Not Your Average Internship

I stumbled upon Legion while looking around for internships at the end of my junior year of college. I was determined to find something that would give me a chance to exercise the technical skills that I had been developing in my time in the CIT program at NKU. I remember reading the job posting on the NKU internship website and thinking:  “there is no way this is still available.”  A paid IT internship that works with your school, isn’t limited to just one branch of IT, and was two minutes from my house? I applied despite believing it was already filled. I was able to secure an interview, and a week later, they offered me the job.

Now, this isn’t your typical IT internship. The work you do here is important, not just some intern busy work. They treat you as a valuable member of the team. They trusted me enough to let me be the lone IT guy for a week (Everything seemed to break that week, of course). They put you in the “driver’s seat,” which was a huge surprise to me. I’ve been allowed to tackle several different projects in the short time I’ve been here. I couldn’t believe they let me, Dakota the intern, take charge of all these things.

Legion is a small company of around 40 employees, and of those 40, Adam and myself comprise the IT department. At most larger companies, you have a network team, front-end developers, back-end developers, security, system admins, helpdesk, and so forth. Here at Legion, we get to handle all of those duties. The company is large enough to have plenty of things to work with, but small enough to allow us to work with all of those. I worked as a Technical Support Agent a few years back. I always hated that I had to pass the more advanced (and more interesting) issues to a “higher level” person. Here, on the other hand, I have a lot of freedom to pursue these projects to completion, which is awesome. The way I look at it, I get to learn more and challenge myself on a daily basis. If I’m unsure, I just ask: “Hey Adam, is it cool if I do this?” or “Can I make this change?” I also have to effectively communicate what’s going on in IT with non-IT staff – which can be much more challenging than one would imagine. I get to hone my communication skills on top of my technical skills, which is invaluable.

In regards to the helpdesk side of things, your day can change in an instant. It keeps me on my toes. On one day, I might get just one issue to fix, and the next I’ll be bouncing back and forth between my desk and the other end of the building all day. I love the small company atmosphere because I get to interact with the sales floor, as opposed to sitting at my desk 24/7. It’s a lot easier to see the effect you have on the company as well. Plus, being the “go-to” guy is always a good feeling.

Enough about IT. Legion is just a great place to work in general. I never thought I would work somewhere that you can bring your dog to work, and office chair soccer is a company-approved event. The company culture is great – we work hard, but we still have a lot of fun while doing so. Legion also legitimately cares about your development – in the interview, Adam mentioned that while I would be taking on certain responsibilities, it would still also be about learning and developing skills. The interns here even get to participate in professional development courses.

I can’t imagine having a better internship anywhere else – now I just need to stop spending $20 at the Cantina (Legion’s source of unhealthy goodness for cheap) every day.

by Dakota Riley, IT Intern