From Campus Computer Labs to an Air Force Base
Nearly 90% of Taylor's students find that internships propel them towards their future careers. These opportunities take them anywhere from offices on campus to nonprofits across the world. In senior Caleb Anthony’s case, an internship sent him to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where he now has a career opportunity when he graduates as a result.
Name: Caleb Anthony '20
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Centerville, OH
Anthony's Air Force Internship Experience
Though he worked at an airbase, Anthony is no pilot. He is a Computer Science major who spent his internship working on a master data centralizing application, meant to help individuals in the field quickly find and read the specific data they need. He split his time between researching for this project and presenting updates to higher-ups on base. “I (was) able to practice my field of study throughout the entire project, since application development is almost solely computer science-related,” Anthony said.
The internship consisted of compiling resources, tutorials, and other necessary information for the project. Anthony worked with his superiors on base to determine factors like the intended audience and preferred design. He also researched examples from other groups who worked on similar projects to figure out what works and integrate it into his own design.
Along the way, Anthony often had to meet with those in charge to update them on the project and to ensure it was meeting its goals. Guidance from experts in the field proved to be invaluable, and Anthony enjoyed the creative freedom of the job and was encouraged by how important his role was.
Surprising His Superiors
Although Anthony was still working on his degree when he did his internship, his knowledge exceeded what was expected from a student. In fact, many assumed he was already a graduate. He recalls that during a meeting with some high ranking personnel, he was asked if he was studying for his Ph.D. They were surprised that he was only an undergraduate senior, as he had consistently been doing documentation that even a professional company the base had worked with neglected to do.
This advanced knowledge and work ethic came from Taylor University’s quality classes and dedication to preparing students for the workforce through a liberal arts education. Anthony credits the preparation from his computer science and public speaking classes for his success in research and presentations to superiors.
Learning in the Classroom and Beyond
“All in all, Taylor has prepared me for my internship through presentation preparation, literature research, computer science skills, and software documentation knowledge,” Anthony said. Applying these skills he learned in college to a professional environment was one of the most valuable things Anthony learned while at the airbase.
However, the job was not without its challenges. The amount of work that piled up over time was difficult for Anthony to keep up with. Some of his assignments required data he didn’t have or information that was hard to find. The deadline for presentations to demonstrate the application at the end of the internship also made things difficult. Anthony often had to work from home to keep up. These experiences taught him the value of finding a good work-life balance and communicating with others to gather necessary information.
An Unexpected Blessing
Throughout Anthony's time in this secular workplace, he worked to reflect his faith and Taylor’s values. He tried to show his beliefs through his work and relationships, and in times of turmoil, Anthony also turned to God. “He has helped me to place all of my faith in Him when I am stressed and don’t see a way out,” Anthony said. “He has given me hope and confidence as there are now more branches that have offered me to work with them throughout the school year and after I graduate.”
Those prayers have turned to praise because Anthony’s summer internship has turned into a future job. Though he was supposed to work until the end of August, his knowledge and work ethic has made him an invaluable worker. “I believe I have found my career, for now, after I graduate,” Anthony said. “At the end of my internship, I received a lot of praise from my mentors and was requested to complete the prototype of the app to show clients at the end of October!”