In the summer of 2020, Ben Plotnik (’21) interned remotely at NTELX, a small government consulting and IT contractor with expertise in global trade and supply chain management based in Virginia. For this opportunity, he worked full time from June-August 2020, and has since stayed on board as a part time intern while he finishes his senior year at Tufts. Most of his work focused on research around emerging technologies in supply chain management, business and competitive analysis in the public sector IT space, and data analysis in Excel for a few different government clients. As an intern, Ben reported directly to the CEO. Ben was able to answer some questions about his experience to share with other Tufts students:
How did you find this internship?
I read about the Jumbos4Jumbos program in a career center email and saw the listing on handshake. I applied and was interviewed by a Tufts alum and accepted the position within a few weeks of posting.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I enjoyed learning how to use cutting edge technology for the public good. This was also my first professional internship experience so it was great to be given responsibility and autonomy, work through new projects, and spend time with the other Jumbos4Jumbos interns at NTELX. My supervisor also shared a lot of great advice with me both for my internship and navigating my career in general.
What did you find challenging?
NTELX is a small company where everyone is given a lot of freedom and responsibility to work independently. Much of my work was self-directed and I had to learn how to structure projects on my own and communicate with team members to get what I needed before deadlines.
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
It sounds cliché, but you get out what you put in. While the projects you can work on as a summer intern are important, odds are you won’t be working to meet an urgent deadline or leading a high-stakes project that will make or break the company on day one. It is up to you to develop your skills and excel with the work you’re given, and showing your value will help you gain more responsibility – and in turn more experience – as your internship goes on. I was not offered a continuing position on day one, but the dedication and effort from me and my fellow Tufts interns resulted in us all getting return offers. I took mine and have gotten to work on a number of exciting projects that I may not have if I hadn’t made the internship my priority when I began. It is also important to have fun and develop personal relationships! Professional matters aside, I really value the connections I made with other Tufts students and the full time staff at NTELX.