Intern Spotlight: Mitch Paschen ’10

Mitch Paschen

Mitch Paschen, Senior (December 2010)
Major: Information Technology Infrastructure
Minor: Geography
Internship: Intern with US Customs and Border Protection in Alexandria, VA

Describe your internship experience. Where and when did you complete your internship?

I worked at US Customs and Border Protection, TASPO division (Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Office), last summer in Alexandria, VA. It is not complete yet (I am going back this coming summer to finish it).

What did you do in your internship?

I helped to ensure the upkeep of all the computers in our office (specifically working with the LAN support team). There were about 350 of them in all. I also worked with making an inventory list of who works at each computer and helped with the launch of about 150 new computers that arrived my second day of work.

What did you learn from your internship?

I learned a lot of very small things that are helpful to know about computers. I learned about what it is like in the real world versus at school. At school, things are all set for you to do and they will usually work out just right. The real world is not like that. I also learned what it is like to work at a professional office.

What advice would you give to current or future interns on how to be successful in an internship?

If you are not satisfied with the exact work you are doing, ask your supervisor if you can do something you are more interested in doing. The internship is there for you to learn what you want to do with your life. Also, ask questions. If you don’t know how to do something or want to learn a little more about something, ask. Internships are not only a job experience, but they are also a learning experience.

Other thoughts or advice?

If you see an internship offer that you never think you are going to get, apply for it anyway. What do you have to lose? I applied for the internship in DC and never thought I would get it.

Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at