Doing an internship!

Recently I was given the opportunity to participate in a paid internship where my mom has a job. It is at Mohawk Paper Mill in Cohoes, NY. I was pretty stoked when they asked if I wanted to do so. This was my first real world job experience, plus they said it was payed. I have been doing entry level IT work for the company for roughly two months now and I actually enjoy it quite a bit. I am learning a lot of things that are applying to my classes that I am currently taking at UAlbany. The only down side I would really say is that it’s an office job and I’m not that excited of being cooped up in one all day. But my main point I was getting at is that if you ever have an opportunity to do an internship that is related to your major, DO IT. Not only does it get your foot in the door and beef up your resume a bit, it makes you realize if this is really what you want to do in life. Even if the internship doesn’t work out and you are only there for a bit, you learned something. This allows you to make better decisions down the road for your future. I just wanted to spread some inspiration and good vibes to some other students who were hesitant on doing an internship, I can understand that an unpaid internship can be frustrating but it is definitely worth it in the end!  – Mike M.

Want an internship or job?

If you are looking for a job or internship (and who isn’t?), sign up for the CCI-CAREERS listserv! We post opportunities there for all CCI students, undergrads and graduate students, and alumni! To subscribe:
  1. Compose an email
  2. To:
  3. Leave subject line blank
  4. Body: Subscribe listserv-name first-name last-name
  5. Send – you will receive a confirmation
We also have many other listservs, so if you’re interested in keeping updated, subscribe to some of our CCI listservs! You will receive important information regarding your major/program, upcoming events, job postings, internship opportunities, and much more. Below are instructions on how to subscribe to a listserv and how to find the listserv that best suits you.

Which listserv is right for you…

I am an information science/informatics minor undergraduate student: INFUG

I am an information science Masters student: IST-L

I am an informatics PhD student: INFPHDSTU

I am a computer science undergraduate student: CSIB-L

I am a computer science graduate student: CSIG-L

I am a woman in CCI: CCIWIT

I am a student group officer: CCIGROUPOFF

Also, don’t forget the Career Fair on February 12 and all the activities leading up to it!
Image via Katy DeCorah.

Visual Rewards: Discovering an Enjoyable (and Lucrative) Major– Part 3

When I first came to college I was determined I wanted to be an accountant major and nothing else. Turns out I was very wrong. I took a couple classes for accounting and ended up hating it; thought it was extremely boring. After I figured that out I thought I was in trouble because I had no idea what I wanted to do from there. I took a bunch of electives and that included the class IINF100z, Internet and Info access. I loved that class.

Even though it was extremely basic since it is an elective class it gave me enough information to make me want to learn more, and I did. After that spring semester I decided I wanted to be a computer science major and ended up taking two classes in the summer session in the IINF field. The more I learn about computers, programming, networking, databases, and designing, the more it makes me want to get out there and to be able to do that stuff on my own. My decision, though, didn’t just come just from liking Information Science, but also because of the career I can get after school.

compscienceTechnology is the future and computers are everywhere; getting a job after school is going to be a lot easier for someone in my major. With my parents paying for school, I owe it to them and myself to get a good job after school to show them that their money didn’t go waste. I have an internship with SUNY System Administration right now and it has given me a whole new view of my major. It has made me like what I do that much more. From this internship and the classes I took, I know now that I chose the right field after all and would advise any freshman unsure of what they want to do to take a couple electives in the Information Science field.

Image via Brigham Young University, link to {}

Visual Rewards: Finding Fulfillment in Web Design, Part 1

Having an internship is nothing like what I expected and I am so appreciative that I have one. I am a student intern for SUNY System Administration and have been working here since February 2012 and am continuing until May 2014 when I graduate. Working here has completely opened my eyes as to what kind of career I plan to get into. The learning experience I am getting here is nothing like what I learn in a classroom; it also helps that my fellow employees are more then willing to teach me and help me grow.

