St. Thomas is a place that can pace you well. There was a lot to get finished and a lot of ideas to re-orient the school to better educate the kids, even as part of the Tech Department. Yet, the school is very patient and willing to give you the time to learn to do it right. Some of the projects I've completed in my first two months:
- Automated "kiosk" displays for information
- Network map of the school
- Met with vendors and sat in on discussions about options for network hardware
- Running cable (audio and ethernet especially)
- General tech support troubleshooting
What I wish was different
One thing that I am trying to get better at as I still intern is communicating and building trust with the teachers and students. My first position was at the college I am graduating from - I knew a lot of professors and students.
That was not the case here, and I'm trying to get better at remembering names and faces. At St. Thomas, almost everyone else knows each other - this made it difficult to continually ask "I'm sorry, I forgot your name?" and to just pick up in people's conversations. Our office was one element that hindered this as well - it is tucked back upstairs, and we don't see a lot of teachers until they need help.
Schools are unique environments, especially for technology. If you're expecting a typical corporate environment, you'll be kidding yourself.
Take the opportunities to sit in on meetings if you can. The more you know about how people are deciding on projects, the easier it will be to understand what is needed.
Also, have fun with the fun elements, like the kids. They are hilarious and bald-faced honest.