How the UNH-IOL has Taught Me Skills to Help Prepare for Industry

I had my first experience working as an undergraduate employee at University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) when I was a sophomore IT student. I heard about the UNH-IOL from the UNH Open House and my roommates. The UNH-IOL is a company that tests networking and data communication products and the main reason I wanted to work there was for the first hand opportunity and experience to test, debug, and get products ready for market. The IOL works with companies  such Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Intel, HP, Apple, Dell, and many others. As a student employee you can also work with cutting-edge equipment that hasn’t even been released to the public yet. At the IOL, I have learned many useful professional lessons and experiences that will highly impact my future career.

From this internship I’ve learned both soft skills and hard skills. There are three different soft skills I’ve learned/improved which are teamwork, time management, and communication. The IOL is a very big team, which makes teamwork important and essential. Teamwork can help accomplish the overall objectives and goals of an organization. Working in teams enables me to learn from one another’s mistakes. You are able to avoid errors, gain a different perspective and learn new concepts. Without the ability to effectively work in a team environment, you could delay the success of developing.

How we manage time is set by the individual and It’s up to you to make the most of your time. By developing time management skills, you can create a much better work-life balance. The consequence of bad time management can lead to stress and less time to achieve your goal. With the mixture of school, work, and social life, I started to have better time management which helped me accomplish more in a shorter period of time. I started to use Google Calendar and sicknote more often. 

A good communicator does not simply deliver messages, it builds a personal connection by considering how their message impacts other people. Communication is an important skill in any environment with human interactions. At the IOL I have to communicate with both coworkers and customers. Good communication results in  more productivity and. better client relationships. The bottom line is that good communication can help you in the present and future.  

During my time at the IOL I have also learned many hard skills. Such as Command Line interface, Medusa Labs Test Tool (MLTT), and hard drive. As an Information Technology major, I feel it is very important to become comfortable with the CLI. Using the command line is like being able to talk to your computer. Learning CLI is a lot of fun, and you are always surprised by all the things that you can do with it. When I had my first experience with CLI, I was blown away by the fact that you can see your IP address, move files, and many more. I also found out that CLI allows you to do stuff faster than GUI. At the lab, I often use the command line for MLTT regression test and NVMe Interoperability testing. Learning about CLI is the best choice I made.

Learning about MLTT has taken the most time to learn and is used most often.The MLTT is the industry’s leading application-based data and signal-integrity testing solution for companies developing servers, switches, HBAS, NICs, CNAs, SSD, NVMe, etc. The most important features about MLTT is that it can track software bugs, stress specific areas of a system, and detect data loss on a device. Not only do I have to understand what is MLTT butI also need to understand how to use MLTT. While learning about MLTT I learned so many new technical terms and it gave me insight of how the OS talks to the hard drive.

MLTT works closely with the hard drive. This led me to understand the different types of storage disks. With the understanding of hard drives, I’ve learned how data is sent from one position to another position andthe basic construction of a hard drive.

In conclusion, I’ve gained a lot of useful knowledge working at the IOL. Applying  to IOL has been one of the best choices I ever made while attending UNH. I believe I will continue learning more knowledge in the future because the IOL has so many opportunities to get involved.