your work, and make sure it's done right.

Good luck, and have fun. ;)

All depends on where you go. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363442)

I've had friends who interned at a lot of different companies. I know someone who interned at IBM and got treated like a clerical temp, despite being two years into his masters. I know a couple of people who interned at Apple and said they learned more in six months than they had in four years of college.

-jcr

Re:All depends on where you go. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363586)

I've heard of graduate software folks at big blue not being allowed to touch code for years also. I'd recommend starting out in a smaller company without so many rules and procedures, then later finding more money at a large corp (if you're not going to start your own venture), when you've proven yourself.

Re:All depends on where you go. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364018)

Hmm. I had assumed it was just the particular group that the person who told me about it happened to join. I didn't know that was a company-wide problem at IBM.

-jcr

$8? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363452)

Are you in a third-world country? Here minimum wage starts at $12 and has to be paid to anyone under 16. No exceptions. Doesn't matter if you're in school, on an apprenticeship, or ran over the boss' dog.

Re:$8? (1)

robotito (460199) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363574)

Sorry, but $8 an hour is way too high for an intern in a third-world country. That was like a mid-level salary a couple of years ago in an IT Department from a third-world country. (Thanks to the dis/advantageous currency exchange.)

Re:$8? (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363580)

What country are YOU in? Furthermore, what state/province? Minimum wage varies a whole fucking lot based on location and country. The cost of living varies from place to place and therefore so does the minimum wage. $8/hr sounds reasonable for an hourly entry-level shit-job worker where I'm located, which is pretty much what he's doing.

Even as an internship, that $8 sounds awfully low. (2, Interesting)

marmoset (3738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363454)

I really have to wonder about the pay level. I can still remember what my first intership paid: $7.37 an hour -- in 1986.

SImple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363458)

Buttrape.

$8 an hour? (1)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363468)

Enjoy getting coffee and moving heavy equipment.

Re:$8 an hour? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363546)

Yeah. At this point, his most significant challenge is to avoid getting cynical about the whole field.

My advice: While you are young, you have the advantage in stamina. Work on certifications or learn to program with your free time. Don't spend too much time grubbing for overtime. Half of nothing is still nothing. In this economy, don't expect anyone to share a thing with you.

Once you go to married life, you'll never put serious effort into furthering your technical career again. Nobody thinks that it will be that way but it is absolutely ALWAYS that way. In this field, you're only as good as the last subject you've taken the time to train on. Once you have a kid, you don't have that time and you start kidding yourself that your experience with office politics makes you a better IT person. By the same token, don't go out of your way for those people. They'll have you playing on-call flunky so often, you'll forget what a social life is.

I guess there's two rules that supersede all others. You have to pay your bills and you have to enjoy your job or you'll end up hating everything. Accept the absolute fact that this economy turns everyone into two-faced @holes and be ready to act when opportunities actually do happen.

Re:$8 an hour? (2, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363632)

"Once you go to married life, you'll never put serious effort into furthering your technical career again."

Contrary anecdote: I quit my my factory job and started studying for my BSc aged 29, two school aged kids and a wife. Taxi driving and the wife's cleaning job paid the bills. However I'm not from the US, uni fees were paid via a modest tax increase after I graduated.

Re:$8 an hour? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364014)

Contrary anecdote: I quit my my factory job and started studying for my BSc aged 29, two school aged kids and a wife.

You have a very relaxed wife. I've got a couple of side projects running besides my day job and was thinking about going fulltime entrepreneur. However, we're thinking about kids and my wife is scared shitless of the prospect of just one job.

I'm not on my own here. I've heard similar stories.

My tip: do it while you're on your own, or while not married yet. Or pick a relaxed wife.

Just work hard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363480)

Just keep your head down and try and learn as much as possible.
Have a positive attitude. if someone asks to you do something just yeah yeah sure. and go and do it.
If you think you cant do it. Just say yes and then spend some time googling or ask someone else and learn.

Experience can be worth a lot more than qualifications, So try you hardest to outshine anyone else in a similar level to you.

