Internship is engages students in service activities primarily for providing them with first-hand experience that enhances their learning and understanding the issues relevant to a particular area of study. It assists the attache’s on how to bridge the gap between their academic learning process and the practical reality. The industrial attachment programme contributes significantly and positively towards enhancing the knowledge base and motivational level of students.
The rationale in offering the industrial attachment as part of the academic programme is that students benefit from these industrial attachment experiences and exposure. Benefits include improvements in career-related direction, improved marketability of graduates, job expectations, interpersonal skills, leadership and understanding of the business applications of classroom learning, team spirit and adopting to business environments. . The most commonly agreed benefit of industrial attachment attachments for students is in providing a valuable learning experience that complements their coursework.
Students have described industrial attachment as a bridge between the theory and practical. Internship programmes are perceived as a valuable way to acquire broad competencies where the practical knowledge obtained supports and complements the theoretical studies learned in the classrooms. The industrial attachment experience is argued to be beneficial in socializing the student through training, teamwork assignments, meetings with clients or employees, and various events hosted by the organization they are attached to during their industrial attachment.
Interns have successfully developed their personal skills, particularly relating to information technology, time management, communication skills, teamwork, specialist knowledge and ability to prioritize tasks. Practical experience and exposure gained during the industrial attachment programme are found to be helpful in improving career decision making. Internship is the best way for students to explore the suitability of a particular job. Internship may pave the way for permanent employment upon graduation as well as providing an in-depth understanding of actual business practice.
Students who go through an industrial attachment tend to secure their first jobs faster than graduates without industrial attachment experience. Graduates with industrial attachment experience are likely to get conspicuously higher starting pay and report greater job satisfaction compared to their non-industrial attachment counterparts. Students hope to receive monetary rewards and they be treated as regular employees. However, employers are not willing to treat attaches as regular employees and thus, normally assign duties that are more appropriate for college students.
Employers are not suppose to treat attaches as part-time employees as this will result in an unsatisfactory industrial attachment and will most likely damage the relationship between the employer and the universities. Universities should be responsible to ensure that industrial attachments are meaningful learning experiences for their students. According to them, this may be accomplished by careful examination of feedback from employers and attaches; and is followed by the modification of the industrial attachment programme accordingly.
Most higher learning institutions in this country offer industrial attachments for their undergraduate students to provide a smooth transition from the academic world to the working environment. Internships have taken on an increasingly important role in business education over the past decade. Internships provide many advantages to students ranging from gaining experience and obtaining career-related direction to networking. Institutions offering industrial attachment programmes benefit through increased cooperation and rapport with the industry.
Employers also benefit from these programmes, as industrial attachments can provide them with inexpensive help, new ideas and potential future employees. Therefore, industrial attachments benefit students, institutions and employers. Acknowledgements My gratitude goes to the Multimedia University’s department of Computing and Information Technology academic staff that has imparted their vast knowledge and has so much assisted me during my industrial attachment. It is through their valued support that I secured a place for my attachment.
Many heartfelt thanks for their support. Many thanks go to the management and the rest of the staff at the Computing Development Strategies for their unwavering support and for giving me a chance to be part of the Computing Development Strategies family. Worth mentioning is the invaluable support and guidance that I constantly got throughout my industrial attachment from my supervisor. I also extend my gratitude to Stephen (fellow IT attache) for the collective support we used to enjoy together.
I owe the successful compilation of this report to all people who were constantly beside me, cheering me on and supporting me all the way. I would also like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my mother for her financial support and understanding throughout my attachment. Thank you all. God bless you. Abstract Industrial attachment has become an essential component of the undergraduate programme. It provides students with a smooth transition from the on-campus environment to the working environment. It is often viewed as a ‘win-win’ situation for both the attache and the attaching companies.
Students are able to learn about the profession and gain practical experience while simultaneously being able to reflect on what they have learned in the classroom. Employers benefit from industrial attachments, as attaches are sources of future employees. This report summarizes my real-life experiences in a working environment with real operational structures that I went through at the Computing Development Strategies Company Ltd. The duration of the attachment was twelve weeks, which I spent in the Technical section of the firm.
