Local computer interns put knowledge into practice
By Lance Cpl. Michael Kjaer
| Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | August 03, 2000
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Two high school students got the chance to put theory into practice this summer when they were accepted as computer network interns in the computer repair and help desk section aboard MCLB Albany.
The interns, upcoming seniors Benjamin Harrold of Dougherty Comprehensive High School and Benjamin Lindsey of Albany High School, were part of a larger intern program which places high school students who have received the appropriate training in real-world jobs with Albany companies.
This is the first year of the intern project. It was put together by administrative personnel in the Dougherty County School System in coordination with major local area businesses.
A limited number of occupational training programs are located at different schools, but the programs are open to all high school students, not just those attending the school where the occupational training program resides.
In addition to the two interns at MCLB Albany, interns also worked at Emergency Medical Services, Phoebe-Putney Memorial Hospital, and Darton College.
To become interns in the program, students were required to complete requisite classes with good marks. They also had to apply for the positions and obtain endorsements from their instructors.
Prior to applying for the computer repair intern positions, both students completed a year of Cisco network training (a widely used network programming language developed by Cisco Corporation).
When they arrived aboard the base June 12, the interns began work immediately. They were based in Warehouse 1360, and began answering trouble calls and maintaining the network.
According to Sgt. Leo Lebel, S-6 computer repair noncommissioned officer-in-charge, the interns performed the same tasks which Marines in his shop perform.
From the start, they answered real-world calls and dealt with real-world problems, said Lebel. One of the first calls they responded to was a very large and difficult call.
Harrold said he applied for the intern position because it gave him a chance to put what he had learned in the classroom into practice and get hands-on experience.
I learned through experience things that are not always learned in the classroom or in books, said Harrold.
Lebel said the internship was not only a learning experience for the interns, but also for the Marines they worked with.
According to Lebel, having the interns working as part of the section gave the Marines, who normally work on maintaining the bases communications network, a chance to instruct and assume leadership roles.
We appreciated the help and look forward to participating in the program next year, said Lebel. Having them here benefited everyone.
According to Harrold, because of what he has learned in the classroom and the experience which he gained working here, he will pursue Cisco certification as a network associate and major in computer engineering in college.