Emailed the IT Director today...

sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
I work in the accounting department of a healthcare clinic but I am going to college for IT. I don't have any certifications but I do know a lot of the typical desktop support stuff... well, what you can learn from messing around on your own systems/reading A+ books that is. Today I emailed the IT director asking him if it was possible to get a paid/unpaid internship helping help desk (we currently have a server admin, one help desk guy, and another guy who ... I'm not sure what he does, for 300 users).

Was this a good idea? I'll be taking my A+ this summer and will be continuing classes in August, so I figured why not try to get experience in a field I've thoroughly enjoyed learning about (at least, in a classroom setting).

Comments

  • TLeTourneauTLeTourneau Well ain't that shiny! Member Posts: 616 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Well it gets you on his radar and lets him know you're interested so I don't think it's going to cause any damage. I would have asked about internships and offered to do it for free if I was told there were no funds, but that's me. What's the worst that could happen, he'll say no?
    Thanks, Tom

    M.S. - Cybersecurity and Information Assurance
    B.S: IT - Network Design & Management
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    Well it gets you on his radar and lets him know you're interested so I don't think it's going to cause any damage. I would have asked about internships and offered to do it for free if I was told there were no funds, but that's me. What's the worst that could happen, he'll say no?

    Hah, never looked at it as getting on his radar. By the way, I did mention I'd do it for free - I told him I'm at least looking to get experience, so I'd be willing to try anything thrown at me regarding the IT department. I've had a bit of a hand in the budgeting, and I definitely think it'll be plausible for us to add IT personnel to the department for fiscal 2012.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Did you run this by your current boss? Might hurt some feelings otherwise which might not be in your best interest.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Did you run this by your current boss? Might hurt some feelings otherwise which might not be in your best interest.
    ^^ This.
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    I did not run it by my current boss - they're currently out of the office on personal leave for a while, but I'll definitely mention it to them if the IT director agrees to an internship.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Bad move IMO. Don't you think the director is going to check with your boss first? I'd speak with whoever is in charge while your boss is out ASAP.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    Bad move IMO. Don't you think the director is going to check with your boss first? I'd speak with whoever is in charge while your boss is out ASAP.

    Er, well I work PT three days a week in accounting. If I get asked about it, I'd explain it would be for the two days I don't work in accounting. I already help other departments at the request of the people in those departments.

    Both the department director and my immediate supervisor are out at the moment.
  • ITdudeITdude Member Posts: 1,183
    Ditto!icon_wink.gif
    I usually hang out on 224.0.0.10 (FF02::A) and 224.0.0.5 (FF02::5) when I'm in a non-proprietary mood.

    __________________________________________
    Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    ITdude wrote: »
    Ditto!icon_wink.gif

    Are we ditto-ing the bosses being out thing? icon_thumright.gif
  • JinuyrJinuyr CISSP, SSCP, Security+, Network+ https://www.linkedin.com/in/francis-nunziata-4a95b624/Member Posts: 251 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Speaking to your current boss would definitely be the way to go, especially if you were looking for compensation.

    Doing an internship or offering your services for free may have been the best way. The more support you can get from everyone in your organization starting with your direct supervisors first would help set up your future path within the company.

    Good luck to you.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Member Posts: 1,899 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Getting the support from your boss would be awesome. I tried to do something similar you did and I hit a brick wall with that. The boss (sub for worse word) I had wanted me in warehousing. The GM kept asking me what my boss told me when I asked my boss.
    Booya!!
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  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    I'll email my boss first thing next week and let them know I had asked the IT department about any unpaid intership/volunteer opportunities and that I'd like to do them on my days off. I don't think they'd object, but yeah.. not sure why I didn't inform them first. The 'impulse' hit me this morning when I realized I was writing out subnets on a sticky note.
  • Lord NikonLord Nikon Member Posts: 115
    Just becareful and have them clearly define how many hours you will spend with them. You don't want it to interfer with your normal job there as your boss will get annoyed. Also, you have to becareful that they don't "abuse" you since you are "free labor" you may get a lot of "Crap" work that will not help you learn a thing. The whole part of an internship or externship is to get experience in your field of choice. But I've noticed a lot of companies, take those people for granted and have them do the "crap" work, where you learn nothing at all. One company did this to my wife in her field, and she was doing nothing that was useful for her career or field. Just want you to be aware things like this CAN happen.
    V
    "This is our world now. The world of the electron and the switch; the beauty of the baud. We exist without nationality, skin color, or religious bias. You wage wars, murder, ****, lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop me, but you can't stop us all.."
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  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    An update:

    I got it. I made sure to ask my boss, she thought it was a fantastic idea. However, I didn't receive a reply from the IT for two weeks, so I decided to email someone in HR and see if it was even plausible and she said to go ahead and ask him again. I sent an email telling him I had asked HR and the days I'd be available to do it and the experience would be invaluable. 30 ins later one of the IT guys comes into my office and says how they probably won't let me touch the servers, but I can help with the help desk side (they have 300 users and only one help desk employee) and that I probably wouldn't be able to work on the network equipment/servers, which is fine by me. I was looking for help desk experience anyway. :]

    The guy who talked to me was really excited "when do you start? can you start this week? It'll be fun." I told him I didn't know when and he was really pushing me to ask the director. I told him I thought it might be kind of awkward, cause while I do have respectable technical know-how for help desk, I've never used any kind of ticket queue system or used Windows AD. He told me not to worry and that he'd show me the ropes.