It is in line with the award of a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Technology that a report is compiled detailing the scope of work covered and the benefits of the attachment, experience gained, challenges faced, recommendations to the firm and the university and other details. Therefore, this report is feedback to Computing and Information Technology department at Multimedia University. Data was gathered through carrying out specific assigned tasks, sharing ideas, observation and experimental work. The main goal behind this report is for examination purpose leading to the award of a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Technology.
It is also an analysis, evaluation and assessment of whether the IT department in the organization is complying with the recommended Information Technology practices. On the other hand it is to summarize the extensive work experience that I was exposed to during my stay at Computing Development Strategies Company Ltd and allows the reader to get the real feeling of how things happen in the IT department of Computing Development Strategies Company. Table of Contents Acknowledgementsv Abstractvi Table of Contentsvii Introduction1 Work related learning assignments/duties3 Software installations and upgrading3 Web Design4
Geographic Information Systems(GIS)4 Client support5 Personal and professional benefits during Industrial attachment5 Gaining a sense of work experience5 Principles of management6 Communication skills6 Technical skills6 Analytical skills6 Human relation skills6 Interpersonal skills7 Self-confidence7 Building of professional network7 Job searching skills7 Challenges faced during attachment period9 Lack of IT specialized supervisor9 Applying theory to practice9 At the university I learned the theory aspect. It proved difficult to put theory into practice since very few things learnt at the university applied to the practical part.
Theory is skeletal without any experience from the working environment. 9 Slow response from clients9 Lack of adequate resources9 Slow internet connectivity speed 9 Transport problem10 Financial constraints10 Explaining to workers from other departments how to effectively use computers10 Conclusion11 Recommendations to the organization12 Recommendation to CIT department, Multimedia University13 Appendices15 Introduction Computing Development Strategies office is located in Westlands,Nairobi along the Lower Kabete at Watamu Court opposite Sarit Centre.
Computing Development Strategies (CDS), established in 2006 is a web, mobile software development and consultancy company with active participation in vertical and horizontal markets. The cornerstone of the company’s development strategy is a balancing combination of customization and tailoring solutions to fit customer requirements. The company’s solutions have been developed to meet the needs of local authorities demand for better service delivery, increased revenue collection and drive the automation of services to residents, thus reducing the cost of doing business with the Council.
The company is familiar with the operations of the Councils being on the of the active leaders in the market as attested to by the number of clients. In recent years CDS has widened the profession’s focus to link learning and performance to individual and organizational results, and is a sought-after voice on critical security issues. CDS designs and implements innovative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solutions for medium-sized government and business organizations, particularly in rural areas of web applications and systems integration. Among others CDS provides the following;
Provides resources for learning and performance professionals, educators, and students—research, analysis, benchmarking, online information, books, and other publications Brings professionals together in conferences, workshops, trainings, and online collaboration forums Offers professional development opportunities for learning practitioners, from a Job Bank and Career Center, to certificate programs Serves as the voice of the profession to the media and to public policy makers in the region, and collaborates with other associations, organizations, and educational institutions to advance the profession Recognizes excellence and sets the standard for best practices in learning and performance Mission: Empower professionals to develop knowledge and skills successfully. Organizational Structure The company is managed through:- Board of Directors. Managing Director. Departmental Managers. Web: Website development. GIS: Geographic Information Systems. SMS:Short Message Service. ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning The Board of Directors is the custodian of the overall policy direction of the company while the Managing Director is the Chief Executive. The Managing Director is supported by four (4) Departmental Managers namely:- Technical Manager Sales and marketing manager Training and seminars manager
Finance and human resource manager objectives of industrial attachment: Understand the constraints of working life and functional relationships within and between organizations. To prepare the student for ready absorption into the workforce in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industries; Develop work attitudes like curiousity, self-confidence, maturity, self-driven towards trainees and self-reliance. Be orientated towards work processes. Appreciate the importance of human relationships and work attitudes. Apply theoretical concepts and school-based skills to practice. Obtain knowledge of potential careers and develop new areas of interest.
