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Idaho State University student Tami Musante becomes Idaho National Laboratory’s first ISU Career Path Intern

July 20, 2017
Kirsten Cooper

Photo of Tami Musante at her desk.
Tami Musante

POCATELLO – An Idaho State University Career Path Internship assignment at the Idaho National Laboratory opened up a door to a new career for ISU student Tami Musante, who had an internship there this spring that turned into a job this summer.

When Musante first began at INL in January, she was a senior in her final semester studying business informatics with a minor in geotechnology. She has since graduated, but was the first CPI sponsored by ISU’s Office for Research to work for INL.

The ISU CPI program funds students to work in on- and off-campus CPI internships. It is designed to enhance student success by providing paid internship experiences to students in their educational and professional career choice, providing them with hands-on experience to help prepare them for their chosen field.

Musante initially pursued a CPI position with INL because it was where she hoped to work after she graduated.

Musante started work on a project under the supervision of her mentor Ryan Jackson, who works with INL’s Research Operations, Energy & Environment Science & Technology (EES&T) Directorate.

“Tami came up to speed quickly and it was not long before she became a strong contributor to our group, especially with regard to web development, design, and troubleshooting,” Jackson said.

Her primary project is working on web application development for EES&T’s SharePoint website.

SharePoint is the directorate’s primary internal website. It includes a number of subsites and pages and hundreds of lists and libraries throughout.

“It was obvious that this was an area Tami excelled in from very early on, so eventually, she became the primary point of contact for the entire site collection,” Jackson said.

Since then, she has also taken on a number of projects ranging from landing page design and deployment to workflow development and process improvement. 

“The group here wants to customize, which requires a lot of research into the best solution for what they want to do,” Musante said. “Sometimes it’s simple JavaScript or CSS, and other times it’s complicated workflows or building dashboards connected to databases.”

Jackson said that although Musante was INL’s first CPI, it was easy to get involved with the program.“Speaking from the organization that Tami worked with, I can say that the process was very simple and didn’t take long at all once we had decided to try the program,” he said.

He also said that the CPI program seems to benefit all parties involved and that EES&T would not hesitate to participate in the program again. Additionally, they have recommended it to other groups throughout the lab.

Musante said that her experience working as a CPI for INL has been very positive.

“I love it here. My mentor, Ryan, is fabulous and this is a great group to work for,” she said. “Everyone is very supportive and involved in making the most of your experience.  The culture around the lab as a whole is very positive and supportive.”

Jackson echoed this sentiment and said that the fact that so much of what Musante worked on was immediately applicable to what she had learned in school, and vice versa, was a testament to how well the program matched her school curriculum to the internship itself.

He went on to say that her job performance was so successful that the department decided to keep her on the team even after her internship ended.            

“Over the course of the semester, Tami repeatedly demonstrated her ability to contribute and innovate to the point where, at the end of her CPI internship, we did not want to let her go and ended up hiring her on as an INL intern to keep her on through the summer,” he said.Musante said that her CPI position helped prepare her for a future career.

“I am hoping these last few months of demonstrated employment and accomplishments will establish to my future employer my ability to continually learn, grow and problem solve in a professional environment,” she said.