STLCC, Edward Jones Team Up for Internship Program
Six St. Louis Community College students recently completed the Edward Jones IT Helpdesk Internship program.
The six students selected to participate in the program were Evan Bender, Meghan Joshi, Mohammad Tamin Afghanzada, Kali Conner, Theresa Swinson and Maodo Malick Niang.
The goal of the program is to create a pipeline for STLCC students enrolled in information systems and information technology to employment at Edward Jones.
Their specific duties were as Tier 1 IT Helpdesk Support for the Edward Jones branch offices. Duties included troubleshooting application issues, resolving password and login issues. Assisting branch offices with Zoom, TEAMS and Outlook. Students also learned how to escalate issues to Tier 2 support. They learned how to create and modify support tickets using the Service Now platform, and became proficient with using a knowledge-based system to research and solve issues.
The opportunity was initiated between Phyllis Davis, associate professor of computer and information technology at Florissant Valley, and Ramit Lutha, director of Edward Jones IT services and infrastructure.
“Working with the Ramit and the Edward Jones team was an absolute pleasure. Much of that is due to the hard work of the Edward Jones team, the STLCC team and most importantly the students,” Davis said. “You can’t put a value on the opportunity to work at a Fortune 500 company like Edward Jones. While internships are important to a student’s growth outside of the classroom, STLCC students are not traditional students, therefore finding and completing internships is like climbing Mount Everest.”
Thirteen students initially received training for resume assessment and resume writing, mock interviews, soft-skill service training and interview preparation that were developed by Gayla Sajben and Kim Mueller from STLCC’s employment engagement team and Jaqueline Meadors-Booth from STLCC career services. Of those 13, 11 names were forwarded to Edward Jones representatives for interviews. After rigorous onboarding that included background checks, fingerprint database checks and credit checks by Edward Jones, the six students recognized were selected to participate.
“One of our goals was to put forth a group of students that would make it hard for Edward Jones to say no to any of our students,” Davis said. “I think we accomplished that. Because of this program, we now have a blueprint for the next year and a model that can be duplicated with other employers.”
Bender is now working with Edward Jones as a full-time Tier 1 support person. Swinson currently is enrolled at STLCC in the help desk/end user certificate program.
“The Edward Jones internship gave me the skills and confidence to apply at other help desk jobs at other companies,” Swinson said. She was hired by Avatara LLC as a Tier 1 support person.
Niang is working in the Florissant Valley Trio program, assisting and mentoring students. She, along with Conner (pictured left) and Afghanzada (pictured above right), are currently enrolled at STLCC.
Said Conner: “Participating in the Edward Jones internship was an adventure for me. I've learned a lot about the company, and what it has to offer – learning the programs efficiently. Those programs include Microsoft, Teams and Outlook. This knowledge can be applied to my field of cybersecurity. Excellent customer service skills can benefit me when handling customers or coworkers.”
Afghanzada is pursuing a network engineering certificate at the Forest Park campus. He said the internship gave him the chance to learn more about information technology in America.
“The training was excellent, and I used different types of software that is used to support users through the help desk,” he said. “I visited the data center, which was very exciting because it was my first time seeing a standard data center with different devices. The mentor was very helpful, and I learned a lot from them. During this internship, I resolved around 300 tickets. Overall, everything was perfect.”
Joshi (pictured right), who is a school counselor with St. Louis Public Schools, earned an IT help desk certificate in August.
“I am pursuing IT on the side and had an interest in computers. I did this to gain IT experience as my first gig,” Joshi said. “Also, I share this personal experience with my students about work ethic, curiosity and the art of the networking/internship. I will share my capstone presentation and evaluation with them, so they can get a dose of the real world. Now, I'm looking for an IT part-time job to keep going.”