I do a lot of web programming here; I mostly do everything in ColdFusion. I hadn’t had much experience before this internship and I actually very much enjoy the work I am doing. I found programming to be like a puzzle. You have to figure out the way to put the program together to make it operate the right way. Doing this can challenge you which keeps me on my toes.  I also work with databases from time to time. When I am working on applications just for SUNY users that is when I work with PLSQL. My main priority at the time is SharePoint. My team and I have been working on creating it for a couple months now and plan to have all SUNY System Administration employees use it and hopefully have it expand to SUNY campuses in the future. It is rewarding to go on the SharePoint Website and see that you helped create this. One other main thing I do daily is keep an eye on the Web Request folder. This is a folder where all SUNY System Administration employees send their request for changing something on the main SUNY page or are asking for permission to use a certain application. I have to do those changes or create access for them to the application.

I can say that I like coming to work everyday. I get along with the person I work with very well which makes it that much easier and enjoy the work I am doing. I hope that this turns into a full time job for me once I graduate, but if it doesn’t I am extremely glad I worked there and got the experience I did from them.

Shown below is the SUNY SharePoint website I helped create.


–Alaina Montello

Robots, lasers, torque, heights and calibrations — realizing an Internship could become a Career

Robots, lasers, calibrations

Image by MD. Obaiduzzaman Khan {link to}

To read Jeff’s first installment, go to:

The second leg of my internship programming industrial automation equipment at Precision Valve and Automation (PVA) brought me out of the reworks department and into programming custom production machines for a number of specialized customers.  My first project was programming two tabletop XYZ Cartesian coordinate Robots for HB fuller, a worldwide producer of industrial adhesive products, sealant products, paints and other specialty materials.  Their machine integrated a number of features that I had to familiarize myself with.  First was Laser Height Offset. This used a Micro Epsilon high precision laser to take height readings from their part.  Due to imperfections in the manufacturing process, the parts they fed into our machine had small height deviations.  The laser would read the height from the part and cross reference that with an optimal height value and calculate an offset for the Z-Axis allowing for better repeatability and overall final product.

Next is a needle height calibration with a digital dial indicator.  This would allow the customer to change the style of a dispense needle on the valve and have the machine automatically calibrate it.  This functions similarly to the laser height routines.  The machine will move above the dial indicator and lower the Z-Axis. Once the dial indicator reaches a set point, the Z-Axis will stop moving and record the position of the Z-Axis motor.  Based on the position of the motor, the Z-Axis will be offset so that the coordinate system of the machine will not change even though a different sized needle was installed.  These machines were also outfitted with high temp heat plates rated for 250 degrees Celsius.  My program had to constantly monitor the temperature of the heat plate to insure they were within operational and safety limits, and shut them down if anything were to go wrong.   These machines were run off by the customer and now reside in their facility.

Next was a machine for Rockwell Collins, who provide avionics and information technology systems and services to governmental agencies and aircraft manufacturers.  These machines were also XYZ Cartesian coordinate Robots but utilized two extra axes to drive a two part pumping system attached to the rear of the robot.   These pumping systems used two servo motors to drive plungers pushing material through 20oz cartridge into heated hoses which fed into a dispense valve.  After flowing through the dispense valve, the two materials would be mixed in a static mixing tube and finally be dispensed on the part.  These pumps had a number of features and sensors that needed to be monitored.  First was pressure.  The 20oz cartridges have been known to burst at pressures close to 200 psi.  So it was vital to shut down the machine if the pumps were getting close to that amount of load pressure. Next was the motor torque.  If for some reason the motor torque driving the pumps got too high, this could also burst the cartridge, so monitoring the command signal to the servo motors was also essential.  Next was low level, reverse and forward limit sensors. These sensors tell my program to stop running the motors before the end of their travel, preventing possible damage to the hardware.  Lastly was monitoring the temperature of the heated hoses connecting the pumping system to the workcell.   These are very expensive hoses and heating over the recommended temperature can permanently damage them.   The machine also uses a laser needle calibration block which uses three lasers to center the dispense needle and keep it calibrated.

This brings me to today, currently working on a production line for Continental Automotive.   These machines are designed to be tied into the customer’s facility network. The machine will use two barcode scanners to communicate with the customer’s product database and log data based on the systems performance.  I am currently testing the data transfer protocols specified in their MES (Manufacturing execution system).   Overall, this internship has furthered my skills and knowledge for programming and process design in automated industrial robotics. I will continue at PVA as a full time employee and hope to learn all there is to know about the industry; for a living, building robots is not a bad gig.

