(Editor's note: This is the 11th in a series of articles about Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications students completing summer internships.)
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Technology has changed a lot since 2011, when an IBM super-computer named Watson appeared on "Jeopardy" and beat some of the game show’s best players. Penn State student Anthony Colucci remembers the episode well. He was just 12 years old at the time.
Today, he is seeing IBM’s advancements firsthand thanks to a summer internship with the global company’s corporate communications team. Starting in May, it didn’t take long for the psychology and public relations double major to realize that IBM is far more than a computer company making trivia machines.
“People know Watson, but don’t understand its capabilities. It’s a different type of artificial intelligence than Alexa or Siri,” he said. “It’s processing all kinds of data and making predictions that are useful in the workplace.”
Then there’s IBM’s work in quantum computing, cloud capabilities and other technologies that are changing the world. It’s ever-evolving.
“Think about technology five, 10, 50 years from now,” said Colucci, who is also a Paterno Fellow in the College of Liberal Arts as well as a Schreyer Honors Scholar. “That’s what I find interesting.”
Just like technology, media has evolved tremendously over the past decade. The ability to innovate and stay ahead of the curve is vital for professionals and their companies. It’s a part of the industry that fascinates Colucci most.
“I am excited to learn more and grow with the industry,” he said. “The things that worked the last few years will be much different when I’m starting my career.”
But like most communications jobs, it all starts with writing. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
“When I meet potential interns, the first question I ask is, ‘Can you write?’” said Brandi Boatner, social and influencer communications lead at IBM. “No matter what area you go into, you’ll need to be able to write.”
Colucci has been honing his writing skills for years. While attending Saint Joseph’s High School in Metuchen, New Jersey, he covered the school’s nationally ranked sports teams for the school newspaper and, as a senior, two local newspapers.