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Inside a Computer Science Internship at GreatAmerica Blog Feature

By: GreatAmerica on February 20th, 2023

Inside a Computer Science Internship at GreatAmerica

There are many things to consider when searching for an internship. We believe you should be able to make a difference, own your happiness, make your path, and own your development in any internship or job experience. Collabrance is a GreatAmerica company formed to create new revenue opportunities in the changing markets for Managed Service Providers (MSPs), an outsourced third-party company that takes on a range of functions for another company. Collabrance’s business is helping MSPs build relationships with customers and offer solutions. Let’s dive in with one of our current service desk interns, Jacob Michelson, to see if computer science is the path for you. 

Make a Difference 

At GreatAmerica, what you do as an intern matters. Working on projects that bring real value to your team where you can also be part of the bigger picture provides an opportunity for growth. Stereotypical internships where you deliver or make coffee don’t provide you with valuable development, and don’t exist here. Your internship should expose you to real-world scenarios where you can apply your skills to projects you are passionate about. 

Jacob Michelson attends Kirkwood Community College and is studying to be a computer support specialist. When searching for an internship, his main goal was job experience. When describing his day-to-day life as a Collabrance intern, he says, “I work as a Triage Specialist, I’ll take calls and help people with what I can. If it’s a complicated issue that I can’t solve, I make a ticket for it and send it to one of our level 2 or level 3 techs. I help with everything.” Intern work is important because it helps the company and at the same time gives the intern the chance to learn, grow and be successful. 

Jacob says, “I feel valued as an intern, partly because it’s paid. A lot of the places I was looking into weren’t paying and here it doesn’t feel like I’m an intern, it almost feels like a part time job where they’re training me and letting me go through school until I get my degree.” He adds, “Internships can get a bad rap of ‘oh my job is going to be go fetch coffee for the boss,’ however, I would like it to be known that you are an actual employee of the company. It’s great.” Every day Jacob has a chance to make a difference in Collabrance and every day Jacob has an opportunity to learn and grow as a young professional.   

Own Your Happiness 

The work environment you’re in directly affects your happiness. Working in an environment you don’t enjoy doesn’t benefit anyone; choose to be somewhere you can look forward to coming to each day.     

Jacob says, “My current leader has been great. He’s easy to talk to and if I have any concerns or issues I can go in and talk to him. He’ll listen and try to help me find solutions. The leadership overall is great here.” Jacobs adds, “From the first day when I walked into the building, everyone was so nice. I was introduced to everyone throughout the day, and everyone was pleasant to talk to. I can ask anyone a question and they’re not at all annoyed, they’re happy to help. The environment here is incredible.” Support and coworker connections help with success, learning and a feeling of community.  

Collabrance's environment is team-based with low walls allowing for collaboration and opportunities to work with dependable teammates. Mentorship and teamwork are a large part of Collabrance’s culture.   

Make Your Path 

An internship is one of the first steps on your path to success. It’s an opportunity to grow and to decide what you like and don’t like. 

Jacob’s currently in his third year at Kirkwood and has an idea of where he’d like to go career-wise. “I’d like to stick with a company long-term and then build my way up. At some point, I’d like to be some sort of director or part of the management team in a company.” Whether he stays with GreatAmerica or not, this internship has given him professional experience that he can take into another role.  

In his remaining time as an intern at GreatAmerica, he has goals of what he’d like to learn more about as he finds what he’s interested in. “I hope to learn more about the networking side of things. I’ve learned a lot of things, specifically with computers, but I want to learn more about actual networking and what goes with that. GreatAmerica has a program that we use, and I want to become more proficient with that.” Determine what kind of culture and environment you enjoy working in and consider that when searching for an internship where you can own your happiness.    

Own Your Development 

Your growth and development are up to you. Put yourself in situations where you can flourish and surround yourself with leaders who support you. It’s harder to develop if you don’t put yourself into an environment that focuses on personal and professional growth.      

Jacob says, “I’ve learned most of the actual IT knowledge I need here. I was in training for two or three weeks and then I started taking calls. I’ve learned so much about computers and how to solve a bunch of issues. I've been able to develop practical and useful skills here that I haven’t at college.” Hands-on and real-world experience can help connect school learning to applicable skills.  

When starting an internship or a new job, Jacob recommends, “Take your time. In the first week or so it can feel overwhelming with so much information. Take the time to learn things over time and it will get easier.” Take advantage of your opportunities and own your development by asking questions and being willing to learn in whatever form you can.  

Is a computer science internship right for you? 

Make a difference, own your happiness, make your path and own your development in a business internship. If you’re looking for these qualities in an internship and are interested in a computer science internship, visit GreatAmerica’s careers page and browse our open opportunities. 


GreatAmerica is the largest independent, family-owned national commercial equipment finance company in the U.S. and is dedicated to helping manufacturers, vendors, and dealers be more successful and keep their customers for a lifetime. GreatAmerica was established in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1992 and now has offices in Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to financing, GreatAmerica offers innovative non-financial services to help our customers grow.