by Melanie Plenda
At the end of her sophomore year, Jaden Henry ’18 was interested in saving some money. What she didn’t realize was that her decision to switch to UNH Manchester would ultimately land her in the right place at the right time for a dream career opportunity.
After transferring to UNH Manchester her junior year, Henry landed a year-long internship at SilverTech Inc., a mid-sized digital marketing company located minutes from campus. With her natural IT talent and the help of her computer information systems classes, Henry earned herself a full-time position with the company upon her graduation from UNH Manchester last May.
After graduating from Nashua High North in 2014, Henry started out her freshman year at the UNH Durham campus. She got a job at a local convenience store and attended her classes, but by sophomore year, she started looking into transferring campuses and switching her major to computer information systems.
“I lived on campus in Durham and making the switch to Manchester saved really half of the overall cost by living with my parents instead of paying room and board,” she says. “That was really the major driving force—and the technological process [at Manchester] as well.”
She says as she did her research, she realized the UNH Manchester computing program was going to be more comprehensive. She says at the time, other than knowing that she wanted to be in IT, she didn’t exactly know what she wanted her focus to be. But the scope of the program in Manchester, she says, would allow her to learn about a variety of different areas of IT including, web development, private security or database administration, among others.
“I had a lot of options,” she says. “UNH Manchester offered a lot more, different things.”
She began in Manchester her junior year. Given the location of the Manchester campus, right in the heart of the business district, Henry says she was right away able to find a part-time job at a nearby law firm doing help desk support.
“I was able to get practical experience as soon as I transferred to UNH Manchester, which was awesome,” she says. “It was a great resume builder—I made contacts who were willing to be references for future employment.”
Over that winter break, she found that SilverTech had a rare opening for a junior systems administrator. According to the description, the job was part-time and included mentoring.
“It really was an internship,” she says. “I jumped at that because it’s really rare to see something like that.”
Henry landed the year-long internship where she wore a number of hats, she says. Her job included providing technical support to the nearly 100 employees at the firm as well handling internal systems and helping in the production environment. She says the classes she was taking at the time were invaluable to her success in the internship.
“The database classes helped me in my internship role at SilverTech because we maintain databases that are used for internal purposes, such as inventorying computer hardware,” she says. “The classes taught me how to design, query and update databases using the computer language SQL.”
And those skills and efforts did not go unnoticed by her colleagues at SilverTech. She was offered a full-time job after she graduated, which she gladly accepted.
“Her hard work ethic stood out,” says Taylor Stokowski, talent acquisition specialist at SilverTech. “She interned while also going to school, which we realize is always a challenge for anyone. It was really just her hard work ethic and ability to hit the ground running and learn the job very quickly.”
Henry is currently working under a senior systems administrator where she is training to take on even more responsibilities with the firm.
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