    The next day, I asked the IT director and he said everything is looking good and he'd let me know next week how things will work. I'm pretty darn excited.

    My conflict is, I'll be taking the A+ this summer after some study and I'm enrolled in the Cisco Net Acad with the CCNA and eventually an AAS in Networking that leads to a BAS (yes, BAS) at a university in Computer Systems Administration, but I'm not sure if I should "revel" in the internship experience and take it easy this fall, only taking two classes, or if I should do my best to bulk up on as many classes I can for faster graduation.

    My goal so far has been A+ class + cert, CCNA acad + cert, and then take more college credits at a time for my degree, and with this internship, it seems to be working in my favor, as opposed to hurrying through school and then restudying all the material two years later for my certs.

    What do you guys think? Is it smart to take my "important classes" at a slower pace to help retain information for the certifications? Or should I just try to blaze through all the classes necessary?
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    The hands on experience will you do you some good. Help Desk while your going to school should be an ideal situation.

    I would whatever you can handle, don't slack with anything just try and keep it balanced. This is something you wanted for weeks simply walking away from it will not look very good.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    SteveO86 wrote: »
    The hands on experience will you do you some good. Help Desk while your going to school should be an ideal situation.

    I would whatever you can handle, don't slack with anything just try and keep it balanced. This is something you wanted for weeks simply walking away from it will not look very good.

    Definitely going to do it, just wondering if I should take 12 credits while working 40 hours a week give or take, meaning more half-assed studying or take it more balanced that way I can really dig deep into the CCNA stuff I learn from reading/labs/class.
  • phantasmphantasm Member Posts: 995
    Did you run this by your current boss? Might hurt some feelings otherwise which might not be in your best interest.

    I would've asked for an introduction through my current boss. Office politics are a *****.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • SteveO86SteveO86 Member Posts: 1,423
    sentimetal wrote: »
    Definitely going to do it, just wondering if I should take 12 credits while working 40 hours a week give or take, meaning more half-assed studying or take it more balanced that way I can really dig deep into the CCNA stuff I learn from reading/labs/class.

    More so depends on what you can handle without burning yourself out.
    My Networking blog
    Latest blog post: Let's review EIGRP Named Mode
    Currently Studying: CCNP: Wireless - IUWMS
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    sentimetal wrote: »
    Definitely going to do it, just wondering if I should take 12 credits while working 40 hours a week give or take, meaning more half-assed studying or take it more balanced that way I can really dig deep into the CCNA stuff I learn from reading/labs/class.

    What else is going on in your life? What kind of student are you? Full course load and full time working is tough but certainly doable. However, there wouldn't be room for it if you are, for example, a full time parent as well.

    Getting a helpdesk internship at this point in your journey as absolutely fantastic. Once you get into the networking curriculum and get an understanding of how hosts on the network interact with each other, maybe the IT people will slide you a few chances to lab up some equipment, or even slowly cut your teeth on some live systems. Smaller shops seem to present opportunities for things like that, if you can show your worth.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    blargoe wrote: »
    What else is going on in your life? What kind of student are you? Full course load and full time working is tough but certainly doable. However, there wouldn't be room for it if you are, for example, a full time parent as well.

    Getting a helpdesk internship at this point in your journey as absolutely fantastic. Once you get into the networking curriculum and get an understanding of how hosts on the network interact with each other, maybe the IT people will slide you a few chances to lab up some equipment, or even slowly cut your teeth on some live systems. Smaller shops seem to present opportunities for things like that, if you can show your worth.

    I'd say I'm a pretty driven student. I passed the first Cisco class with an A and was constantly helping everyone else with their labs/group study materials the instructor provided. I have 3 CCNA-level classes and 1 Windows class to take before I get a college certificate (not the greatest, I know) and then I'll be attempting my CCNA after some study. After that, I have lots of electives left to complete the AAS degree.

    The "hard" part with taking fulltime class loads is that school is a 50 minute drive one way, so it's not too easy on the schedule or the gas tank.

    My goal is to work in a NOC, though I may end up liking help desk for a while. Help desk in this area (including my workplace) seems to range 34.4k-45k a year depending upon experience. I really like the place I'm working, but I'm so burnt out on accounting.

    My "certification map" at the moment looks something like:

    A+ -> CCNA -> 70-680 Cert. and add onto that. If I can get the network experience, advancing my network qualifications will definitely take precedence over all else.

