In such a competitive work environment, having the right experience can be crucial. Students fresh out of their undergraduate programs are expected to cobble a resume together that shows extensive experience in addition to academic success. According to Pamela King, Director of the Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics Program, not only are senior internships a requirement but a “pipeline to jobs.” Instructors Susan Ceklosky and Andrea Wentzell '15 echoed these sentiments. Wentzell added that working with non-profits especially gives students the additional “meat and bones for how to work with clients.”
To ensure that students receive this crucial experience, the Computer Science and Information Technology program at Chestnut Hill College offers on-site internships to students, especially if they’re having difficulty finding sites off-campus. However, onsite internships bring more than just a backup option. Wentzell explained that “Often when students work with many of our internship partners, they gain wonderful experiences. But, though it looks great on resumes, sometimes it doesn’t result in the work being shareable within a portfolio. One of the things that these new expanded opportunities our department has been working towards developing is that end collateral. It’s the idea that students themselves are taking these projects from start to launch, whether it be applications on the app store or fully launched websites. While this is relatively new, we continue to expand the opportunities as colleges like our own are trying to stay ahead of the digital curve.”
Nothing demonstrates this more than the app projects worked on by Mustaf Nuredini '22 and Sean Plunkett '22.
Logue Library commissioned Nuredini to create a mobile application that would guide students on using the extensive library database and Keely McCarthy, Associate Professor of English and the Coordinator of Writing at CHC, requested Plunkett to build his app, which focuses on a different avenue of student life; preparing for graduation.
Nuredini explained that this app, aptly named “Logue Link” will provide a variety of tutorials along with direct links to the library website. This may not have been Nuredini’s first app, but he was excited to build one “on this scale.” Nuredini hopes to pursue a career in web or mobile development after graduation and felt he was able to take a lot from the internship. “It was a really good learning experience,” Nuredini said emphatically of his time in development. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve done so far-” He admitted. “But it was the most helpful for this field.” Plunkett’s app, “Countdown to Graduation” will allow students to track courses they’ve taken, courses they need to take, as well as a GPA tracker/calculator. Plunkett explained that this two-month project involved a “lot of research- ie: typing a line of code, realizing it’s not working, looking up why it’s not working, and trying to figure it out.” Having never built an app before, while building “Countdown to Graduation,” Plunkett relied on ingenuity and a fair amount of problem-solving.”It’s been a lot of work to get to where it is now,” Plunkett enjoys various areas of programming, having a handful of other projects currently in progress, and is excited to see what career he will find after graduation.
For such a small college Chestnut Hill’s CSIT program excels at adapting to stay current with ever-evolving modern technology. “It’s all learning,” Plunkett emphasized. The student-first focus of this program gave these seniors the one-on-one time and encouragement to be successful in the massive undertaking of creating a mobile app. Professor Susan Ceklosky worked closely and encouraged Plunkett and Nuredini, but knew when to give them room to take the lead and tackle the problem-solving for themselves. The introduction of these apps will provide further opportunities for student interns to learn about app-building, build updates for these apps or even build new programming for other departments.
Nuredini and Plunkett’s apps are now available on the Google Play and IOS stores.
- Dana Potts