The University of Iowa

May 16, 2022


Adam Skowronski, a third year Mechanical Engineering student at The University of Iowa, began working at Learning Spaces Technology [LST] halfway through his freshman year in January of 2020 with Anne Schimke, a Senior IT Support Consultant. Skowronski applied to LST due to his experience in IT and his belief one of the most important skills in the modern-day technological era is the ability to work with computers. With this mindset, Skowronski has worked hard to grow in his role as an LST Support Student.

Skowronski’s ability to troubleshoot technology issues has helped immensely with the day-to-day tasks of checking equipment in classrooms and responding to ITS Help Desk tickets [concerns sent in by faculty and staff needing assistance with classroom technology]. Assisting instructors has helped Skowronski further develop his skills in IT support, but this is far from his only experience in the field.  Although he has previous experience working with technology issues, Skowronski has learned a lot from the new types of technology he’s encountered on the job. The A/V aspects of classroom IT have taught him how to work with Zoom and Panopto, both critical communication tools used in hybrid environments and distance learning over the past few years. This familiarity proved particularly helpful when dealing with his own online classes.

Academic & Work Balance

Working at LST has also improved Skowronski’s academic life in other ways; namely, it has caused him to think through encountered issues more thoroughly and critically. As a student in the mechanical engineering department, working with physics and technological design are a large part of his studies. While these subjects provide students the skills needed to carefully assess a situation and respond to any unexpected issues, Skowronski has strengthened these abilities during his time at LST by using his existing skill set to approach and resolve new and challenging issues at work.

Not only does Skowronski believe his academic life been has been improved by working at LST, it has also helped him with more personal aspects of his life. He has found skills he learned on the job have also carried over to his use of technology at home. “This job has definitely helped me with problem solving outside of work. The job itself is problem solving, and troubleshooting, and just like anything, if you are constantly practicing it, you will find it comes like second nature when a problem arises,” Skowronski elaborates.

In both environments, Skowronski uses the skills he's learned at LST to diagnose the source of an issue and quickly problem solve to determine the best solution. He goes on to discuss how these skills have helped him both in and outside of work, “I often find my IT brain switching on when I’ve found something not working in a construction, and I delve in to find the cause of the problem,” and he often finds himself turning to his “IT brain” for assistance at work and while fixing technology issues for himself and others. Skowronski particularly appreciates being able to help others and improve himself on the job. “[My] favorite part about this job is the freedom of approach to solving a problem...I really get to try doing things my way when approaching problems and I’m encouraged to think for myself,” Skowronski says.

Academic & Career Goals

When considering the connection between his current work life and his future academic and career goals, Skowronski notes, “I definitely think IT knowledge helps in any profession...I think having a baseline knowledge of computers is helpful when it comes to any job in 2022. For my particular profession, however, understanding computers could easily come into play if I am working on a case where someone has created something on a computer, and as an IP lawyer I could understand the problem instead of just knowing how to argue for it.”

Skowronski share's he's just one of several who've found their experience at LST to be invaluable for their future endeavors. He appreciates how applicable the skills he's learned at LST will be for his future career and is grateful for the time he’s worked there.

The most rewarding parts of this job are the lessons I’ve learned from it. My supervisors are always finding ways to teach me valuable lessons about working for a large institution. This job has improved my knowledge of how the university operates on a systems level, and also has improved my geographical knowledge of campus locations. I find myself often entering locations I never would as a normal student, and basically know this campus like I know my hometown at this point. One perk is you always know where the nearest bathroom is, wherever you are on campus.

Adam Skowronski believes his story is not uncommon and his is just one of the many ways in which LST provides its student employees with valuable and applicable life skills, both for their present and future endeavors.

 


Visit the COVID-19: Classroom Experience site for additional information regarding University Classroom expectations for the 2021 Fall semester.

For information regarding the COVID-19 Operational Response for Custodial Services, Building Operations and Maintenance and/or the UI Operational Plan for Cleaning and Disinfecting of Building Spaces, please visit the Facilities Management.

For assistance with classroom technology issues, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 384-HELP [4357] or its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu

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