Category Archives: Internships

CLRI Celebrates Fall Graduates at Networking Event

The Fall Career and Leadership Readiness Institute (CLRI) concluded on November 17 at the Woodbridge Campus (at the site of the future NOVA Data Center Training Facility). NOVA IET students put their newly enhanced career skills in action to make industry connections at a final networking session, the culminating event for students before they receive their certificates of completion. This was particularly notable this semester as it was the first in-person CLRI at NOVA since it was established in 2020.

Through an extracurricular 5-week course, CLRI students were trained how to interview, create a resume that stands out, manage interpersonal skills in a diverse workplace, and more. Students were also treated to two tours of an IET partner, STACK Infrastructure Data Center.

The final networking event kicked-off with remarks from VP of IET and College Computing Dr. Chad Knights before students and IET professionals gathered for a round table discussion and Q & A on relevant experiences and pressing needs in the tech workforce. After the discussion, Executive Director of the NOVA Foundation Kelly Persons addressed graduates and presented them with completion certificates and a leather CLRI portfolio. Graduates also receive a digital CLRI badge that they can add to their LinkedIn profiles.

Following the certificate presentation, CLRI students put their skills to the test during a catered meal where there were opportunities to network with the industry partners from the roundtable discussions. One of the major draws of CLRI and especially the final networking event is that graduates obtain immediate internship opportunities and receive priority consideration for our paid summer internships. 2-3 students from the fall CLRI cohort have been offered winter-break internships at Digital Realty and 3 CLRI students have already been extended an offer of employment from various industry partners.


Feedback from CLRI graduates included the following:

“CLRI helped me to get professional skills, to meet people, to make connections, to build my network. I really learned how to rebrand my resumé to attract hiring managers.” – Kanyin, NOVA IT Major

“I want to get better, I want to be better, I want to do better, and I want an opportunity to come my way. This gave me the opportunity. It was a lot of fun and definitely built my confidence” – Elizabeth, NOVA IT Major

“The nicest thing about CLRI is that you get to know a lot of people who are like-minded, and industry professionals who give you really good advice. It’s definitely worth joining.” – Hamid, IST Major

“I would 100% recommend CLRI. The networking aspect was what I got the most from. Tom (Tom Gerencer, CLRI’s Technical Resume Instructor), who I was able to contact via LinkedIn, turned my resume from OK to fantastic.” Tim, ET Major

“Once [NOVA students] come into the program, they will feel how impactful CLRI is on their career journey.” – Tahiba, IT Major


For the Fall 2022 cohort, 34 NOVA students are scheduled to complete CLRI (make-up sessions are due Dec 15) and 52 students attended at least one workshop. Overall, since it’s implementation, CLRI has surpassed 100 completers.

Special recognition goes to M. Andy Chaves, NOVA SySTEMic CTE Coordinator, and Sedrick Settle, IET Career Advisor for their exemplary work in running CLRI with excellence and enthusiasm from beginning to end this semester.

You can reach M. Andy at machaves@nvcc.edu and Sedrick at ssettle@nvcc.edu


Industry Partners who attended the CLRI Networking Event:

Keron Taylor, Data Center Operations Manager, Google
Troy Hill, Director of Data Center Operations, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Jay Mitchell, Operations Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers
Scott LaCasse, Supervisor of Workstation Support, PWCS
Darlene Armenta, Director of Talent Acquisition, Red River
Koren Flint, Senior Director of Customer Experience, Red River
Christopher Lettiere, Director of Data Center Operations, Coresite
Rob Morgan, Director of Project Management, CompuDynamics
Sal Amado, Director of Learning & Development, Simple Technology Solutions


Spring CLRI Opportunities:

If you are a NOVA student and want to get ahead in your career, CLRI will continue in Spring 2023, with a kick-off event on Feb 16 and workshops beginning the following week on Feb 21. You can sign up for our Spring 2023 Interest Form at https://www.nvcc.edu/career-services/clri.html to be notified when applications are available. We will also keep you up to date through our monthly Newsletter, which you can sign up for at http://newsletter.novastem.us

Another good resource to keep up with IET and future CLRI sessions and feedback is the NOVA Engage App, which you can find on Apple and Google Play. Some CLRI students who received internships applied directly through the App.

