WCCC News Article

September Valued Partner Xavier U IT Dept.

Conner with Xavier IT staff

Xavier University’s Information Technology Department is the September 2021 WCCC Valued Community Partner. The university department was nominated by Cybersecurity Instructor Diana Marks for its support of senior Conner Nichols, Waynesville, who was offered an internship in the IT department this past summer through the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati.

In Conner’s junior year, 2020-21, he placed in the top 10 in BPA Nationals for Windows Server Administration, earned Microsoft Technology Associate for Windows Operating System and passed the first exam of two in the CompTIA A+ industry credential. He said his experience at Xavier was extremely beneficial, enhanced his education in the field and prepared him for his senior year. Xavier IT staff Mike Marshall and Doug Hanson took the time to mentor Conner and made sure he fully participated and was treated like any other employee, even though he was still in high school. Mrs. Marks will continue to network with Xavier, and INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati, and hopes to have more of her students experience an internship there soon.

“Conner experienced all aspects of our work from unboxing all the way to user support; imaging machines, delivering machines, and fielding questions,” Mike Marshall said. “This was the largest deployment we have done at Xavier, with 400 plus machines being set up for staff. We were happy with all our interns, but specifically with Conner, he had so much eagerness combined with knowledge, he was so eager to help and obviously competent. Conner has an amazing combination of attitude and skills. He even knew command-line. Command-line interface skills are thin in the world, and understanding what to do in command-line is essential. Whatever you are doing here in the classroom is excellent, if you are sending out students like Conner into the workforce. Thank you very much.”

“I oversee deployment of machines to labs and classrooms and we had over 300 this summer,” Doug Hanson said. “Conner and crew were fantastic. They were better employees than if we had hired outside contractors.”

Conner enthusiastically summarized his internship experience for his instructor, Mrs. Marks, saying he enjoyed the work and learned a lot.

“My experience at Xavier was absolutely awesome,” he said. “I learned so much from my boss, Mike. I had many jobs that we would do depending on what we were assigned that week. Deployments were my favorite though. The process of deploying the computers for faculty use was a very detailed one at that. We would organize the computers based on what building they were going to, and sometimes we had 20 computers to deliver spread out in multiple buildings all over campus. Once we got the computer to the right person the real work began. The process was simple, we had to unplug the old docking station as well as take out any of the old stuff. We would plug in the new docking station and Laptop and confirm that the display was shown. After that was done, we had to do some things with the end-user. We typically had them sign into their account, start their data copy, sign into Outlook so their emails can sync with the cloud and pull all the information it needs, add known printers from print servers as well as any personal printers that they might have, and finally configure their default apps. When it slowed down a bit we did some other cool things. One of my favorites was when we had to add extra display port modules into the Lenovo desktops. That was the first time we got to get under the hood of a computer and it was a great experience. But my favorite part was doing the data transfers. At the end of each day, we would do data transfers for the computers that we would deliver and set up the next day. We would remote into their old computers and run a data copy script that my boss Mike created, which could download hundreds of documents and files within a couple of seconds. I was really blessed to have this internship and it was a great experience.”

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