When systems go down... (4, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363494)

...and you're tied to that post in the middle of the office with everyone baying for blood about their lack of access to youtube or joke emails and you're about to receive the cat 'o nine tails, make sure you take up the offer of hard leather or wood to bite down on.

8 an hour? What country is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363496)

I can't think it's US at 8. Maybe in Canada they can pay that, or Singapore, or some India rupee conversion to 8. That's a sad, sad story no matter where it is. Well, maybe not India. Maybe not even Canada.

Re:8 an hour? What country is this? (1)

Lord Pillage (815466) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363900)

No, probably not in Canada either, except for maybe BC. Even then, I'm a current CS undergrad (in eastern Canada), and I wouldn't be caught dead with an $8.00/hr job. On my second work term, I was offer $20/hr+ and I didn't look outside of the downtown core of where I live. Moving to Toronto / Ottawa / Montreal / Vancouver, I probably would have got $30 or more.

At the bottom rung . . . (2, Informative)

business_kid (973043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363500)

Minimum pay here is €8.65 (=$10-$12) per hour. It's a bit like a football apprentice. Hundreds start, but few make the top team. Use whatever chances you get to shine, and learn stuff. Some come through, most go away. Learn to lick ass. Try not to have the breakdown before you're 30. Keep your eye on job ads.

Learn! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363514)

I had an internship at one of the National Labs (think Los Alamos/Laurance Livermoor). I was exposed to more in my first week on the job than I had been with two years of schooling. If you work in a data center, your main job will be running cables. That is just how it is going to be. When you aren't running cables, talk to people, find out if there is anything you can help with. Make informed comments, google what your peers are talking about, and if you can find papers that they've written....READ THEM. Soak up as much as you can, that is why you personally are there is to learn. On their end, yes you are are the lowest paid member of their staff and will be doing the dirty jobs.

Fate of an IT intern (1)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363524)

You will start with resetting tripped fuses. If you are lucky they will permit you to refill paper trays in printers.... 5 years after... you will switch from OSPF configuration to BGP, you will have a cubicle that is closer to younger generation of engineers, who are members of your preferred opposite gender... another five years after that... you will switch to marketing or sales, probably under the pretense of a technical advisor, than it would stuck....
my suggestions:
1) read some a.s.r. (unfortunately google does not explain what the a.s.r. is, thus please search for alt.sysadmin.recovery)
2) start looking for ways of converting your degree to a soft skill, business management, social anthropology etc.
3) Do not let anybody and/or yourself to place more than one computer and/or monitor on your desk.

Re:Fate of an IT intern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363980)

"3) Do not let anybody and/or yourself to place more than one computer and/or monitor on your desk."

Wait, but, that means ... oh my God! I'm one of them!!!!! AAAAAUGGH!!!

In-n-Out ? (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363528)

In-n-Out (California burger place) pays more than that for entry level restaurant staff!

There better be some spectacular benefits in what you get to work on, opposite sex (whichever that is) opportunities, something ... at your place.

$8/hr !?!!?! (2, Insightful)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363564)

$8/hr !?!!?!

Have things really gotten THAT BAD in the US??? Wow...

Re:$8/hr !?!!?! (3, Interesting)

Beowulf_Boy (239340) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363662)

Interships really vary in pay.

I applied for several a few years ago when I was a junior in college.

Many payed 10-12$ an hour doing crap work. Others payed the better part of $20 and were still crap work.
Really depends on the company and the level of student they expect to get in.

I was 2.5 years in my college degree when I applied at a computer shop as an intern, this was in 2007. They offered me $4 an hour, UNDER THE TABLE. I laughed, grabbed my resume back out of the bosses hands and walked out. That was half of what minimum wage was.

Re:$8/hr !?!!?! (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363796)

Interships really vary in pay.

I applied for several a few years ago when I was a junior in college.

Many payed 10-12$ an hour doing crap work. Others payed the better part of $20 and were still crap work.
Really depends on the company and the level of student they expect to get in.