NOVA Graduate Spotlight – Hispanic Heritage

Alec Vaca is a NOVA graduate who received an A.A.S. in Automotive from NOVA and later pursued a degree in HVAC before switching to an A.A.S. in Engineering Technology. He interned for Micron and worked there for 3 years. Afterward he interned for Digital Realty and is now employed full-time as an IT Manager. We caught up with him at the end of Hispanic Heritage month to ask about his experiences getting to where he is now and how NOVA helped him achieve his goals:

How did you first learn about NOVA?
I heard about NOVA during my Junior (11th) year in High School. Much of what I knew originally came from rumors of being a lesser-university experience for a much lower cost.

How were you first inspired in STEM?
My fascination with STEM originated also in my Junior year in High School when I took an automotive basics class and following my senior year in High School with a trade class for small engines. I thoroughly enjoyed understanding each component’s purpose in the overall picture of manipulating energy for a specific task.

Since joining NOVA, describe your experiences?
I have learned from industry experts who teach students, such as myself, with a passion to equip the future labor force. My experiences made in each lab have been stelar thanks to NOVA cultivating a healthy culture empowering my professors to teach to their best abilities.

How has NOVA equipped you in your career path?
NOVA has equipped me through many opportunities to advance my career, ranging from a plethora of degree-specific scholarships to unique Internship paths with global companies such as Micron Technology and Digital Realty.

How have you balanced work needs while pursuing your education?
Balancing a work life while pursuing an education is admittedly my greatest weakness. I have learned early on that it is possible but sacrifice to some “me” time is required. An effective balance usually means I cut down on recreation on my down time to finish deadlines from both work and school. I have been blessed to have considerate managers and professors, so that also is a huge weight off my shoulders!

What excites you about the technology industry?
The fact that we are in a unique time in the world where competition for the “latest & greatest” is at its peak.

You recently started a new job, Congratulations! Describe how you were able to secure the opportunity?
Thanks! I put into practice my persistence in finding opportunities that would benefit me and my goals. My first step was focusing more on my classes I was taking and to see what would suit my future aspirations in the workforce. Following this I took advantage of the Career Learning Readiness Institute (CLRI) training modules, offered by NOVA, for seeking employment and had the tremendous opportunity to tour STACK Infrastructure, which sealed the deal on which industry I would love to grow into. Finally, after discussing my aspirations to my professors, I was made aware of an opportunity to intern at a leading Data Center in Loudoun, which resulted in said company knowing who I was as an individual and vice versa.

What are your ultimate career goals?
I believe my ultimate career goal would be, as my father says, “Bloom where you’re planted”.

Are there any professors or mentors who you want to recognize along your journey?
My top three professors/mentors I have been fortunate to interact with would be Reginald Bennett for his passion to teach, Laura Garcia for her counseling and Amir Mehmood for his care for us the students.

What have you most enjoyed about your time at NOVA?
My best moments at NOVA have been struggling with other students to understand the material we must learn and the relationships that have sprouted from our conflicts. Nothing says comradery like a class of students working together to get to the next part of the lab!

How does your life in the professional world differ from life as a NOVA student? What are the expectations?
Learning a topic at NOVA, with physical labs included, is different from learning in the workforce. My classes give me a great foundational understanding of STEM concepts and the ability to test controlled sections of an area being explored. In the workplace, I can develop my skills I have learned, usually without control found in labs I have done at NOVA. As far as expectations go, at work I am expected to do my best and if I do not, then my team suffers the most. In my classes, I am expected to learn and if I fail to, then I alone suffer the most.

