By Amanda Alexander
All of the interns featured in our internship spotlights this year have gained valuable experience, but few of them walked away with a job at their graduation. Jesse Piccolo, senior, did just that.
Piccolo, a computer information science major, worked as an intern this semester with CRS in Montoursville. The software company created SubFinder, a program that helps companies deal with absence management and substitute placement automation. Piccolo worked in quality assurance two days a week on top of his class schedule as a full-time student.
The typical day at CRS included a morning meeting at 7 a.m. sharp, during which workers would review work from the day before. Piccolo then spent the remainder of his day going through reports and writing new ones when necessary. While he said most of his days were pretty much the same, work occasionally varied between writing reports and developing software.
Piccolo said the experience has been invaluable for many reasons. “I got a full-time job out if it,” he said, adding, “I made contacts in the industry and (I am) able to build on (my) resume. It also introduced me to new software that I hadn’t used in my classes.” He also learned that quality assurance was not the department for him. He admitted, “I found out that’s not what I want to do.” When he began applying for jobs, Piccolo found a job as a programmer analyst.
Piccolo also gained more optimism about the state of the job industry. “It showed me that it’s not as bad in the information technology industry as some people make it out to be. There are lots of opportunities for advancement with experience,” he said.
Thanks to his internship, he was able to get all the experience he needed. “My boss and his assistant… would give me pointers on things I may have done wrong, and they also allowed me a little bit of freedom to work,” he said.
Piccolo got to do some exciting things. “I was in contact with a company based out of Italy,” he said, adding that any time he got to learn about new software made the internship worthwhile. “(I enjoyed) being a part of the whole software life cycle,” he said. Because CRS is redesigning a software program from the ground up, Piccolo has been able to witness much of the process and see how things are done in every aspect of software design.
He got the internship by attending a presentation hosted by Career Services that was followed by interviews. From his internship, Piccolo said he learned more about the way business works, and that patience is needed to make things happen. “Progress happens slowly,” he said. “It takes a while in business to be able to do anything.”
Piccolo advises students starting an internship to “stick with it. It will pay off. Don’t slack off – you’ll use them as a reference for another internship or a job. Don’t burn bridges.”