I was 2.5 years in my college degree when I applied at a computer shop as an intern, this was in 2007. They offered me $4 an hour, UNDER THE TABLE. I laughed, grabbed my resume back out of the bosses hands and walked out. That was half of what minimum wage was.

That's because internships are similar to slave labor. Yes, you may gain experience or at the very least can list job experience on your resume, but the reality is that company A or University B is really paying on the cheap. If you don't think your time is more valuable, no one else will either. Even for an internship or starting position.

Re:$8/hr !?!!?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363736)

I was walking in London the other day and at least 5 americans came and begged for money.

Re:$8/hr !?!!?! (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363906)

Bear in mind that a lot of internships are unpaid.

Re:$8/hr !?!!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363962)

Indeed. What should he expect? That the $8 / hr is the highest that he'll see, before the job goes to India.

It's time to get out of IT (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363578)

The way I see it, if your time is worth no more than $8 an hour, then knock yourself out. Just another reason I'm getting out of this field, there's just too many people in it who do not value their own time.

Say these letters really fast, it is a buzz (1)

pooh666 (624584) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363616)

R - U - N

What to bring... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363620)

Bring kneepads.

And mouthwash.

Get out now while you still can! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363628)

Here is what you really need to think about. If you're only going to make $8 an hour as an intern, and you are willing to work for that, what do you really think the future holds for you when there will always be a new wave of interns willing to work for $8 an hour. Save yourself and get out of this field before you lock yourself into it. Take it from a veteran who realized his mistake too late and shoot for a profession where the accumulation of experience means something and you'll have a chance to actually build a career where you'll be worth something someday. Or better yet, take the $8 an hour, sucks ass, learn a lot so people like me can hire you to their work for less and less. Get out while you still can. Always remember there are a billion people in India who will always be willing to work for less than you and can live on rice and a few cents a day, that's your future in IT.

IT interships in Belgium (2, Interesting)

anerki (169995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363666)

In Belgium all Bachelor IT studies have an intership in the last half year or year before graduating.

They're unpaid, though included in your schooling so no harm done there. In most of the cases the interns are hired as full employees. For companies this just is common sense. They shorten the official trial period a new employee has to go through by the duration of the intership.

The company where I work now I was able to get promoted a year before schedule, and since I worked here 3 interns were hired as employees, 2 more interns will start in Q1/2010 and those will likely be hired when they finish their internship (assuming they don't screw up ;))

I don't know about the US of course, but taxes on employees is ridiculously high in Belgium, so a 3 or 6 months free employee is a great way to start their training and put them on new projects where the technology still has to be discovered. This then gives the intern a step up on other people as they spent their internship exploring and working with the new technology, without being bothered by a full planning with regular work on clients.

As an intern? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363684)

Well, at minimum you can expect to learn how to make a damn good cup of tea or coffee.

Re:As an intern? (1)

blanck (1458239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363840)

> learn how to make a damn good cup of tea or coffee.

Don't be discouraged by this opinion. There are definitely internships out there where you do real work.

I took a 3-month internship for a larger corporation for similar pay a couple of years ago. Using PHP, I worked on some relatively small-scale web-based projects for internal use. The stress level was low and I made some good friends. I haven't used PHP on any serious level since, but what I learned about web programming has definitely come in handy in my two jobs after that one. On top of that I put a little bit of money in my pocket. It beat sitting on my ass and playing video games all summer.

Interns are a plot from personnel (1)

RalphSouth (89474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363692)

Personnel will offer up interns with the objective of locking in people who will eventually become important contributors. Most of the time they are not used well. It is hard for a working department all involved with their day to day challenges to get people trained and involved. But, they will look at how you respond and interact with other professionals and perhaps give you a leg up when it comes time to apply for a permanent job. You could also get some real work that is interesting and challenging. It is sort of the "luck of the draw".

I'd say offering you 8 bucks an hour is an insult. I am betting that they have some really crappy work that they need done. They aren't interested in attracting anyone long term with that kind of investment. You will be telling them that they can continue to abuse you when you graduate. But, my bet is that this is just an example of folk wanting a temp and not wanting to pay them full value.

