Sam Saleh is on the move. After completing the Digital Essentials course at UNE’s Academy of Digital Sciences, Sam has accepted a paid internship at IDEXX Laboratories in the company’s IT department.
Sam has always been interested in learning about computers, programming and understanding how they work. While he did not receive a college degree, he took time to teach himself programming and general computer troubleshooting and share his knowledge of computers with others over the course of many years while working construction. He had wanted to make the shift to a tech career but had thought it would require a four-year computer science program. The UNE Academy of Digital Sciences was exactly what he was looking for.
“Computers have always amazed me. The things that they are capable of and how fast things advance in technology is quite mind blowing. I wanted to widen my view on technology. It amazes me that while you think you have a strong understanding of something there is always that next level of thinking. Working with everyone in this program really gives you a different perspective and opens your mind to different ideas and interpretations which has been amazing for me.”
Sam met a range of employers at the Academy’s Roundtable meeting in March. The Roundtable is a professional networking event held at the beginning of every session. Ten to 15 employers meet students starting or completing Academy courses, discover shared interests and opportunities and, when there’s a match, begin the process of investigating positions, including paid internships. Sam’s communication skills, enthusiasm and curiosity landed him his first paid internship where he will have the opportunity to explore many IT roles within a large company.
While he brings his own passions and ambitions to the internship, Sam’s mind is open to the possibilities. “The things I already know are a very small portion of the capabilities of technology. So while I may have my sights set on development, I will also keep in mind the other aspects such as UI and strategy. From one set of skills there are multiple paths one could take.”
Sam’s willingness to consider new and unexpected pathways and his hunger to learn served him well in the Academy and will help him succeed in the workplace. “While it is very hard to picture where you would be in the future, I do have a general idea of what my path will be. I believe that I will successfully get into the industry but will have to prove my worth over an extended period of time before moving into any specific fields. I do hope that I will work on some innovative projects and be able to leverage my creativity to create new and exciting things.”