Surviving as an Intern: Thoughts from Varina & Johnny

Varina and Johnny checking the diagram for their build.

Here at DISTek one of our top priorities is investing in the next generation of innovative technology leaders and engineers. One of the ways in which we do this is through our internship program. We are fortunate to have so many qualified experts on staff that can mentor and foster the skills necessary for these college students to be successful in the industry upon graduation. This past fall, we were joined by two sophomores from the University of Northern Iowa. Johnny Pham is local to the Cedar Valley and is working on obtaining his B.S. in Computer Science. Varina Timothy is an international student from India and is majoring in Electrical Engineering Technology.

Here are their thoughts on their experience thus far:

“We came across this wonderful internship opportunity at DISTek through the University of Northern Iowa. The hiring process was competitive, but we made it through in the end. It was like a dream come true for both of us. Never would we have imagined to get a call back from Jeff, the HR Manager, saying, “YOU ARE HIRED.” This was one of the best feelings in the world. After the nerve-wracking experience of the interview was over, it was time to meet our new team members.”

“On our first day at work we were both really excited, as we were about to get some hands on experience which would be beneficial for the fields that we are going into. We met our mentors, Kevin who is a hardware specialist, and Brittany who is a test engineer and team lead. They were really kind and helped us in our first task, which was building an instrumentation panel. Initially, we thought that we wouldn’t be able to meet the expectations because the diagram was really hard to interpret (lots of wiring and complicated diagrams), but Kevin taught us everything step by step, which made it easier to accomplish. The atmosphere here is really friendly and people are always ready to help. Being sophomores, we didn’t know much at first. We basically had to learn everything from scratch. However, going to class after learning so much proved to be very useful. We were able to understand the concepts in class better and relate them to the real world.”

“Since then, everyday at DISTek has been so informative. We learn new things every day related to our majors. This type of experience cannot be gained at college. Internships help you to know what exactly lies in your potential career path and how you can get better at it. To work on such projects, there is a lot of dedication and team work, but our mentors were always ready to help us and answer any questions we had. Simply being around the many intelligent and dedicated members of the DISTek family has caused us to share their values and beliefs, which will be useful in the real world. We really want to thank DISTek for how they are helping us to shape our career and teaching us to be the best candidates for future employers.”