"Reconsider your decision" (BoBW Pt.1) (1)

irving47 (73147) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363708)

Ok, the subject is cheesy, but if my point were not to be assimilated, would that be fair?

Anyway, it's not really my point. I had my question published a few weeks ago under a "Leaving the IT field" and there were more responses in that post than in the week preceding it...

I've been doing some thinking that maybe a huge chunk of us unhappy IT workers are in need of a drastic lifestyle overhaul or at the very least some anti-anxiety or anti-depressant prescription.

Poster: figure out what you want out of IT first. Bury yourself in computers? Solve puzzles? Get away from people?

Exchange the $8/hr for college credit (1)

Stuckey (1613949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363716)

You should try to get your college to give you academic credit for the internship. They'll probably want you to forfeit the $8/hr. but I think six or nine hours worth of academic credit would well make up for that.

IT internships are irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363776)

Internships are only relevant in fields that require you to intern before you get your qualification, whatever that is. Personally, I'm a 21 year old recently discharged soldier with neither a degree nor work towards one. Due to experience that I've gathered myself I have a job as programmer that pays me exactly what other full-time programmers with my experience expect to earn. My point is not that I'm some sort of genius, its that by calling yourself an intern you're giving up the opportunity to prove yourself a fully capable, qualified employee.
Excuse me for shouting, but NEVER CALL YOURSELF AN INTERN. Just apply for a real job and show what you got. If you've got more than the ability to flip burgers, you might get payed more than someone who flips burgers.
Good luck anyways!

Standard Intern Tasks (1)

Fr05t (69968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363780)

- Doing your boss' daily quests on WoW
- Leveling his/her level 80 characters
- Pre-raid time prep (getting required pots, enchants, et)c
- Tanking his/her wife/husband while he/she is raiding

IT? (1)

snaz555 (903274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363782)

As a CS student I think you should focus on product development, not IT. You absolutely should intern at a technology company whose main focus is products - and whose _customers_ may include IT departments. You won't be paid a whole lot, but the tasks you get will also be very simple, relatively speaking, and while they may be important, once taken care of you'll have plenty of time to poke around with whatever interests you. You may be asked to say add an option to a compiler, tweak a kernel build, or add data gathering and instrumentation - things that the other developers would like to have but don't find time to do themselves. If in the process you find something you think might make an interesting project by all means suggest it, chances are you'll get to go do it, unless it seems overly ambitious to the extreme.

Re:IT? (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363948)

As a CS student I think you should focus on product development, not IT. You absolutely should intern at a technology company whose main focus is products - and whose _customers_ may include IT departments. You won't be paid a whole lot, but the tasks you get will also be very simple, relatively speaking, and while they may be important, once taken care of you'll have plenty of time to poke around with whatever interests you. You may be asked to say add an option to a compiler, tweak a kernel build, or add data gathering and instrumentation - things that the other developers would like to have but don't find time to do themselves. If in the process you find something you think might make an interesting project by all means suggest it, chances are you'll get to go do it, unless it seems overly ambitious to the extreme.

^^^ Yes, yes and yes to this.

contacts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363792)

you will gain contacts.

that, my friend, is very important.

Sucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363808)

The whole "you're a student/intern so we pay you crap" thing is total BS. There are honestly very few companies that still do this. You know about as much as you will when you graduate (sorry all you new, fresh college grads, but the vast majority of you aren't the whiz-bangs you think you are). I'd call them back and turn them down, then start applying for a regular IT job and at the end of summer, negotiate a late spring return. Not only can this be done, it's common. The only way I'd consider an internship is if there's some major long term payoff (does it get you a security clearance, etc.), but those typically still pay pretty well ($20/hr. at most 'agencies').

Way underpaid (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363814)

Though I worked throughout college, my sole internship was very well paid. I made approximately $30/hour plus housing stipend. This was working in technology at a financial firm. Companies who value technology are willing to pay for it. Never forget that.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363830)

Someone made a point about your pay being tied to your job. I'm going to elaborate based on my experience.