    My office is right next to the IT directors and he has a router just sitting there. Sometimes I feel like asking him, "you gonna use that...?" haha. :D

    But yes, I do feel lucky. WIth an internship I have the potential to skip the whole call center thing, perhaps.
  • rep21rep21 Member Posts: 51 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I think you should do it all. Take all the classes, do the internship and get your CCNA. Thats basically the exact same route I've just done. I'm finishing my AAS in august after taking 30 credits and 25 credits the past two semesters, while also doing a 30 hour a week internship for six months and finished my CCNA. I was also going to transfer for a BAS, but I decided it would be better, and cheaper, to transfer to WGU instead. Anyway, good luck with your stuff man! :D
    WGU - MS in Information Security and Assurance: May 2016 Start
    WGU - BSIT: Software
    AAS - Systems Admin/Networking
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you can knock out some of the college "core" requirements online (if your school offers that) and schedule any other courses that are on-campus the same days your Cisco classes meet, maybe you could save on the driving that way.

    I'd be inclined to go ahead and try a normal course load, knowing that you could drop a course before the cut off date if it doesn't look like you can cut it. Squeeze every last drop out of this internship opportunity.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    blargoe wrote: »
    If you can knock out some of the college "core" requirements online (if your school offers that) and schedule any other courses that are on-campus the same days your Cisco classes meet, maybe you could save on the driving that way.

    I'd be inclined to go ahead and try a normal course load, knowing that you could drop a course before the cut off date if it doesn't look like you can cut it. Squeeze every last drop out of this internship opportunity.

    I'm browsing the class selections at the moment and realized a lot of my general ed. classes are available online which will help immensely. Now to go take the placement test. I have a feeling I'll end up in a lower math class since it's been a while since high school. You would think someone who has worked in finance for a long time now would be required to keep up with their arithmetic. icon_redface.gif
  • hackman2007hackman2007 Member Posts: 185
    sentimetal wrote: »
    I'm browsing the class selections at the moment and realized a lot of my general ed. classes are available online which will help immensely. Now to go take the placement test. I have a feeling I'll end up in a lower math class since it's been a while since high school. You would think someone who has worked in finance for a long time now would be required to keep up with their arithmetic. icon_redface.gif

    You didn't mention what university/college you are attending, but when I first entered my university (graduated now), I had to take a math placement test as well.

    I'm sure they vary from school to school, but the majority of it was college algebra and some trigonometry. I didn't see much more advanced math.

    You may want to look at Khan Academy for some review videos of math concepts. For math related content, they hold your attention fairly well.

    Good luck on the placement test.
  • jwashington1981jwashington1981 Member Posts: 137
    I was very fortunate to be able to work in a help desk for 2 years while I was attending my school, ECPI University in Virginia Beach. I just happened to work at the help desk at the school it was ideal. Class at day and then as soon as I was done, just go to the help desk. No travel involved. Definitely take advantage of this because you will get some experience and that's something that you can put on your resume.
  • sentimetalsentimetal Member Posts: 103
    I was very fortunate to be able to work in a help desk for 2 years while I was attending my school, ECPI University in Virginia Beach. I just happened to work at the help desk at the school it was ideal. Class at day and then as soon as I was done, just go to the help desk. No travel involved. Definitely take advantage of this because you will get some experience and that's something that you can put on your resume.

    Yep. I've learned quite a few things already. The desktop support guy is very helpful, he gets restless sometimes when there's downtime; he says he feels like he's not teaching me anything during that time. So far I've done some desktop support, helping users with easier problems like their printed pages coming out garbled (a surprisingly textbook A+ scenario) and an application freezing 'cause a user is querying a massive report. I've configured desktops with the proper applications/settings, learned some new terminology, shortcuts, adding a network printer as a local port (or vice versa, I don't remember), and some other things.

    Some interesting stuff has happened, too, like the server admin changing the my documents location on the server and not any changes to group policy. Yesterday, two of our switches rebooted and that caused some interesting problems - being more interested in Cisco than server support I was almost drooling while in the server/router/switch rack room. /nerd

    Honestly, though, I feel like a bit of inconvenience. I mean, here I am reading the intricacies of RAM in an A+ book and these guys are throwing around lingo and doing very practical, real world things that I wouldn't have thought of. All three of them have 10-20+ years experience and are more than competent to work as server admins. They're very helpful, but yeah, I feel dumb sometimes.

    I have found out that sometimes the best fix for a user issue is a reboot or a taskkill. :P

    Anyone have suggestions to "learn better" ? Seems like the way I learn most is when someone has an issue and they show how to fix it. The times I feel uncomfortable is when they're talking about applications/configurations I had no idea existed.
  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    Sounds good. The best thinh that helped me with the cisco certs (ccna and ccnp) was using a cisco router on my home internet connection. See if you can grab an 800 series or something similar for your house and you'll learn really quick on what to do and not so
  • TesseracTTesseracT Member Posts: 167
    Bah stupid blackberry and typos
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