To cultivate the student’s professionalism, aptitude, attitude, independence and adaptive skills in real-life situations; To further develop the student’s interpersonal and collaborative skills through working with fellow colleagues; employers and fellow trainees. To boost the student’s technical and design competency. To inform students about technology changes on Information and communication Technology. Work related learning assignments/duties Software installations and upgrading Troubleshooting of softwares Debugging the software problems Maintenance and upgrading of softwares to meet the users demands Installation and repair of operating systems and softwares. Softwares installed included Operating systems like windows7 ultimate. Web Design
How to install Drupal CMS on localhost and on the web. Creating a Drupal website. Adding content types Adding, editing and updating content in a website. Customizing the appearance of a website using themes and also modifying the appearance of the theme by pinpointing the files to edit in the Cpanel and editing their code to display the desired characteristics. Extending the functionality of a Drupal website i. e using modules Adding files to a website. Adding of libraries to a website. Making views. Configuring panels. How to move a Drupal website. Making a website manual. Training of client on updating their websites. Geographic Information Systems(GIS)
Learning how to use etrex to take co-ordinates of a point. Installing qGIS. Adding maps to qGIS. Adding layers to a qGIS map. Fieldwork, this includes:- Going to various companies to request and/or negotiate for information/records on some of their data on the behalf of the company. Taking co-ordinates of boreholes in Kajiado County for mapping. Client support Analysis of client needs and examination of alternative solutions which might meet those needs. Assisting clients by doing some tasks for them thus solving some of their day to day problems. Updating website content for clients. Testing functionalities of a web-based system in client websites e.
g for water billing system. Customizing interfaces for client web-based systems. Updating of client databases with new data online. Other tasks Creating email accounts for employees using cpanel. Personal and professional benefits during Industrial attachment My stay with the company resulted in gaining a lot of skills, which include technical, skills, communication skills, analytical skills and human relation . Mastering time usage for extreme productivity and overcoming procrastination of tasks were part of the learnt tips. Setting of realistic goals, creations of action plans in case of crisis and achievement of results were not left out either.
In times of crisis, there is need to confront and solve challenging problems faced in working situation which is now done with confidence. To succeed in this field, personal motivation and cultivating a burning desire to keep moving towards your goals is vital. Gaining a sense of work experience One of the most important and obvious goals of an industrial attachment is the acquisition of actual real world experience. Industrial attachment gave me a full and realistic view of workplace environment. I came to learn the workplace culture, expectations and how to deal with the challenges of the work place. Internships are a great way to “try-out” career possibilities.
Participating lifts the veil by allowing the student to learn more about the specific industry, field, technology, product or company. With a real feel of the nature of work, I have more realistic judgment values that are not colored by fantasy. Principles of management I noted the clear hierarchy of control and command in the organization. Leadership roles and functions as well as management styles were noticeable as I had theoretical knowledge of this and this helped me build strongly on them. Communication skills Communicating with different work mates was easy thanks to communication skills that I had already learnt. I got the opportunity to further on it.
The importance of communication skills applied at work made everything run out smoothly including the compilation of this report. As a result, I learnt to be polite, patient and tolerant with different characters. Good communication improved the department’s image to other departments in the organization. With particular attention to verbal skills, I noticed a big improvement. Other employs showed a great level of confidence in me and my services. Technical skills Working at Computing Development Strategies helped me in acquiring new skills. Prior to attachment, little knowledge about web design using Content Management Systems eg Drupal had been acquired. I was also able to learn more ways in which one can use MS Excel.
Before the attachment, I had no idea that a device such as Garmin(for taking of GPS readings) existed but during the attachment I learnt how to use it. Analytical skills Analytical skills were acquired during the attachment period. I was able to analyze things in detail, that is, different possible solutions to website problems and the possible consequences that might follow. Human relation skills The attitude developed towards teamwork improved. In the website development project, it was essential to work as a team and it helped a lot. Teamwork made work easier if communication with work mates for better ideas was made regularly. Teamwork improved workers morale in general and aided in maintaining the organizational behavior. Interpersonal skills
I interacted with people of different backgrounds and personalities both online and offline. This improved my interpersonal skills and I gained a deeper knowledge of how the organization functions at different levels. I had to meet different personalities from different companies and deal with their problems. I had to address issues raised by our clients and responding to different problems and disseminating relevant information to these problems. Due to these interpersonal skills, I began to realize the relevance of teamwork. Self-confidence During the first time, I lacked this skill when talking to the senior management, business partners of the company or even those who wanted to be served.
