The IT Support Services Internships Program recruits students from colleges throughout the local San Francisco Bay Area region to provide technical computer support to the Berkeley Lab community. Students gain practical on the job training and experience while enrolled in an academic program and completing course requirements.
Tuyo Davis earned a Bachelor’s degree in Art Studio with a theme in Ethics and Social Policy at California State University, Chico, and held a variety of facilitating roles before switching gears to study Information Technology at Contra Costa College (CCC). She landed an internship with IT by the end of 2021 and credits Francis Reyes, Professor of Computer Science at CCC, for encouraging her to apply to the internship program. “I was delighted to get the job,” she expressed. “[Hiring managers] Jenny and Tammy gave me a chance and I was thrilled to be selected. We started right away with training and it’s been a great learning adventure. The internship has reaffirmed my ability to learn new skills and reminded me how much I enjoy assisting diverse groups of people.”
Active since 1998, the intern program endures through the advocacy of champions like Tammy Campbell, IT Support Services Group Lead, and Jenny Brown, IT Help Desk Work Lead, who joined the Lab as a student assistant over a decade earlier and now manages the IT Support Services Intern Program.
Fostering lasting relationships with community partners makes it possible to maintain an organizational pipeline for educating, mentoring, and recruiting local talent through technology.
On the Job Training
The IT Support Services Group plays a vital role in ensuring the success of Berkeley Lab scientific programs, not only by providing essential technical computer services but by developing strong leaders and mentors throughout the local community by way of a robust and active student internship program. The program begins with fundamental on the job training via the IT Help Desk. The Help Desk is responsible for technical documentation in addition to computer support, and is the first point of contact between the user and subject matter experts. Tuyo started handling support tickets shortly after onboarding in January 2022, first with guidance from her program mentor, Kevin Broussard, Help Desk Specialist, then moved on to independent initial triage of incoming requests and attempts to resolve tickets with increasingly greater complexity. A network of internal support is always accessible when more backup assistance is needed. “My mentors and colleagues are supportive of my development and I am truly grateful,” Tuyo noted. “If I need assistance, the more experienced technicians are very responsive.”
After 9 intense months supporting the Help Desk through remote work, Tuyo advanced to her current role training onsite with the IT Workstation Support Group and mentor Babak (Bobby) Zavieh. Workstation Support provides highly-visible, user and endpoint support, such as standard setup and deployment of workstations, software installation, and IT equipment procurement and configuration. The Workstation group is responsible for supporting a broad range of technologies, including desktop and laptop hardware, Windows, Mac, Chrome, Linux operating systems and applications, audio-visual and videoconferencing systems, and wired and wireless networks. Tuyo is now spending approximately 8 weeks gaining specialized, hands-on experience at the Lab’s hill site in Berkeley, California.
Once her foundational IT skills are refined through the Help Desk and now Workstation Support, Tuyo is expected to join the IT Embedded Support Engineers Group at the Lab’s Potter St. location for the next step of her internship journey. IT Embedded Support Engineers are dedicated resources who provide a set of broad technical capabilities and localized expertise adapted to the host organization’s unique needs. At this advanced stage, interns work directly in the field with Lab staff and other IT technicians and act as liaisons between IT and the host organization to accomplish the scientific mission. Embedded Support may work with the intern to delve more deeply into network administration, hardware maintenance, scripting, and other activities as required by the host.
Flexibility for Busy Lifestyles
Student interns are permitted to work part-time during the academic year while attending their regular courses and optionally full-time during the summer months. Tuyo grew up in a large family and is now a parent herself. She is no stranger to juggling competing priorities and adapting to unexpected challenges. Tuyo commented that she, “appreciates the internship allows flexible hours that support a good work/life balance.”
Career Development & Recruitment
Berkeley Lab IT aims to maintain a safe, inclusive, and diverse work environment for anyone seeking to grow and learn new skills. The internship program encourages the development of managers in addition to mentorship of early career students. More experienced career staff are granted an opportunity to share their knowledge, improve supervisor skills, and collect fresh perspectives on existing processes.
For local students, the internship experience is invaluable. After months of training and working closely with her mentors, Tuyo’s technical skill set has grown, and she is fully committed to a career path in IT. Her current plans include pursuing an additional IT degree and professional IT certification while moving closer toward earning an Associate in Science (AS) degree in Information Technology from Contra Costa College in December 2022.
“Last week I worked with people who spoke English as a second language, a student, a recent retiree, a visitor from Ireland, and a staff member living in New York. Working with the diverse people at Berkeley Lab keeps everyday interesting. I also enjoy the endless opportunities to learn about technology.”
— Tuyo Davis, Student Intern, IT Support Services, Berkeley Lab
- Visit IT Education & Outreach to learn more about our current programs.
- Students who are interested in working with the IT Division should email their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Berkeley Lab student job opportunities can be found at jobs.lbl.gov.