A 2017 Summer Jobs and Internships Survey conducted by TD Ameritrade revealed seven in 10 teens, 73 percent, expect to have a paid internship during their college years. For Eric Wagner, a junior in computer science at Aurora University, an internship at Intermatic provides the skills needed to enter the workforce. “Working on something 40 hours a week for three months at Intermatic has taught me a lot of tricks of the trade and that makes my classes easier. There are so many mentorships with co-workers – people who have been in the industry for 20 years and are happy to help you,” states Wagner. He has found this type of access different than a professor/student relationship and integral to lessons learned in the classroom.
Wagner works in the engineering testing department where, as he puts it, “my job is to essentially try to break stuff.” The time he spends debugging software applications before market release is “a really important job due to the fact that I’m basically the barrier to the consumer and product. My discoveries have a direct impact on an app’s release date. If it’s not prepared enough for our customer, it won’t be successful in the market,” says Wagner.
Another aspect of the internship program Wagner finds beneficial is working side-by-side with another intern to get an idea of “how they think.” Last summer, Wagner partnered with an intern (and now full-time Intermatic employee) to update the interface of an older timer. They then made a video demonstrating the timer’s faster and easier programming functionality. “Having someone somewhat close to where I am helped me get my footing and solidified for me that I am in the right major and on the right path,” says Wagner.