Emma Banks working in IT

Computer Network Technology Internship | Emma Banks at Jenzabar

When you hear about a student being in the Department of Applied Science, what are the first job opportunities that come to mind? A future doctor? Pharmacist? Physical Therapist? For Emma Banks, getting her associate degree in Applied Science means that she will soon be able to take the next step in doing what she loves: working with computers and having the opportunity to minister to others in the technology field.

As a senior in the Applied Science Department, Emma is working specifically to get her degree in Computer Network Technology and plans to get her certifications after graduation in order to work in an IT Department position. With her projected path leading her to work either at a helpdesk or in networking, Emma has had multiple opportunities to hone her craft while also working on her degree at MBU.

The Internship Opportunity

One such opportunity included a three-month-long internship with Jenzabar this past summer. Emma mentions that while having an internship in the midst of a pandemic changed how in-person meetups worked, she still had many great minds to collaborate with right here at MBU. “Although I wish there could’ve been more focused interaction with peers and professionals, this internship happened with great timing since I was based out of MBU’s IT Department. Jenzabar actually paid me to help Maranatha during a large Jenzabar update for the 2020-2021 school year.”

Jenzabar considered Emma’s internship and many hours of hands-on training as another class. Instead of taking paper tests, Emma was able to apply her new training to MBU’s network while her colleagues in the IT Department observed and assessed her work. “I’m most thankful for how the IT Department treated me and for their kindness and openness as they directed me,” Emma comments as she discusses how working with both Jenzabar and campus staff created a great support system during this completely new experience.

The Experience Gained

Emma was able to use this internship to learn how to work more comfortably with PBL, Info Maker, and Sequel. Each of these programs were used to help her re-document Maranatha’s R-Drive. With her newfound knowledge in this programming, Emma was able to copy over all the data and document the R-Drive in order to migrate it into a newer version. After migrating data from the R-Drive, Emma was trained to change Maranatha’s programming without changing the interface. “This was a lot of work in documenting, then migrating and testing. After we had it all running, we’d have groups of staff and faculty come in to test the programming. User-friendliness is the most important factor to us… we want to make sure teachers and office administrators have ease of mind heading into the next school year rather than retraining each person.”

The experiences from Emma’s internship have instilled a new confidence in her, and she now has a part-time position in Maranatha’s IT Department as a Helpdesk Consultant. “I really learned that it’s about being willing to help people out and meet them where they are; watching the personnel in our IT offices showed me such good character as I witnessed how they dealt with issues and had grace to work under pressure,”  Emma shares. “I think the biggest thing was seeing how humble they were when they willingly redirected issues to others who had more knowledge.”

The Leader Developed

Emma currently works with students and staff who are having technical issues on campus and wants to encourage prospective students who desire to do the same to look into studying Computer Networking Technology. When asked if she had any advice to give to students who were looking into joining the Applied Science Department, Emma gets an excited look in her eyes and says, “Just go for it! Not knowing how to work all of the programming initially is the hard part. Just be humble and open to learning; you have so many people cheering you on in this department. Build relationships with them. Make connections and try your best. Reach out and use your teachers as learning resources, not just resumé references. Don’t ever be afraid of not fitting in: Applied Science is such a diverse field. You’ll have great professors and staff who will be willing to work with this unique direction!”