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Student tech center offers hands-on experience

By Jeff Scherer in Opinions

April 12, 2012
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Photo courtesy of static.guim.co.uk

Throughout my school career I remember taking tests to find out what kind of learner I am, and from the results of those tests learned that I am mostly a “hands-on” learner.

While knowing what kind of learner you are is a good thing, it was sort of disheartening knowing that even at a young age I planned on attending a four- year college to seek a bachelor’s degree, where hands-on learning can be hard to come by.

I’ve never been that great of a student, and never will claim to be, but I made it through all of my years of schooling and now find myself a junior at Lock Haven University.

Freshman year was a bumpy start as I struggled to find out what exactly I’m passionate about and wanted to major in, but I quickly found a good match as a computer science major.

I was often in front of a computer screen in my classes, which many would consider “hands on,” but I was still having trouble understanding certain concepts that I could only read about and not have a chance to put them into practice.

I applied to the Student Technology and Support Center on campus here and by chance or luck, whatever you want to call it, there was an opening that I was asked to fill.

Finally, I had my chance to take what I already knew and what I was learning, and practice them, hands on. Under a great mentor and boss, Christian Glotfelty, I have had opportunities to finally be the hands-on learner I am, but more than that, I have learned the important values of working as a team, time management, and the importance of being responsible and trustworthy. I truly feel that everyone who has had the pleasure and opportunity to work under Christian at the Tech Center will be better prepared for real world situations.

Some examples to prove my point are situations that happen often at the office. A valuable lesson that I have learned as a student technician is to always document what you do. It is, perhaps, one of the most cumbersome tasks and what I find to be the most unpleasant. It is extremely vital though to take what you do and how you do it and put it in simple terms on paper so others, who may not be as experienced or qualified as you, can read it and understand it.

Whether it be training new employees or taking apart computers to work on hardware, I’ve learned a lot of different skills that I will most likely use throughout the rest of my life.

One more point I want to touch on is respect. Being raised in a military family I have been taught the value of respect and always calling a man or woman sir or ma’am.

Good supervision makes all the difference in a job. At Lock Haven the information Technology department has a great staff that we work under who allow us to have fun while learning, and have friendly conversations among the staff. The one thing they will never tolerate, and I applaud them for, is disrespect, directed towards themselves, fellow employees, faculty, staff, or other students. Learning by example is perhaps the best way for a person to learn, and simple things such as hearing your boss always greet someone by saying sir or ma’am is a simple and yet respectful greeting that can go a long way for an individual in the business world or in your personal life.

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