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Michael Capozzoli

Website development effort leads to career opportunity for NETL intern

Michael Capozzoli

Michael Capozzoli configures the content management system that will power the new website at National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh, Pa. Photo by Brian Albin/NETL

Michael Capozzoli just needed an internship for graduation. What he got was even better.

Capozzoli’s assignment, offered through a National Energy Technology Laboratory professional internship program and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, was to help build a new website for NETL.

He did so well in two internships at NETL that he was hired full-time in August 2011 by a laboratory contractor, Performance Results Corporation.

“It was actually very valuable,” Capozzoli said of the internship program. “It provided me with a job opportunity.”

Capozzoli applied for the internship through ORISE in February 2010, and his first appointment was that summer. His second started in January 2011.

“I needed an internship for graduation and I applied to many places, but I found this program to be close to home as well as interesting and exciting for me,” Capozzoli said.

Besides leading to a career opportunity, the skills Capozzoli learned through the internships also helped him succeed in college. For example, a Visual Basic class that he took during his senior year in college was “a breeze” because he had already taught himself the programming language during one of his internships.

Capozzoli also learned other computer languages at NETL, including XML, SQL, and C#, and he received training for Adobe Creative Suite 5, a software package used for website design and development and video and image editing.

“I worked with a lot of different resources,” Capozzoli said. “I was only able to learn so many skills at school, but here I was able to learn more skills in a short period of time.”

Capozzoli also wrote programs, set up a content management system for the new website, created templates for it, and ensured that the transition from the old website to the new one ran smoothly.

He worked closely with his mentor, NETL Public Affairs Specialist Lilas Soukup. “My first year with Mike was such a rewarding experience,” Soukup said. “He was able to develop applications that are being used daily at NETL. His eagerness to learn and be exposed to things that he did not have in school also aided my decision to bring him back for a second term.”

Soukup said Capozzoli’s expertise in database structures and web development helped save time and money.

“Without his expertise, the project would require additional resources to fill the void,” Soukup said.

Capozzoli graduated from Penn State Behrend in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. His assignments on the new NETL website continue, and he is now part of Soukup’s Web design team.

“I’ve gotten more responsibilities with the website,” Capozzoli said. “I’m building all  the navigation elements, doing the production install, and doing a lot of work with Bridgeline, the company that created and sold the content management system.”

The website is not yet operational, but when it is, it will be available at netl.doe.gov.

“This experience has taught me a lot of skills in developing a website from beginning to end,” Capozzoli said.