Computer Skills Translate to Campus Job

Computer science major Michael Keane practices classroom skills at two field-related jobs on campus.


Photo: Daylina Miller | USF News


By Daylina Miller

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 12, 2012)  With thousands of computers on the University of South Florida campus in classrooms, offices, and the library, having skilled computer technicians and IT personnel is important.


That’s where computer science student Michael Keane comes into play.


Keane works as a shift lead at the IT Help Desk, training and managing other students to take calls related to computer issues at USF. Keane answers some of the more technical calls himself.


“I get to take the skills I've learned in class and implement them in real world situations,” Keane said. “ As a computer science major we learn how to program and different things and at the help desk I've written a script that grabs info from the active directory.”


Keane also works on the Network Engineering Team, the folks at USF responsible for making the Internet work on campus.


Keane works 20 hours at each job, making for a very full schedule in addition to 12 credit hours of classes, but he said it’s easy to balance work and school because he works on campus.


“My jobs have been really understanding of taking days off for an exam,” Keane said. “It’s also nice that it's really close so I don't have to worry about driving far, I'm going to be on campus anyway so it makes it easy to schedule my classes. Here I get all my classes and then schedule my work schedule around my classes.


He said the pay is also an important factor as Keane feels he’s paid more than he would be if he worked off campus. 


“I’ve never worked off campus,” Keane said. “Working on campus has definitely helped me. I've never had to sacrifice school for work. School is a first priority and I don't feel like with off campus jobs, that'd be the case as much.”


Because of his computer experience, Keane has made it to round two in the interviewing process for a position at Microsoft and the company is flying him out at the end of April for a face-to-face interview.


“Working at school has been very helpful for that,” Keane said. “The help desk has been great for teaching me customer service. That was a good edge for me because Microsoft knows I can talk to people and have the knowledge to explain technical problems.”


Keane said he would recommend all students to apply for a job on campus.


“If anyone is debating whether they have enough time, give it a try,” Keane said. “You don't have to work full-time. If you can only put in 10 hours a week, most jobs are okay with that. It builds responsibility and time-management skills and gets you more involved in the university. You care more about the university because you go here, you work here, you pay them, they pay you.”


Daylina Miller can be reached at 813-500-8754.