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Intern Spotlight: Rachel Malla

Internships are a critical aspect of a William & Mary education. No matter what a student is majoring in, so much can be learned by gaining real-world work experience. W&M Information Technology has a long-standing tradition of welcoming student workers and incorporating them into our overall strategy of providing a reliable, flexible, and secure technological environment that enables swift and skilled solutions for rapidly changing needs.

Rachel Malla ‘24

Data Science Major and Public Health Minor

Intern Position

IT Communications InternRachel Malla '24

What were some of your duties as an intern?

Rachel has been working as an IT Communications Intern since the fall of 2022. During her time with IT, she has been working to ensure that the department's efforts were properly communicated to the campus community to provide a transparent and clear method of contact with faculty, staff and students. Rachel worked on creating social media content to update the IT platforms and inform students on any IT-related updates, events or advice. She also worked on maintaining the IT website so that it remained up to date and accessible. This part of her role entailed updating pages with new content, fixing broken links and removing outdated content to provide visitors to the website with the most relevant information. In addition to website maintenance, Rachel created written content for mass communication to campus. She wrote outreach emails and announcements for Student Happenings and the W&M Digest, as well as IT news stories, ‘Fist Bumps’, and ‘Did You Know?’ features on IT staff. Occasionally, Rachel would also work on ad-hoc tasks such as working on a Wi-Fi marketing campaign with Mary Bull in which she created a map of the campus Wi-Fi hotspots. 

What were some of your biggest takeaways from your time working for IT?

Rachel described her experience in IT as unique because it provided her with spontaneous projects that allowed her to learn about different procedures within the department and the inner workings of IT operations. She enjoyed the creative nature of her role and getting to experiment with different outlets for communication methods. Rachel’s favorite part of working in IT was getting to understand the complexities behind project implementation and the multitude of moving parts and people involved with rolling out new initiatives for the university. Rachel said she spent a lot of time learning about execution and delivery of new projects and got to understand the layers of communication and collaboration that contribute to the end result of a project. She explained that being a part of team IT made her appreciate everything that goes into making technology run smoothly on a campus. “When you think about how everyone relies on working internet, Banner, Blackboard, on-campus printers, etc., none of that would be possible without the IT department.”

Rachel’s favorite project that she worked on was her role in redesigning the IT Service Page. This web page is one the most high-traffic parts of the IT website, so the modernization of this site was a major undertaking. Rachel had a large part in the redesign of this page, which required her to create an inventory of all the pages and links within the service status page to keep track of the different connections within the website. This was really rewarding for her because she was able to watch this project from the early stages until its completion.

How has working for IT prepared you for your career?

Over the past two years, Rachel has worked on numerous projects and strengthened both her collaboration and communication skills. After graduation, Rachel will be working as a technology consultant for Ernst & Young in Northern Virginia. She says that working in IT has prepared her for her career because not only has she gained robust communication and time management skills, but she learned that she really liked jumping into new projects and having creative freedom with her work. Working for IT has given Rachel a holistic idea of how a team works and the background that gives her a new perspective that she is excited to apply to her projects in her professional career. 

Rachel would like to give a shoutout to her supervisor, Erin Fryer, for being the reason that she stayed on as an IT Intern after her first year: “Thank you, Erin, for always being available and flexible and providing me with this incredible opportunity. You are the best supervisor I could ask for!”

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Rachel! We are so grateful for all the hard work you do for IT and are so proud of all the incredible things you have accomplished. We cannot wait to see you succeed in your future endeavors!