Penn College

Company extends coveted IT internship for Penn College student

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Anders E. Vloedman’s soft skills helped secure the opportunity to reinforce his hard skills this summer at a Fortune 500 company. Thanks to his performance, the Pennsylvania College of Technology student will continue his coveted internship in the fall.

Vloedman, of Villanova, is a network engineering intern for Universal Health Services Inc. The King of Prussia-based UHS is one of the nation’s largest providers of hospital and health care services.

Anders E. Vloedman, of Villanova, employed both soft and technical skills to secure a coveted internship with Universal Health Services Inc. this summer. Vloedman, an information technology major at Pennsylvania College of Technology, recently had his network engineering internship extended throughout the fall. UHS is one of the nation’s largest providers of hospital and health care services. Credit: Penn College / Penn StateCreative Commons

“If you would have told me in my freshman year that I would be a networking intern at a large health care corporation, I would not have believed it,” Vloedman said.

That’s because the lifelong technology enthusiast initially majored in game and simulation programming at Penn College. Wanting greater career flexibility, Vloedman switched to information technology: network specialist concentration (now called network administration and engineering technology) during his sophomore year.

“Networking allows me to go anywhere in the world with the skills that Penn College gives and apply them to my day-to-day job,” he said. “It’s awesome what I’ll be able to do with a networking degree.”

A year before he finishes that bachelor’s degree, Vloedman is expanding his potential with the paid internship at UHS. He was one of about 30 IT interns chosen by UHS for its eight-week summer program, and the only one selected for network engineering.

The young man, who thanks Dining Services workers for taking his tray and professors for delivering a lecture, believes his friendly demeanor and communication skills played a pivotal role in obtaining the position.

Matthew Moeller, senior network engineer and Vloedman’s boss at UHS, agreed, adding that speaking and dealing with people seem to come naturally to Anders.

“He communicates at a level that far exceeds his experience and age,” Moeller said. “He has the ability to know his audience — ranging from CEOs to vendors to office managers — and tailor his communication style, allowing his customer to be comfortable.”

Vloedman credits extracurricular activities, such as playing for Penn College’s esports team and participating in Ultimate Frisbee intramurals, for honing his soft skills.

“I got good being able to bounce ideas back and forth as part of a team,” he said. “If you have an idea, share it. If you have an opinion, share it.”

But be respectful in the process, he added. Vloedman exhibited that trait in sending a message to UHS after being turned down for an internship with its email chain team. Vloedman’s note thanked UHS for the opportunity. Three weeks later, the company called, offering the chance to interview for the network engineering opening.

Moeller didn’t see the thank-you email but said the human resources official who received the note is the same individual who sent him a “calendar invite” to interview Vloedman.

“I believe that sending such a note makes one stand out and become considered for other positions,” Moeller added.

Of course, one must also possess the requisite technical acumen. That was another plus for Vloedman, according to one of his teachers. 

“Anders is smart with copious technical skills,” said Allen Heimbach, instructor of computer information technology. “He also works hard and is persistent. Anders not only likes to understand how things work, but how they fit into the bigger picture.”

“I think UHS expected that they would have to hold my hand and walk me through things, but I was able to dive right in and apply what I learned at Penn College,” Vloedman said. “I’m able to implement and apply what we learn in class. It’s a really cool feeling.”

Such practical experience is why Vloedman chose Penn College. A visit to his high school by an admissions representative got him interested. A campus tour hooked him.

“The biggest thing that really appealed to me was that it was hands-on. I’m a very visual learner. Sitting down and grabbing a textbook is not really my forte when it comes to my learning abilities,” he said. “I was able to jump right in and get my hands dirty with my very first class, and no other college really offered that to me.”

For the summer portion of his internship, Vloedman worked remotely from home. His initial assignment required the application of a monitoring system for UHS’s guest Wi-Fi at its various locations to ensure proper use of the network. UHS has 400 acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

Eventually, Vloedman became part of a 10-person team tasked with troubleshooting any network problems.

“Every IT system is different, and a Fortune 500 company’s IT system is at a higher level than what I was used to,” he said. “I was used to having like seven to 10 computers, but now with a million computers, the policies and multiple paths are through the roof. But Penn College has given me the building blocks I need to support what I’ve been learning at UHS.

“Everyone there is so supportive, so nice. I ask a lot of questions because I’m there as an intern to learn as much as I can.”

That learning continues with the extension of his internship for the fall semester. Vloedman will work up to 16 hours a week for UHS from his Penn College apartment. Only about half of the company’s summer IT interns were given that opportunity.

“Anders has a zest for learning that isn’t often seen in interns,” Moeller said.

Vloedman hopes one day to transition from intern to full-time employee at UHS. Whether or not that occurs, he’s grateful for his IT career path and the lessons he’s learned to date.

“Nothing is ever given to you. You have to get it yourself,” he said. “Your parents can help you a bit. Your professors can help you. But ultimately, it comes down to you. You need to be willing to put in the time and extra effort to get what you want.”

And as Vloedman has proven, be friendly while doing so.

For information about Penn College’s associate and bachelor’s degrees related to information technology and other programs offered by the School of Engineering Technologies, call 570-327-4520 or visit www.pct.edu/et.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Visit www.pct.edu, email admissions@pct.edu or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Last Updated August 09, 2021