However, later on I acquired it. I could even complete assigned duties from one department to another under the clear notion that I was doing the right thing. As I began to settle, my confidence built up and was able to explain my findings and suggestions about the website projects to my supervisor. Building of professional network Internship helped me build professional networks both in Kenya and abroad as the internship provided an opportunity to interact with professionals in different countries e,g India. My interaction with working IT professionals during industrial attachment may lead to career opportunities, deepen and expand my network.
It is easier to succeed when you build your own personal network of individuals that you can rely on for advice, job leads, technical assistance and other helpful support. Job searching skills Seeking an industrial attachment is a brilliant way to acquire job search and interviewing skills. You use the industrial attachment search to learn how to market yourself for opportunity. You gain experience in job-seeking skills such as resume and cover letter preparation and interviewing. The self-evaluation you go through when developing your resume and other job search helps you better define what you want in your future. Internship makes it possible to link the academic environment with workplace and professional realities in terms of opportunities and challenges.
I gained hands-on experience and enhanced my knowledge in a career field. The opportunity to develop professional competence is a major plus – learning and contributing in the workplace. I invested in industrial attachment to develop new skills and gain professional experience in the IT profession. Internship helped me create the potential for future work with the company. Attachment provided me with potential work-related references. Enhanced and strengthen my resume. Helped me identify and/or test interests and talents. Attachment assisted me become more knowledgeable about general work functions in an institution Challenges faced during attachment period Lack of IT specialized supervisor
I was the first personnel in the IT department, this posed various challenges, for instance I had to learn on my own how to solve problems without assistance so most of the time there was no one that could criticize my work from the IT perspective so as to improve on it. I also had to learn some new things on my on, right from scratch e. g Drupal, how to use qGIS software, how to use etrex device. Applying theory to practice At the university I learned the theory aspect. It proved difficult to put theory into practice since very few things learnt at the university applied to the practical part. Theory is skeletal without any experience from the working environment. Slow response from clients
When it came to website development, the information needed was almost from all the departments in the client organization to be placed on the website. Every time we requested for information, say for example management pictures and their profile from the corporate department, it took long for them to be availed to us. Sometimes I had to look for content to add to a website. Lack of adequate resources The company had shortage of computers and sometimes we were forced to share one computer between us. There were no computers for the attaches to use. Remember we needed the use of computers in our daily activities involving the development of websites.
At some point, I had to use my own laptop to ensure that the projects are through. The computer manager had to forfeit his computer for us at some point. This really slowed down work. Slow internet connectivity speed The internet always had problems. The internet service providers did not help when the problems we were facing were brought to their attention. They always had flimsy reasons for the problems. The speed was very slow, that to accomplish services online was a problem for a substantial amount of time. Transport problem Initially I faced serious transport problem in form of long travelling and occasioned fare increase as a result of unstable fuel prices experienced in the country. Financial constraints
The daily expenses I incurred were up to two hundred Kenya shillings daily during the 12-week period I was at the Computing Development Strategies. However the organization was of great help because it gave me a stipend and at times an advance and airtime so that my financial burden was reduced. I had to source for funds from friends and relatives to see me through the attachment. Explaining to workers from other departments how to effectively use computers Some of the employees in the company were not technology savvy. Whenever a simple problem occurred, ( say slow internet connectivity, the programs not responding, the computer being slow, creating of folders and file management), trying to explain to them on how to avoid the problem next time was a problem.
They could not understand terms like scanning of computers etc. they kept repeating the same problems and calling to seek assistance. File management was a big issue to them and as a result, their computers were much slow in processing. Still I was at their service each time they needed my assistance. Conclusion At first, the attachment period was not easy since I had to familiarize with both workmates and the working environment. As time went by it turned out to be fruitful and enjoyable. So much experience and skills was gained and learnt. Much practical work that I could not handle before this period I now have first hand information and experience and can now do them.
Though stressful, owing to hectic transportation situation I had to undergo daily on my way to and from work, the 12-week industrial training at Computing Development Strategies was very benefiting. It gave me the opportunity of learning many things I cannot possibly put down in this report. I now strongly believe that occupational experience for students via Industrial attachment is of great advantage, which made me appreciate more of all the advice from my Head of Department and all the lecturers in the Computing and Information Technology department. I am grateful for the opportunity of gaining such experience as it serves as a revelation for me in the computer based industry compared to the previous computing knowledge I had before attachment. I also appreciate that theory without practice is not advisable.