While it is not tied *directly* to what you will learn, the pay indicates to me that you may not be in contact with so called specialists - people at the peak in their IT career with whom you can talk with to develop your own career path. After all, at $8/hr I doubt they will have you even do software installations.

Try looking at a smaller firm. Often you will come across people who have hybrid IT careers.

Make sure you have a goal for this internship. The IT industry covers a huge amount of topics, and there are hundreds of thousands of kids just like you.
That having been said, the right choices early on will give you the lead you to get ahead of the pack.

It depends on what you put in... (2, Interesting)

pcardno (450934) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363862)

At my work (3M - number 7 on here: http://www.ratemyplacement.co.uk/ [ratemyplacement.co.uk] ), we get our IT interns to generally come in and do support / content management related activities to begin with, but with the expectation that they'll move beyond that after 2-3 months and then spend 20-40% of their time doing project work equivalent to what a new graduate / any other employee would do. In recent years we've had interns working on developing website translation software that they proposed themselves (saving us several hundred thousand dollars per year), software license management / reduction and loads of other things.

Find out from the company at the start whether they're expecting you to have an open-ended project activity or whether you really are just the tea boy / doing incident management / desktop support. Emphasise to them that the internship you're looking for is a key part of your education and also your decision as to whether you would consider a graduate position with them. Companies spend a fortune on recruiting grads, so if we can just hire the interns we've had once they've graduated, it saves us time, money and potentially the disaster of hiring an unknown who turns out to be useless.

Internship = bukkake bullshit (1)

GuyFawkes (729054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363864)

I'm not writing this just to take a contrary position.

I've been around and while, and around the IT scene a while. (understatements)

Internship is just a way to get some loser for peanuts, while not being bound by any of the regular employment Law.

If you work for 8 bucks and hour then 8 bucks an hour is all you are worth.

Go to Burger King, the money is better, and you will at least have some hope of persuading a future employer that...

a/ you have some self respect.

b/ you will work hard for money, you will not eat shit for money.

Back in my day, there was no such thing as interns, because frankly nobody in Personnel had the balls to try and sell it, and nobody who was a worker would consider it for an instant as anything less than a total insult.

Why not just rent your ass out? and ask /. what we think about that as a career idea?

You can expect... (2, Funny)

UbuntuniX (1126607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363870)

...to shut up and get me my coffee.

seek mentors (1)

Col. Panic (90528) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363926)

the most valuable learning experiences i had starting out were when someone took me under their wing. my first job was a contract for a major sporting goods company. a hired gun who also contracted but had his project delayed said, "we are going to take every case in the problem queue and work them together." this was not his job - he was happy to teach me, and boy did i learn.

at my next job, a guru who seemed to know everything from midrange to programming, netware, microsoft and telephony taught me occasional tidbits like binding a protocol to an interface in netware 3.1

if you keep your eyes open and demeanor positive and helpful, you are more likely to spot the willing to educate you. ask questions without being pushy. watch to see when they don't want to be bothered and offer to help.

Hacker Reference.... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363936)

"...You'll do shitwork, scan, crack copyrights..."

Sorry, this post screamed for a bad quote from a bad movie.

Software Engineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363938)

By IT do you mean like tech support kind of thing?

Because I'm thinking of going to university (in Canada, so different from college), for software engineering and I'll be doing co-op as I study. Should I expect pay like this too?

You'll get what you put in (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30363940)

"I'm in college and working towards my Bachelors in Computer Science. Last year I passed both my CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and now have been offered (via a staffing company) a full-time Internship at a wireless lab of a major laptop manufacturer. The pay is going to be around $8 an hour full-time but that is not my primary motivator. I'm considering this significant decrease in pay from my previous (non-IT) job to be counterbalanced by what valuable knowledge I may gain both in the technical aspects and industry insight while I finish school. This field is all new to me and I don't personally know anyone who has worked in it before who will give me their honest opinions on it. Although I know circumstances differ greatly, in general, what can I expect as an IT Intern? What have been your experiences?"

