The intern behind the screen

Senior interns in the technology office at Millard West

Senior+Jonathan+Jimenez+spends+his+time+interning+in+the+Millard+West+Information+Technology+%28IT%29+department.+The+time+Jimenez+has+put+into+his+internship+has+not+only+allowed+him+to+gain+employment+experience+but+also+develop+working+relationships+with+his+mentors.+%E2%80%9CJohnny+has+many+qualities+that+make+him+a+helpful+member+of+the+tech.+office+team%2C%E2%80%9D+technology+assistant+Linda+Deegan+said.+%E2%80%9CHe+is+always+pleasant+to+work+with+and+is+also+an+efficient+and+hard+working+intern.++He+is+very+responsible+and+a+self-starter.%E2%80%9D

Photo courtesy of Morgan Weir

Senior Jonathan Jimenez spends his time interning in the Millard West Information Technology (IT) department. The time Jimenez has put into his internship has not only allowed him to gain employment experience but also develop working relationships with his mentors. “Johnny has many qualities that make him a helpful member of the tech. office team,” technology assistant Linda Deegan said. “He is always pleasant to work with and is also an efficient and hard working intern. He is very responsible and a self-starter.”

By Kaden Roth, Millard West High School

With the digital world constantly growing, more and more people are looking to get into the goldmine that is Information Technology (IT). For senior Jonathan Jimenez, that is exactly what he sought out to do. However, what he didn’t expect was to end up interning at the very same place he was expecting to leave come May. 

Through the school-affiliated program, Intern Omaha, Jimenez spent his junior year looking for internships that would appease his interests while still earning money. Originally, he was interested in an internship through Kiewit, but ultimately decided to look closer to home. Johnny’s interest in the technology field led him to pursue options that could feed his desire to learn about his passions while also gaining job-specific skills in a growing and high-demand field.

“Working in the tech office has given me really insightful experience in the IT field,” Jimenez said. “Even though I’m interested in going into music technology after high school, I could still work in IT while I pursue that other path. Since there are a lot more IT and music jobs because it’s a growing field it’s definitely an option for me to pursue and make money.”

Over the summer, Jimenez worked at the Ron Witt Support Services Center in Millard where he helped reimage computers for freshmen and set up the needed technology for the beginning of the school year. His daily routine with Millard West technology facilitator Paul Zohlen is ever-evolving, and for some, going into work and being met by the unexpected is a daunting idea, but that’s where Jimenez thrives: being able to showcase his talent, flexibility and self-sufficiency — all skills that will greatly benefit him in the future.

“Johnny helps out with many projects that are given to him by Mr. Zohlen,” technology assistant Linda Deegan said. “He checks on the Kiosk printers each day to make sure they are operational and troubleshoots them when they have an issue. Mr. Zohlen has been teaching him how to fix many of the problems that students can have with their laptops. He can replace a battery and fix keys that are stuck. As things come up, Mr. Zohlen assigns tasks to Johnny and at times, they head out of the office together to fix issues in the classrooms or building areas.”

With curiosity and a commitment to solving problems playing a key role in his internship, it comes as no surprise to Jimenez’s teachers that he is successful in this new environment.

“Johnny has been a really good guy in class, kind of quiet, but he’s very interested in what he’s doing and is typically well-prepared,” Music Theory teacher Matt Keith. “When he doesn’t understand things, he jumps right in and wants to figure out what’s going on.”

The time Jimenez has put into his internship has not only allowed him to gain employment experience but also develop working relationships with his mentors. 

“Every morning he greets me by name and that stands out to me because I hate to say it … it’s a rare thing but he’s a very polite young man and a fast learner,” Zohlen said. “I can put him on a task and he’ll see that task through. He doesn’t need a lot of supervision once I show him how to do something; he’s really good at taking off and being able to take care of it himself.”

With the variety of technology-based career fields, Jimenez is hoping to use the skills he’s cultivated to get more involved in music technology. The opportunities within this field are endless and involve the technology used by musicians and composers to make or perform music; to compose, playback or record songs or pieces; or to analyze or edit music.

“I want to go into music technology because I’m really fascinated by audio equipment and how it’s used to make and produce music,” Jimenez said. “I think it’s interesting to mess with all the controls and see what they change and mess with music programs that help you create beats and instrumentals. It also has a lot to do with IT since it’s all technology that they have to use which is always changing to be better and easier to use.”

Being able to explore his passion and interests within their career field is undoubtedly going to help Jimenez achieve his future goals and aspirations. With a bright future ahead of him with numerous pathways and opportunities, he is sure to utilize and build upon his time interning within the Millard district.

This story was originally published on The Catalyst on November 4, 2021.