While most students are on vacation, enjoying ocean breezes, salty air and palm trees, Florida A&M University senior Rodrick Wilkins is spending the summer following his dreams.
Wilkins is an information technology student from nearby Quincy. Growing up in a small town Wilkins has always dreamed big.
He has been heavily involved on campus, holding numerous leadership roles including being an orientation leader in 2017, peer mentor, president of Collegiate 100 and the 2017-2018 Junior Class President.
Wilkins has been able to succeed in his field while also being a student. As a freshman, he was given the opportunity to be an information technology intern for the Fortune 500 Company, Johnson & Johnson in Raritan, N.J.
“I would not say I always wanted to work in the tech field, but I grew to have a passion for it,” said Wilkins.
Growing up, Wilkins had small tech hobbies such as fixing IT issues and doing graphic design. He believes the information technology field is where he belongs and finds much of his happiness.
Wilkins is spending his summer in Hillsboro, Ore., at the Intel Jones Farm Campus. He works in Intel’s Communications and Devices Group team as an information technology intern. Internal and external communications and graphic design are some of Wilkins’ daily task at Intel.
“Coming from FAMU, I was taught to always dress professional and look the part. It was a bit of a change coming up here and seeing everyone in T-shirts and shorts,” Wilkins said. He described his workplace as lax and comfortable.
“I’m mad I did not bring enough shorts,” Wilkins said laughing.
The benefits do not end there. Wilkins was given a few thousand dollars to relocate to cover his three months of housing and expenses. His internship is also paid.
However, the process was unlike most students. “I owe all my thanks to the FAMU Career Center. I attended the Career Fair as an assignment for class and didn’t think I would actually get much out of it,” Wilkins said. Like most students, Wilkins attended the Career Fair and handed his resume out to a few companies and left without much hope.
However, his attendance led him to a great opportunity. After some time passed, Wilkins received news that he obtained an internship with Intel.
Wilkins has an amazing support system behind him.
His close friend, nursing student Erica Tyler said, “I am so excited for Rodrick and all of his success. He is such an inspiration to his peers and friends.”
“Rodrick is my right-hand and never ceases to amaze me. Him getting this internship definitely is no surprise. He is hard-working, determined and his good character will take him far,” said senior Terrell Nelson, a friend of Wilkins.
If Wilkins could give any advice to someone looking to get an internship, it would be to sell yourself even if you are not qualified.