“I really like being able to go into a situation, figure out what the problems are, and then come up with a solution using the engineering skills that I’ve gained at Stevens,” says Lucas Gallo '19.
The engineering management senior from Clark, New Jersey recently completed a summer internship with one of the nation's hottest, most innovative companies according to Fast Company.
In the Manhattan office of Cheddar, a financial news startup that’s been dubbed “CNBC for Millennials,” Gallo found himself juggling five projects. The biggest one involved coming up with a solution for standardizing the company’s document-sharing and knowledge base management system.
“I had to determine whether we should build something in-house or outsource our intranet to a different company," he recalls.
"After going through a decision analysis with stakeholders and department heads, we determined what the best option was. So my role there was that of a consultant, but within a company.”
Gallo’s analytical approach to decision-making, he says, was developing during his studies in engineering management in the School of Systems and Enterprises, where students are trained to see the “big picture.”
“What really distinguishes the curriculum is that it teaches you how to lead a group of people. You’re learning to apply your technical knowledge in all the ways it can be used for and present it in a way that is understandable and useful to everyone around you.”
Lynn Insley, executive director of the Stevens Career Center, sums up the Stevens advantage: “The sort of broad-based technology education students receive at Stevens is what makes students like Gallo so sought- after by top employers in financial services, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, construction, information technology, consulting and healthcare.”
Gallo’s ability to adapt and rise to different challenges and environments was also reflected in his previous summer experiences. Following his freshman year, he traveled to Brazil for a consulting internship at a firm in Sao Paolo. The following summer, he participated in Stevens' Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summer Scholars Program, helping to develop a storm-forecasting app for the city of Hoboken under the supervision of Stevens faculty.
It’s no wonder Gallo was in his element at Cheddar. Founded in 2016 by the former CEO of BuzzFeed, Cheddar is disrupting the business-media landscape by distributing its content entirely on digital platforms.
“It was exciting to be at a company that’s growing so fast. As part of the project operations team, I was able to meet people in every department. The company would plan after-work events like ax throwing or a game night. The culture there is really young and vibrant.”
Gallo’s desire to go where the action is and be part of the solution extends beyond his work and academic life.
“I’m not someone who likes to sit around and do nothing. I want to do whatever I can and be part of the progress.”
His natural inclination to lead, get involved and be an influencer has helped shape and define his Stevens experience. He is president of the Student Government Association, a member of Kappa Sigma, an RA and a campus guide, among other on-campus activities.
“Serving as president of SGA and the other extracurricular activities I’m involved with on campus consume roughly 40 hours a week. By the end of the semester I’m worn down, but it’s worthwhile. I feel I can do a lot of good for the school and be a voice for students who may be reluctant to speak up. We’ve made a lot of strides in regards to issues like student mental health and physical health this year, so I’m really proud about that.”
As he gets ready for senior year and graduation, Gallo confidently looks forward to what is next.
“The education here is second to none, and I know that I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned here and apply it to any kind of company or opportunity that comes my way.”