Three Redmond Proficiency Academy (RPA) students have spent much of the 2020-21 school year serving as information technology (IT) interns with St. Charles Health System, earning credit, valuable real-world experience, and even a paycheck, according to Mark Speck, RPA’s internship supervisor.
The interns, seniors Logan Bryan, Emily Pedrazzi and Ashton Ybarra, began the paid internship in fall 2020, quickly earning the respect of St. Charles’ IT Asset Manager Ron Reinmiller.
“The team has been exceptional and I can’t say enough about their positive attitude and assistance,” Reinmiller said. “In these interesting times, the team has taken on work allowing more highly technical personnel to resolve end-user issues that have a direct positive impact on patient care.”
Although much of their work involves relocating hardware from one place to another, the interns are gaining a wide range of additional experiences in the field of IT, taking on tasks involving data collection, documentation and configuration.
Reinmiller said the RPA students recently completed the monumental task of looking up and documenting the purchase data and warranty information of more than 5,000 devices, allowing St. Charles to continue to develop its computer/lifecycle process and remove older devices as necessary.
“The internship has been great so far, with the highlight definitely being St. Charles staff,” Pedrazzi said. “Everyone has been friendly and helpful, making the experience fun and educational.”
The students are also participating in the upgrading of computers across the organization as part of the ongoing effort by St. Charles to provide secure and up-to-date computing devices. This effort not only benefits clinical and non-clinical caregivers but also the community St. Charles serves.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experiences with St. Charles,” Bryan said. “I’ve learned a lot more about IT than I ever anticipated. I know these real-world opportunities will help me in the future as I move on to college and a career.”
Due to protocols, the students are not working at any facilities where patient care is taking place, instead working out of the St. Charles’ IT building where a great deal of modification is underway due to personnel shifts related to the pandemic – providing plenty of work for the interns.
“I’m having fun with the internship and I’m learning a lot about IT,” Ybarra said. “It’s been great working with Emily and Logan and we’ve really become good friends throughout this experience, learning and growing together.”
The seniors will continue the internships through the spring, logging valuable hours and obtaining school credit, skills and experiences as they look forward to graduation.
“With RPA’s unique scheduling system, we have the ability to provide incredible experiences for our students like internships with St. Charles,” Speck said. “I’m proud of the hard work Logan, Emily and Ashton are putting in and I look forward to continuing to partner with the Central Oregon workforce to find amazing opportunities for our students.”