Student keeps retail running at network engineering internship

Emma Riglin
July 26, 2019

Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of articles about students in the College of Information Sciences and Technology completing internships this summer.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Have you ever gone into a store and couldn’t make your purchase because the registers were down? Have you ever been shopping online and the system suddenly crashed? Penn State student Josh Kenna is working to fix such problems in his summer internship.

A rising senior in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), Kenna is working this summer at the headquarters of the popular retail chain American Eagle Outfitters.

“They’re really focused on showing and teaching me real work," he said.

Josh Kenna

Josh Kenna, senior in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, is spending his summer as a network engineering intern at American Eagle Outfitters.

IMAGE: Provided

Though Kenna is majoring in security and risk analysis, he took a chance applying to be a network engineering intern.

“What I do changes day to day,” Kenna said. “It’s very dynamic. I get to see a lot of different aspects, not just network, some days it’s security. Network is all about how everything is connected. It’s a broad, well-rounded understanding of how technology works together to create internet connections. It’s a good first step.”

Through working with networks in his internship, Kenna discovered a passion that may guide him as he seeks a prospective future career.

“With this internship I’ve found a fondness for networking,” Kenna said. “I’m glad I got to explore more in the field. Networking has security aspects, but it requires more knowledge on network specifics, such as the network layer of the OSI model and packet forwarding. I find it very interesting and engaging.”

He has also found that networking is more focused and technical, which he appreciates.

“I already know a lot from the classroom because [IST] touches on a lot of parts of tech. I’ve already gotten the foundation. Having the backbone really helped.”

— Josh Kenna, senior security and risk analysis major

“I’ve learned a lot of technical things about how networks are set up and run,” said Kenna. “I really like networks and seeing how they affect people.”

“I get to do hardware-specific tasks,” he added. “They showed me the data center, so I get to see hardware in action. I’ve also done things like change settings in the stores so they can get internet access. It’s real-time problem-solving.”

He gained the skills to be successful in this internship through the College of IST, where the curriculum’s varied coursework has taught him more than just what his major entails.

“I already know a lot from the classroom because [IST] touches on a lot of parts of tech,” Kenna said. “I’ve already gotten the foundation. Having the backbone really helped.”

Kenna appreciates that completing an internship is required in IST, as it has given him real-world experience before his senior year.

“I’m more prepared to work because I already have experience,” he said.

Kenna advises other students looking to get an internship to start early and put in effort.

“You have to want it,” he said. “Show them you want it. Make connections, be persistent and work hard.”

Last Updated July 29, 2019