IST intern provides end-user IT support for USDA Agricultural Research Service

Hope Damato
August 20, 2021

(Editor’s note: This is the fifth in a series of stories highlighting College of Information Sciences and Technology students and their summer internships.)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — After securing an internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Bailey Rumford was informed that the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program (HNIP) would be sponsoring his internship. The HACU would provide additional benefits toward his experience, such as professional workshops.

HACU and USDA have a partnership agreement that connects students from different backgrounds with paid and assisted internship opportunities. Most of the internships that HACU provides or sponsors are with federal government agencies.

“HACU is a team that’s already gone through the same process I have with a federal government internship,” said Rumford, who will be a senior this fall studying enterprise technology. “It's allowed me to be a part of multiple organizations that I would not particularly fall under or would have had the opportunity to be a part of it wasn't for HACU. The people within HACU are there to help you succeed above and beyond your expectations despite challenges that may be faced.”

A typical day at Rumford’s internship includes providing organizational end-user IT support for computer hardware, software, VPN connectivity, mobile hotspots and associated systems. He also records and documents device inventory, licensing and warranty information. The College of IST has provided Rumford with the skills he needs to succeed in his role.

“I believe I was chosen for this internship position because of my established capabilities with IT from other personal experiences, previous internships, and the things I have learned within the classroom,” he said.

While coordinating and collaborating with supervisors and other administrators within his department, he also offers Microsoft Office 365 support solutions and instructions and tutorials for procedures of installation, configuration and maintenance of endpoint systems.

“Being able to connect, communicate and work together to solve problems has been a huge takeaway from my classroom and college experience,” he said. “These have been very important aspects of my internship and day-to-day business operations that I have noticed.”

He added, “The College of IST teaches us strategies and practices to be proficient in these areas and has expanded these areas into class group projects, extracurricular activities, club involvement and offered leadership positions.”

After graduation, Rumford plans to work in the IT field, either as a consultant, specialist, administrator or project manager. He looks forward to being able to share his knowledge, assistance and understanding with others as well as providing needed solutions while being able to learn new skills.

“This internship experience has offered a great understanding of how the business environment operates, specifically the government, and provided me with firsthand experiences in the professional IT field,” he said.

Rumford said that in addition to what he’s learned in the classroom, the connections he’s made along the way and the opportunities offered by the college and University have benefited him professionally and personally. He serves as a member of the IST Diplomats and Gamma Tau Phi, IST’s honor society. During his internship search, he also took advantage of the resources offered by IST’s Office of Career Solutions and Corporate Engagement and Nittany Lion Careers.

“Professors, administrators, advisers and other students are always so willing to assist and help you succeed,” he said. “The College of IST always has events and workshops occurring to better your experiences as an individual to prepare you for your future endeavors.”

Last Updated August 20, 2021