Hi! My name is Chandler Santos. I’m studying Cybersecurity and Information Systems at UTSA, and interned with Mac IT Solutions this summer. I got plugged into S+S through CEO* on campus. A few buddies introduced S+S so enthusiastically that I immediately stopped what I was doing and applied on the spot.
Why should others consider S+S and why is it beneficial?
One word: Community. Joining a company for the first time is like moving to a new city. You have to get to know everyone, and it can be tough to relate to those that been there for a while. With S+S, everyone is joining through the same thing you are, so you’re supported at every step. Thu and Alexandra make sure you never miss a beat. By providing updates and even workshops for the whole cohort. My cohort went virtual and I never felt that I was alone. Talking to others at different companies was super enjoyable and nourished my network.
How did S+S contribute to your growth?
S+S empowered me to improve professionally. Working at Mac IT Solutions I was put in positions to learn on the spot and learn quickly. I dealt with IT networking, and the things I’ve done in school only went so in-depth. While applying the business application to something extremely technical allowed me to view the subject from a healthy new perspective. I believe that is something you can only get from work experience.
I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses with my time at Mac IT Solutions. Having to contribute to multiple projects can get stressful, but I quickly adapted to my environment and read just about every article on prioritization. I took what I studied outside of work and applied it to stay on top of my workflow. Feedback from supervisors and colleagues offered a unique learning opportunity that I couldn’t get from the university.
What piece of advice would you give to an incoming S+S intern?
Ask your boss what the top objectives they’re looking to accomplish before your time is up. It is always good to have that in the back of your head while you clock in every day. Another advice is to take the initiative to tackle tasks outside of your daily to-do list. This shows that you are looking at the bigger picture. It shows that you care about the company’s mission. One thing I wish I knew before I started my internship is to get to know your coworkers early! Learn about their lives and hobbies. It makes things so much easier when you can relate to someone. Act like a sponge and soak up all the information you can during your internship – it will benefit you in the long run.
*Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization