Manor College IT Intern Discovers the Art of Information Technology

Kareem Haines (Philadelphia/Bishop McDevitt High School) is studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Computer and Information Systems at Manor College.

Kareem Haines working on running cables during his internship at Manor College.

In the back of a dark, dingy closet, Kareem Haines is forearm-deep into a cabinet full of ethernet cables – a years-old puzzle that connects the important systems throughout the building. Once untangled, labeled, and reorganized, the completed job leads to faster problem-solving and solutions for the institution’s information technology team. 

While this task is fairly new for Manor College’s IT intern, working with computers isn’t. He started out young, helping his grandparents solve technology issues – resetting passwords, fixing the Amazon Firestick or restoring a computer’s audio. 

“You can see the relief through the smile on their face,” Haines said. 

While helping others is his main motivation, he’s seen how working with technology has made him a better person. 

“I feel like everybody should learn about computers because it’s an art,” Haines said. “It’s helped me become more creative and a better problem solver.” 

Haines first discovered Manor College through his mother, who worked at Manor when Haines was a child. Growing up, she’d tell Haines about the community at Manor. He saw how his mother smiled when she encountered Anne Kiczula at the front desk. 

“She thought it would be a good place for me because I could grow as a person here,” Haines said. 

Manor’s community has been more than his mother lauded in his three years on campus. A self-described introvert, Haines was concerned he couldn’t bond with his professors. It didn’t take long at Manor to discover that he was wrong. Haines said he found mentors in professors who took personal interest in him. He also discovered friends who helped him grow.

During the Fall 2021 semester, Haines considered trying out for Manor’s basketball team. Raphael Ayeni, a student from Singapore who lived down the hall, saw Haines play and thought he should. Every day, Ayeni knocked on Haines’ door telling him to try out. Haines became a walk-on for the team and ended up playing in the team’s appearance in the USCAA National Championship Tournament. 

“It can be intimidating to meet everybody,” Haines said, “but Manor is so close-knit that it pushed me out of my shell.”

This summer, Haines is continuing his internship with Manor College’s IT department, setting up monitors, running cables and improving networking around campus. Along the way, he’s picked up tips for success from IT Director Ilya Knizhnik and Technician Jason Reese.

“Kareem always takes on things outside of the scope of his experience,” Knizhnik said. “He’s taking on the work a full-time staffer would and approaching it all with a smile. He’s driven and eager to learn.”

Haines believes these experiences not only help him achieve his goal of becoming an IT Director, but will help him make an impact in his community.   

“I never had a role model to help me in my career,” Haines said. “My mom was doing her best to position me and put me in the right direction. I want to be that role model for others, whether that be giving them the basic life skills you need to survive or to help them find the right career path to get into.”