Zac Jortner

A Day in Our Tech Intern’s Shoes

My name is Zachary Jortner, the infamous son of Diane Jortner, who heads up the “Valpo Neighbors” Magazines. I started working at JCMA near the end of June — June 23rd, 2020 to be exact. I have worked a large variety of jobs, from fast food to waiting tables to warehouse work, even making it all the way to assistant manager at a mattress store. But I never really enjoyed my work.

Recently, I decided to return to college for a degree in Cyber Security at Ivy Tech Community College, and am hoping to finish my Associates degree in the spring of 2021. I have been taking a lot of interesting computer classes, including web design.

As my first internship, JCMA put a real-life work spin on the lessons and experiences I’ve been studying in my field. At JCMA, computer languages and coding, plus Microsoft platforms and applications and web design have been added to my skillset now.

Starting My Day

Headphones that look like giant, flattened jelly beans plays anything from blue grass to dubstep in my eardrums while I stroll to my desk. Placing my 16.9 ounce plastic water bottle that was possibly purchased from the drug store below, I crack my neck from side to side before the work begins. First, I check on all our websites that we manage, making sure the posts and plugins are up to date and secure. We use a 13+ character passwords to assure our clients’ websites have secure protection. Therefore, no security risks — you will be safe with us!

Once everything is secure, one of the bosses will assign me a task, usually to either solve a problem or build a solution. Depending on the boss, I’ll know what to expect. Sean gives me website post updates, creating pages, or configuring security for our band of sites. Joe is more coding application or wild ideas that randomly pop into his head. My job is to bring these genius moments to life for him.

30 Minute Lunch Break

Noon hits and it’s lunch time. I leave the office to get a bit of fresh air, talking to my friend while I head to a local restaurant. When I come back with my brown paper bag in hand, I’ll once again mosey in listening to Billy Strings. I have to say, bagel and lox from Blackbird are the best! Highly recommend. Once I’m finished and my water bottle is refilled, I’m focused on the screen ahead.

Some days, Joe parks a metal stool next to my desk and teaches me coding language, but to everyone else in the room, he speaks alien. This coding language actually helps me practice the skills that I’ve either learned here or am learning in school, which then circles back to assisting the company. Recently, SQL and PHP are hot topics that Joe and I discuss, plus his obsession with PowerApps, Power Automate and many other Microsoft application technology.

On other days, Sean, the website master, teaches me WordPress and more advanced techniques in HTML and CSS.

Work Comes to a Close

When my tasks run dry, I check in with Sean and/or Joe to see if there is anything else. Nope. So, my index finger and middle finger raise making a “V” shape to Jill and Haleigh as I say, “See you later”. JCMA’s door closes behind me and the beach calls my name, friends want to hang out, and college courses take their toll. But by the end of this internship, I will be a full stack web developer!