MURRAY, Ky. — In spring 2018, as summer break at Murray State University drew closer, Jesse Chowning was on a mission: a mission to apply his skills as a telecommunications systems management (TSM) student to the real world.

Now, in the heat of summer, the junior from Bloomfield is doing just that through an internship with the corporate services team at Homecare Homebase, a cloud-based home health software company with offices in Louisville. In his day-to-day responsibilities, Chowning assists company employees with their user accounts, laptops and software. He also works on projects ranging from software deployment to hardware repair.

“I have really enjoyed learning about the tools that IT professionals use,” Chowning said. “Learning about these tools and ‘tricks’ to the trade has been really exciting.”

Chowning first developed an interest in TSM as a high school student during a class unit on CISCO networking. That first spark of curiosity led to him pursuing the field of study as a student at Murray State.

“It interested me to not only see new technology but also excited me to see what the future for technology holds,” Chowning said.

His interest in technology has only continued to develop during his time as a student in Murray State’s TSM program, which has been named a statewide Program of Distinction. Chowning said his time in the program thus far has prepared him for this internship opportunity and others like it — especially when it comes to server management and meeting new people in the workplace. He also credits his advisor Dr. Masaru Okuda for approving and helping him prepare for the internship in addition to thanking Carlos Lopez and Dr. Marcia Combs, two TSM professors, for answering his questions and supporting his studies.

As for the internship itself, Chowning was introduced to the opportunity by his father, a full-time developer for Homecare Homebase. Ultimately, Chowning expects the internship’s implications on his career goals to extend past the summer. In fact, more than anything, he considers it to be a glimpse into his future.

“It is super important to have an internship as it really shows you what you’re getting yourself into,” Chowning said. “It shows you a taste of your career path and helps you not only learn how to operate in your industry but to decide if it’s right for you.”

Looking toward life after his 2020 graduation from Murray State, Chowning said he aspires to become a systems administrator for a company similar to Homecare Homebase. His current internship is a step in that direction.

“I want to be certified in security and in network analytics so I can solve complex problems and keep my company’s data safe,” Chowning said.

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