What would you say to current NOVA IET students who would like to follow your example? What should they do and what should they expect?
What worked for me was building relationships with my professors and classmates so I could learn more about who I was as a person and where I wanted to end up at. I would not be where I am today without pushing myself out of my comfort zone to look for opportunities, to which many professors are eager to help those seeking.

Is there anything else you want to share?
My parents often say a variation of “Cherish the good times and learn in the hard times”, which I find fitting.

 

AFCOM Interns Ready to Pursue Data Center Opportunities

For the second year in a row AFCOM Potomac Chapter, supported by NOVA through the Go VA DEEP IET grant, put students through a 10 week summer internship program. The objective of the internship is to engage undergraduate students from multiple disciplines having them observe and assist with projects within the data center community.

This year 12 interns participated, with 8 of them coming from the NOVA Data Center Operations Program (DCO). AFCOM has increased the number of internships offered year over year and won national recognition from AFCOM National at Data Center World 2021. By supporting the internship project, companies can actively participate in bringing up the next wave of talent in data centers. “We will be continuing this annually to help introduce and drive young talent into the data center space,” said Stuart Dyer, Global Data Center Strategy and Planning, IBM, and AFCOM Potomac Chapter Director of Scholarships & Internships. “Students return to school armed with good references, and a solid foundation of influence, and in some instances, land jobs with their sponsor companies.”

Additionally, AFCOM gives annually to the DCO program through the Wendy Darling Scholarship. This year AFCOM increased its support to $20,000 for course scholarships. “With NOVA sponsoring our internship program, it completes the circle of investing in these students’ future in the data center industry” said Dyer. This year’s donation demonstrated AFCOM’s commitment and support to making the NOVA DCO program a top generator for talent for the Data Center industry.

AFCOM, the interns and their partners celebrated the successful completion of the internships and the generous donation at Top Golf in Ashburn.

AFCOM is a professional association proven to advance the career of IT and data center professionals. For over 40 years, they’ve been educating, connecting & lifting our members to help them meet the growing demands facing the IT and Data Center industry.

More about AFCOM here

Internships

Paid Summer Internships for STEM Camps

NOVA SySTEMic is recruits high school and college students interested in STEM education for PAID summer internships in support of our summer STEM Camps. During these two-week programs, interns will support camp instruction, contribute to curriculum development, and learn to teach technical skills in a low-stress, fun environment.

Summer Internship applications for 2022 are currently closed, but you will be able to apply for next summer’s internship slots in March, 2023.

Receive updates on STEM Internships as they become available by filling out this interest form.

For more info contact SySTEMic Program Manager Aleksander Marthinussen at amarthinussen@nvcc.edu

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, The IET Interface, at http://newsletter.novastem.us to keep up with application information and other frequent internship opportunities at NOVA.

Elevate Loudoun Virtual Computer Science Internship Fair

Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) is looking for computer science community members from all industries to support LCPS High School Juniors and Seniors by participating in their Virtual Computer Science Internship Fair. This event is a great opportunity for LCPS high school students who are interested in computer science to learn skills related to a career in technology and to speak with companies who have internship experiences available for students.
Date & Time: January 25, 2022 from 4-7pm
Questions? Contact Mrs. Kristina Lee at Kristina.Lee@lcps.org or 571-246-0982

Paid Internship & Camp Instructor Opportunities!

We have excellent paid internship and camp instructor opportunities for students residing in northern Virginia this summer. Don’t miss a great chance to get a head start on STEM career!

Interns will help develop STEM Curriculum, aid with outreach and EXPOs and prepare for Robotics Competitions.

Camp Instructors will work with students age 8-18 at our STEM Camps, instruct STEM Camp Curriculum & teach one or more STEM camps.

Sign up at intern.novastem.us/Apply and/or camp.novastem.us/InstructorApplication

Check out and share our STEM Intern flyer