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Network Administrative and Internship

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I'm going to school for two degrees in Network Administrative for Windows and for Linux. I also will look into getting a certification of completion. I somewhat want to prepare myself for and to find internship while I take my prerequisites before I take all the fun required classes. I what I'm basically asking is: Where would be a good place to look for internship for Network Admin, and what sort of things should I pick up before I throw applications around?


I already have very good understanding how networking works (knowing what MAC, external/internal IP, setting up routers, port forwarding), computer hardware maintenance, setting up servers in Windows and Linux. (ftp, http, MySQL), and of course software engineering that also includes writing server applications. I've seen MS Exchange Server used or thrown around a lot and I'm sure Microsoft Database couldn't be that difficult ether. When you learn one, you learn them all assuming. ;)

But I wanted to know if perhaps I should get a bit hands on with more software or hardware. Thanks for any tips guys! And any interesting stories would be amusing.

Edited by ajm113

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I do this stuff for a living. :)


Two major things I can see missing from your list are experience with some kind of LDAP server, and experience with backup and restore.  A third is any kind of permissioning/security experience, including firewalls, ACLs, etc.  All of these are fairly large topics so you wouldn't be expected to have full knowledge of any of them at your level, but knowledge of what they are, why you need them, a familiarity with what they look like, and an ability to recognise one when you see it never hurts.


As a beginning network admin you're certainly not going to be throwing applications around; you're likely to not even be given any level of admin access to any server at all to start with.  Instead you'll probably spend the first part of your career doing donkey work like changing backup tapes, imaging PCs, running off reports, fielding helpdesk calls, unlocking user accounts, etc.  My intention here is not to put you off, but rather to give you a more realistic appraisal of the stage you're currently at.


The reason why you end up with that kind of work at the start is to ensure that you're not insane before they let you at anything where you can do real damage.  Joke.  It's actually an opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the workplace, get a feel for where all the hardware is (and what it does), and get an understanding for the kind of problems that can arise.


You'll also learn the areas you're strong in, the areas you're weak in, and the areas you're interested in getting more involved with.  That's crucial - unless you're in a very small (one or two man) shop, you're not likely to be getting involved in everything.  For example, I do Active Directory, Group Policy, server OS and some SharePoint admin, but I don't touch Exchange, firewalls, databases, web servers, backups, comms, etc.


When you do get to the level where you're let loose on the servers, you're going to find yourself in what I personally consider to be one of the most challenging, satisfying, interesting and frustrating jobs on the planet.  It's a colossal responsibility and a huge level of trust has been put in you; the repercussions if you screw up (or go rogue) can be enormous, but the personal reward that comes from doing the job well is right there at the top.

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LDAP, firewalls, ACL, and backup restore, I wouldn't mind picking up a little more even if I barely use it, but it may prove beneficial later encase.


And I can see that happening only doing grunt work for the moment, instead of taking control of a beast of a server that could possibly go out of control. lol And I'm all about computers. So even doing grunt work doesn't seem all that bad. Computer hardware and software is the only thing that make sense to me and feel natural which is why I want to do Network Admin. 


I can imagine it becoming a hole other world when it starts becoming more server management and dealing with different types of networking architecture. Specially when I thought server management for a simple game server was a headache at the time, I can only imagine what it's like dealing with multiple servers, clients, and handling support request tickets. Sounds like fun to me now. I'm all about a good challenge when it comes to computers.


Thanks for your insight. It looks like I'll be doing some more studying up and play testing with my tower I use to play around with for networking, hardware, and software.

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