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From Student Intern to IT Professional

February 7th, 2014 | Posted by Emily in Careers | IT-oLogy Columbia | Teach IT

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The following guest post was written by Dan Wright of Unitrends.

My name is Dan Wright and I have an IT story to tell. My journey into the IT world has been full of great memories, hardships, and risks. All of these worked together for my good and landed me a fulltime job at one of the fastest growing IT companies in South Carolina.

The University of South Carolina has an Integrated Information Technology (iIT) B.S degree which focuses on the applied understanding of IT with a business perspective. I discovered this degree while attending Midlands Technical College and soon realized this opportunity would change my life. I stepped out in good faith knowing that taking the risk of uncertainty for the future would someday pay off.  Spending the last two years of my education at USC showed me what I needed to improve and how to achieve that. A class that impacted me the most was the HRSM 301 Professional Development Seminar. This course is given to all students in the College of Hospitality, Retail, and Sports Management at USC. HRSM 301 focuses on improving your resume, interview skills, professional dress, and networking skills. Attending this class pulled me out of my fears to be myself in any environment. It also transitioned directly into my desire to obtain an internship at a local IT firm. With these skills I pressed forward to achieve my professional goals.

A requirement of the iIT program at USC is a 400 hour internship course. I had access to many resources that placed me on the right path of finding an internship, one of which was the S.E.T fair hosted by USC. During my visit to the S.E.T. fair I connected with the IT Corporate Recruiter from Unitrends. I accepted an internship opportunity at Unitrends during my last semester at USC.

Unitrends provides an All-In-One disaster backup solution, and our passion is to give a peace of mind backup solution that is reliable, easy to use and simple to place in any IT environment. Immediately after my arrival at Unitrends this passion of providing support to those in need became very clear. My job was to ensure the highest quality of customer support to those who had need. Over the last year I have embraced the Unitrends Support culture, which has not only changed my way of working, but also transitioned to how I treat others in my daily life. Unitrends has been a great place for an intern to learn and I have grown my knowledge of the IT world. After serving my 400 hour internship I was asked to join the Unitrends Support Team full-time, and I am now continuing the Unitrends support culture of ensuring the highest quality of customer support.

My education at the University of South Carolina played a large part in my opportunity at Unitrends, but I would be leaving out an important piece if I did not mention IT-oLogy. The iIT program at USC can be found housed at the IT-oLogy offices on Gervais Street. This partnership allows for the growth of local IT talent within and extending beyond the university. IT-oLogy also provided me the opportunity to follow up with the IT Corporate Recruiter shortly after the S.E.T fair at their own IT-focused career fair for professionals and students. This last meeting solidified my interview with Unitrends, leading to my internship and eventually fulltime employment. I believe in the cause IT-oLogy stands for in producing local IT talent to a world that is in drastic need.

My IT story is a journey that is still in progress. There have been valleys and peaks, but I know they are all for my benefit. My experience at USC and with Unitrends and IT-oLogy have strengthened my IT skills and prepared me for the rest of my career in IT. If you take one thing from this post, step out in good faith and know that the opportunities and risks taken can and will pay off. Be a strong and courageous future IT professional!

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