$8/hr is still kinda low, even for an intern doing IT work, but still. Learn as much as you can, even if it means devoting more hours to learning after your daily work is done. Having said that, this is all assuming that there is a chance to learn the nitty gritty details of Unix/Windows administration, laying out networks, troubleshooting production problems (and if you are lucky, learning shell/perl/powershell programming and setting up cron/database jobs, schedule remote user/software updates, setting up security shit, and things like that.

And this is the thing, if all you get to do is install software for users and answering phone calls from customers (being the human router who creates a ticket for them and assign them to the actual person who will do the grunt work), then fuck it, you will not learn anything.

There are three levels of IT support (usually): tier I (what I just described), tier II and tier III (the later being the one where you get your hands dirty into the servers, the network, the latrine, whatever pile of shit needs to be stirred to get things back up and running.) Tier III is where you want to be if you want to maximize your learning experience. Tier II might or might not (depending on the company), but tier I, you'll bore yourself to death and you won't learn squat.

I've worked on Tier III support and I believe it helped me become a better software developer - that experienced helped me understand really well what it takes to get things running beyond my IDE and my compiler - routers, firewalls, caching and ssl devices, database listeners, job schedulers. You learn the things that will have a direct effect on your software (things that architect astronauts usually like to gloss over as they do their pretty UML modeling because they have no fucking clue how to model them or take them into account.)

I did that for a couple of years, longer than what I was planning. It was not by choice. Once you get into IT, you are stuck in it while the software development industry moves on. You can get yourself obsolete as a computer scientist and developer really quickly in a matter of 3-4 years.

But that takes me to my question - you are about to graduate from Computer Science, but you are getting CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications and are currently looking into doing IT-related internships. Why? Not that there is anything wrong if that's the type of job you want to do, but a MIS degree (with a good focus on programming) would have served you better.

I don't know, but at least for me, Computer Science trained me for software development, software engineering, and well, computer science. It is an overkill degree to do IT work (where the business/management/people skills you get in a MIS degree combined with CompTia A+ and Network+ certs will suit better.)

Unless you get to do Tier III support during your internship, that will be a waste of the investment you have made in your Computer Science studies.

In any case, good luck!

Consider (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30363966)

Interning is not about the money you make while doing the job, it is a sacrifice that you make to gain connections and get your foot in the door. I was an intern making a meager wage, and worked my ass off and was offered a full time position making more than I have ever made. I wouldn't guarantee that the same would happen to you, but there is always a chance. You have to ask yourself if it is worth the gamble. And even if you don't get the job you will learn more about the professional IT environment in 3 months than you will learn your entire 4 years of college.

Either I was way overpaid... (1)

Braedley (887013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364032)

...or you're just not looking hard enough for an internship. As a comparison, I was earning $12-14USD (adjusted for exchange rate) 2-3 years ago as an engineering intern. Also, internships should pay more than your previous. If you'd be taking a pay cut to work at this place, then you're probably not going to learn anything. If you received your certificates since your last internship, that's even more reason to pay you more. Expect to be treated as a junior member of the staff. Yes that can mean go-fer and make-work projects, but they'll be tasks related to your job, not getting coffee for the more senior members of your team. In return, you should be treating this job like it's a permanent one. That entails you to certain rights, like the same dress code as everyone else, the same breaks and lunches, and an appropriate office space. You're better off looking for another job.

Your "internship" stinks of BS (1)

AtomicDevice (926814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364034)

I don't know anyone who's had an internship lately for under $15/hr in the computer science field. Most internships are looking for long-term hires and they shell out more money than you're really worth to get you interested in them. 8/hr sounds like those slave labor campus painting jobs were they call it an internship so naive chumps will work them.

How much have you looked around? I've never (in the past 3 years) had trouble finding an internship and see plenty of job prospects. I'm sure you could find something more interesting that pays more if you look.

Kinda with everyone else (1)

akcpe (1438869) | more than 4 years ago | (#30364038)

I'm with the others that $8/hr is a slap in the face. My first internship paid >$18/hr and probably provided more valuable experience... Dunno what else to add to what everyone else said.
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