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An Intern's Experience - Molly O'Mara

I am a cybersecurity major interning at a staffing and recruiting firm. Whenever I tell my peers at school this they laugh and ask me “Why?” They all tell me I'm wasting my time interning at a company that is not a technology based workplace. How could I possibly learn enough to prepare myself for graduation? Well, LaSalle Network has taught me more than I ever imagined.

I was lucky enough to be a second year intern this summer for LaSalle. Having been a part time intern last year, I was very eager to return full time and actually get my hands on the work I wanted to be doing. Last year, I was listening and learning, but this time around I am doing more hands-on work and impacting LaSalle for the better. The IT department consists of three people. There are many times that everyone is busy and things start to get backed up, and because of this, I’ve learned how to quickly adjust to the environment around me and circumstances needed for the constant changes the workplace provides. If I had to highlight three things that I have contributed to LaSalle throughout this summer, they would be: reliable IT support; improving our security within Microsoft; and upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10.

After this internship I will be going into my 5th year at Illinois State University. Not only is this internship required for me to graduate, but it also has given me insight that I will use in my coursework. Besides providing me with useful knowledge, LaSalle has also taught me to be curious. In previous years, I was very hesitant to ask questions. This stopped me in my tracks when I arrived at LaSalle. Here, you're expected to arrive ready to do your part, and you will not be able to immediately succeed without asking a lot of questions (which I now try to do everyday).  At school, I was afraid of asking obvious questions, but LaSalle has taught me not to be afraid.

The most impactful part of LaSalle is definitely the culture. You walk in, and people are happy to be here. It really is contagious. At first, I was very overwhelmed because everyone wanted to get to know me. After a couple weeks, I found myself wanting to meet everyone else too. The passion behind LaSalle is very motivating. It is very easy to wake up and go to a job you enjoy being at. The culture supports not only a very warm and welcoming atmosphere, but also a very hardworking one. I have always had a problem with questioning myself and my decisions, but watching everyone at LaSalle work has taught me how to be bolder in my own work. I might not have the full confidence of a Lasallian, but I am definitely on my way.

Usually towards the end of my summers, I am ready to go back to school. However, after this summer at LaSalle, I feel like I am ready to enter the workforce. Everyone is afraid to grow up, but interning at LaSalle has proven to me that growing up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and enjoy your job.