Morgan B. Wilson, CS major, Sophomore 2007:
I enrolled as a UAB freshman for fall 2005. The only job experience I had was working with my father at his home business. I had been looking for employment since I arrived in Birmingham. My undergraduate advisor approached me about an employment opportunity that allowed flexibility with my class schedule. Naturally, I was interested in earning extra money so I jumped at the opportunity. The employer was Nighthawk Publications, owned by John Phillips, a freelance writer who writes for several magazines and uploads content on a daily basis for seven magazines. I was hired immediately upon completion of the first interview, and began work the next day! I have worked for Nighthawk Publications for the past year and a half. The experience has provided the opportunity to improve my computer related skills in the context of business operations. I have learned to maintain websites and improve my sense of command in the world of computers. Most importantly, I'm learning how this business operates on a day-to-day basis. John Phillips insists that I learn how to manage problems as they arise, so I can function effectively whether I choose to operate my own business or work for an employer. I believe internships are invaluable as a complement to classroom learning.
Bob Robertson, B.S. (UAB), 2006:
I appreciate your initiative to make paid internships available to your CS students. I believe that internships have the potential to produce huge benefits for the students and the CS Department. During my undergraduate coursework, I did not know where or how I wanted to apply my degree. However, once I started my internship with Nighthawk Publications, I had the opportunity to make direct contact with other IT business professionals, and apply my classroom experience to the design, maintenance, and definition of content for several websites. The opportunities for networking resulted in potential clients for my new website business. Mentoring is one of the most important aspects of the internship program. I hope the employers who hire your interns will have a genuine desire to help students achieve their dreams and goals, just as Mr. Phillips has done for me and so many others before me.