Jeffrey Leifer, CSMAT, Summer 2013 graduation

Ghost Symantecs and Ubuntu: Interning at SUNY

ubuntu-phone-in-hand1Fixing and maintaining computers as an IT tech support is what I would like to do after I graduate from SUNY Albany. My Internship at the Office of Academic Support Services that I did for credit this summer, gave me a glance of what that would be like. While interning, Atish Sharma and Dennis Karius basically guided me through the Internship, mentored me and taught me about IT tech support.

At my Internship, I had to fix/service the printers we had, maintain and secure all the computers, as well as help any students out with computer issues they may have had. I get a level of satisfaction when I’m able to fix a computer: that’s how I knew I would enjoy this Internship. Atish taught me that if there’s any problem I couldn’t fix, I could rely on the internet first before using any programs or bringing it to the IT department to resolve the issue. Most times the issue could have been resolved just from doing a little research on the problem itself.

I have always been good with computers but this internship taught me about new programs as well. Early in the internship, I was introduced to a program called Ghost Symantec, which is a program that copies a clean operating system, Windows7 in this case, onto any computer that needs their operating system reinstalled. There are 27 computers in the EOP computer lab, so you could only imagine how long it would take to install Windows7 to each computer by hand. That’s where Ghost Symantec comes in handy because the program enables you to send out multiple copies of the operating system at once, saving a bunch of time. There was also an operating system called Ubuntu that I became familiar with from this internship as well. Ubuntu is similar to Windows; the biggest difference is that Ubuntu is free, which is a big plus. I’m a Microsoft person but Ubuntu has a clean look that is very simple to use which is what I like about it.ghost symantec

All in all, my internship experience went really well and I’m glad I got the opportunity to learn what I did. Now I feel I can utilize those skills for any future internship or job that may come thanks to this internship.

Kareem Morris, Information Science


Image 1 by Joey-Elijah Sneddon {link to}

Image 2 by My Tek Log {link to}

MY Internship at the NYS Information Technology Services

Full-time position at NYS Information Technology Services and NYS Department of Taxation and Finance.

Having always worked full-time during my college career I requested that I use my previous and current employer for credit in completing of my Internship Class. I cannot express how great it is to work for these two state agencies, from the moment I walk into the office until it is time to leave I am constantly pushing projects in the direction of completion! The positions that I have held were nothing less than careers, during my NYS ITS career I worked in the Network Operation Center (NOC) as a tier II technician diagnosing and troubleshooting T1, fiber, cable, frame relay and asynchronous transfer mode circuits for various state agencies and government offices.Cisco-TroubleshootingSTP

The information gained at this position taught me critical troubleshooting techniques when it came to CISCO and Juniper equipment, my management including floor leads were monumental in my shaping into a keen technician and young professional. During my stay at this agency I was able to network and learn new things about the inter-workings of its Core as well as where the agency is headed years to come. The knowledge gained in this position soon after moved me into a position at the Department of Taxation and Finance under the ITS umbrella as a Call Center Support Administrator. Under the direct supervision of a tiered management, myself included in a group are charged with supporting the Tax Call Centers facing the general public with upmost diligence and in most cases proactively. Recently the group I belong to has been merged under the ITS umbrella and has been charged with aiding and facilitating additional call center consolidations.

Recently Governor Cuomo announced that the newly transformed NYS Information Technology Services will house and handle all of the State-wide IT needs. Headed by Taxes’ own Brian Digman, Brian has shown great aptitude in facilitating governor Cuomo’s initiative and its intended cluster agencies. My work for the Tax Department although infant has been everything but dull, I am able to work with groups that I always wished I could. While residing in the Voice/Call Center Support group I am working on specialty projects that need group console with the VMware group, Network Security group as well as the Active Directory group! Working with these groups on projects has been an honor and a privilege because having worked in these types of groups during my private sector career I am able to hone, sharpen as well as expand my own knowledge base to information that was not previously reached by me. My employment at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance has been a fantastic experience and I am proud to call it my career employer.

Eric S. Alkurabi