Editor’s Note: This is the eighth in a series of stories highlighting College of Information Science and Technology students and their summer internships.
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – To graduate, students at the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology must complete an internship in their field. However, many students, including Nick Alico, take the opportunity to go beyond the minimum requirements and explore multiple professional opportunities before graduation.
Although he has completed software engineering internships with Oracle and GE Healthcare in previous summers, Alico, a Schreyer Honors scholar with a specialization in human-centered design and development, attended the virtual internship fair and IST careers in the fall of 2020. It was there that he met a Penn State alumnus who was recruiting students to do an internship at Rockwell Automation in the summer of 2021.
“He really took the time to read my resume and relate my experiences to the values and opportunities that Rockwell Automation is proud to offer its interns, and the woman who interviewed me – who would ultimately become my manager – has provided such support. Alico said. “It was clear that Rockwell Automation wanted to support the growth of its interns, both technically and on an interpersonal level. It was an easy choice to make. “
Alico accepted a position as a computer software engineering intern, where he worked with various teams with senior designers and developers to improve the user interface and design of a service-based internal alerting system. He attributes his success in this position to his experiences fostered by the IST College both inside and outside the classroom.
“I learned a lot about what it means to work in an agile software development team,” said Alico. “Having these skills under my belt has really opened the doors to professional internships and roles in the industry. “
Inside the classroom, Alico also learned about database technologies, programming standards, and testing practices – all skills that provided him with a solid foundation for learning different work-specific tools and languages in a way. faster and more efficient.
Additionally, Alico’s experience as an IST diplomat, through which he serves as an ambassador for the college, has enabled him to connect more with other students and staff. Working in a team that helps them improve their communication skills is a tool that Alico has applied in his internships and in the workplace.
“Communication and collaboration are incredibly crucial in design and development, so I wanted to work to become more comfortable speaking in front of groups and interacting with stakeholders,” said Alico.
IST College students are able to participate in meaningful and important projects from the start of their career.
These soft skills have allowed Alico to work confidently with brilliant professionals around the world.
“The idea of collaborating with people I’ve never met on projects that will impact thousands of people in their day-to-day procedures is incredibly rewarding to me,” said Alico.
Alico’s final internship at Rockwell Automation was the next step on his journey to become a User Experience Engineer after graduation.
“I left Rockwell Automation with a broader skill set and a deeper degree of knowledge regarding some of the more prevalent software, technologies and skills that are desired in the world of software engineering today,” a- he declared.