I am a better student due to the attachment experience both at work and personally. Some knowledge too had to be passed down from our Supervisor and this enriched the attachment experience at this wonderful company. Recommendations to the organization Information security The security of computer based stored information need to be boosted. The current passwords are subject to cracking thus unauthorized access of information. One particular machine should be assigned to an individual and totally restricted to other users. A user should also not be given authority to change anything including the stored programs as is the case currently. Replace poorly performing computer systems
The company has been doing great to automate its offices to an extent that every department has a computer. However, some of the computers are of old models and their performances are very poor. These kinds of computers need patience when dealing with them. They slow down the speed of the workers. They also demoralize the workers and lower their commitment to what they are doing and this grossly affects the organizations output. The company is recommended to replace the old model computers with the new ones. Those computers can be sold on an auction or be taken to the technician’s office to be used as sources of spare parts when repair is done. Internet security
Most of the computers in the organization are not updated. Although they have antivirus software installed in them and are accessible to attache, they are still not up to date. Anti spyware and anti malwares are supposed to be installed in the computers. Surprisingly, the server has no antivirus and this is a very serious mistake. When a serious virus attack may hit the server, all the data are bound to be lost causing serious damages to the organization. The server needs to be installed with a well-maintained, updated and active antivirus, anti spyware and anti malwares to avoid incurring such losses. Increase the internet connectivity speed
The IT department is supposed to get a better internet service provider who is efficient in service delivery and reliable. In this era of optic fibre, connectivity speed should not be a hindrance to the output of the employees. Instead of the current wireless connection the company is using, they are supposed to adopt optic fiber cable network. The benefits will be realized enormously surpassing the costs of installation. Train workers on Computing and Information Technology Several problems ranging from use of Microsoft office, creating folders, file management, updating of antivirus programs to scanning of computers, and slow computer speed were faced. These serious problems affected workers productivity.
If they had basic knowledge on computing, it would be better. The IT department is supposed to arrange a seminar for the workers to enlighten them. This would reduce the time it takes to rectify such simple problems and thus the IT department’s productivity will increase and make the employees use their computers effectively. Recommendation to CIT department, Multimedia University Multimedia University computing and information technology department offers its students attachment opportunities in other organizations at the end of the second year and the third year of their study. I recommend that the institution continue with this as I believe that it has more benefits than setbacks.
A student who has been exposed to the labour market more than once during the four years of study is poised to be more flexible immediately after finishing the course of study, he/she has also had an opportunity to know his/her weaknesses in a workplace and to work on them to improve them. On another note, though the company that I was attached in was not far from the institution, there was no visit by any supervisor from the institution for evaluation, neither was there any information passed to explain to me why the supervisor did not come for evaluation. Considering that students pay attachment fee, this will be like paying for nothing because there was no evaluation which is unacceptable. I recommend that if the supervisor is not able to visit a company for evaluation of a student, let the CIT department communicate to the student and explain the reason why, this is because it can be a very genuine and unavoidable reason.
I believe that it’s necessary for the student to know why he wasn’t assessed because he/she will have to pay the attachment fee. Some organizations and companies, my friends and I visited, preferred an agreement with the institution and not individual students. Hence, the opportunities eluded students. The department should arrange with such placements to make it easier for students to find good and relevant places to carry out their attachments and avoid cases of irrelevancies often noticed during the assessments. Also if possible, the department should increase the number of times the academic supervisor visits the student at his/her place of attachment.
This would make the supervisors to understand even better the kind of duties the student does and get to know more about the placement company. Appendices Web: Website development- A department that mainly deals with the design, development and the maintenance of websites GIS: Geographical Information Systems is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of geographical data. SMS:Short Message Service is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices.
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning systems integrate internal and external management of information across an entire organization—embracing finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions inside the organization, and manages connections to outside stakeholders. Drupal: a free and open-source content management framework (CMF) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is used as a back-end system for at least 2. 1% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse. gov and data. gov. uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.