Becky Chominski, marketing major at The Catholic University of America and NetApp Summer Intern.

I came across a quote the other day while working on a project for my internship with NetApp that really struck a chord with me.  The quote from Tim Berners-Lee states: “Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”  NetApp knows that data is no longer locked away on devices or hidden behind firewalls; it’s distributed, dynamic, and diverse. The IT industry – particularly companies that help their customers manage data – is ubiquitous and that is why I believe it is so important for my generation to become a part of because we are the future of the IT industry. Data is crucial to society and our everyday lives. Before NetApp, I did not appreciate data the way I do now. However, what I’ve learned from my experience this summer is that helping customers change the world with data is an exciting endeavor.

With just one more year to go before I complete my marketing degree at Catholic University, I knew that spending this summer learning about marketing in the IT field would be a valuable experience.  I was first attracted to the IT industry last summer when I job shadowed at SAP. I had the opportunity to learn about global marketing there and that is when I realized the endless opportunities that arise when supporting customers in their visions to better the world with data. I have had countless beneficial experiences at NetApp with not only the company itself but with the employees, as well. For example, one of the projects I’ve been involved with this summer is updating NetApp’s Golden Pitch Deck for the US Public Sector sales team.  I have learned so much being part of the process of applying the messaging to situations that will help customers succeed in a data-driven world.

My time at NetApp has been incredible. It has made me appreciate data and the IT industry on a level that I did not know was possible. Before starting my internship, I knew that working in this industry was going to be a challenging and eye-opening experience. However, I had no idea how much it would impact the way I think about my day-to-day life. The littlest things are affected by data. For example, I would not have access to my course work during the school year without data. Hospitals would not be able to protect and manage patients’ healthcare information. I have a brand-new level of respect for data that I would have never imagined before this internship.

During the internship program at NetApp, we have the chance to hear NetApp employees’ stories about how they got to where they are today. These talks are empowering and every employee loves the fact they are helping others in an impactful way while working for NetApp. The internship program provides countless opportunities to connect with our mentors, peers. and managers in relaxed and enjoyable settings. Every single employee is so welcoming. Even though I am “just an intern,” employees stop and take time out of their busy day to have a conversation with me. Having friendly employees to work with creates an even better work experience than I could have ever imagined and I am truly grateful for it.

There is a place for everyone in this industry, especially at NetApp. Employees have the chance to grow beyond their original role and create new experiences and gain new knowledge. This experience at NetApp has taken me beyond the role of a marketing student and truly let me grow in the workplace. Along with the countless marketing skills gained throughout this internship, I have learned that data is a critical component to everyday life. I will incorporate my knowledge I gained from NetApp when I go back to Catholic University in the fall. This experience will enable me to apply my academics to real life situations that reveal how marketing can truly benefit the community.