Wayne State undergraduate students gain real-world IT work experience in campus internship program 

C&IT intern Leila Ouaddi works with Systems Security Specialist Marlene Johnson
on the Information Security team.

Undergraduate students interested in technology can get real-life and hands-on experience working in IT thanks to the Computing and Information Technology (C&IT) Internship Program. The university’s central IT organization offers the multi-year program and paid internship to students in all schools and colleges, no experience necessary. Applicants are interviewed every spring/summer semester for employment beginning in the fall and all interns are encouraged to work at C&IT for the duration of their academic career at Wayne State, with the opportunity to work with a different team every semester, eventually building up to a specialization in a single area. 

While the program welcomes students from areas outside of the technology field, it is designed to offer experience in tandem with similar coursework. First-year student and computer science major Kevin Huynh has already experienced how his work at C&IT benefits his studies. 

“The knowledge I have gained from my coworkers has expanded my academic experience and backed it up,” said Huynh. “You gain a lot of experience from others within the community and it helps better develop a future.”  

C&IT intern Kevin Huynh answers student, faculty, and staff calls at the Help Desk.

Huynh was first introduced to the program as a senior at Fraser High School while visiting the Wayne State data center on a field trip in 2023. Soon after, he was accepted to Wayne State and applied for the program. Huynh is now finishing his first year both in his coursework and working at C&IT. 

This excellent opportunity also helps students land full-time jobs in their field. Information technology major Leila Ouaddi is preparing for graduation this spring and has already accepted a full-time position at Abbott Laboratories.  

“A lot of the experience I've gained at C&IT has interested future employers and allowed me to learn how the backend of businesses works,” said Ouaddi. “It’s helped me better prepare for the real world and make a lot of fantastic connections for future reference.” 

Sometimes interns even find full-time opportunities at Wayne State. Undergraduate students Grey Wick (information systems technology) and Matt Piziali (computer science) both began their careers as interns and are now working full-time as IT professionals at C&IT while they finish their degrees.  

Ouaddi and Johnson work with other members of the Information Security team:
Lead Systems Security Specialist Ryan Tate (left) and
CISO and Senior Director Garrett McMananway (right).

Working at C&IT offers networking opportunities not available via traditional coursework. It is this type of collaboration that Wick, who now works for C&IT’s Campus and Classroom Technology Services team, cites as the most beneficial to their career. 

 “I’ve worked with everyone from deans to presidents to researchers,” said Wick.  

Piziali now works full-time with the C&IT Service Management and Communications team at the Help Desk in the Student Center building. Piziali says his time at C&IT has helped him grow a strong familiarity with Wayne State IT systems and services and encourages other students to take advantage of the opportunity to do the same. 

“Just don't be afraid to take risks and get out of your comfort zone,” said Piziali. “If you aren't sure how to fix something, give it a try anyway, there will always be someone to back you up." 

Applications for the 2024 fall semester are now open

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