Experiential learning is a hallmark of a Stevens undergraduate education, and one of the most common ways Stevens students apply their classroom knowledge in the real world is through hands-on internship experiences.
At the Stevens internship fair on October 8, undergraduate and graduate students graduating in December 2019 or later met with recruiters from more than two dozen companies, including American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Stryker, Merck and iCIMS, in search of summer internship opportunities.
Hanna Gasper ’14, who was recruiting for medical devices manufacturer Stryker, was eager to meet Stevens engineering and business talent.
“Our objective today is to find some great future talent to bring to Stryker. It makes me feel good to be able to give back to Stevens and hopefully interest some students in a future at Stryker,” said Gasper, one of many Stevens alumni representing their companies at the fair.
“Employers who recruit from Stevens for full-time positions know the caliber of our students and their potential to contribute to their companies in significant ways and want to identify that talent early on through their internship programs.”
For recent graduate Nicholas Gural ’18, a biotech production specialist at Regeneron, the job interview process was still fresh in his mind. His advice to students is to come prepared when meeting with recruiters because the quality of a Stevens education and the accomplishments of Stevens graduates in the workforce have led employers to expect a lot from Stevens students.
“I prepared four or five hours just to make sure I knew what I was going to say because when you go to Stevens, employers have a pretty high criteria,” Gural recalled.
Lynn Insley, executive director of the Stevens Career Center, says Stevens students build toward post-graduate success early on, with support from an active career center that nudges students to gain meaningful work experiences related to their major.
“Each student is assigned a dedicated career advisor who acts as a resource from a student’s first year at Stevens to securing a post-graduation outcome,” explained Insley.
Many Stevens students have as many as three summer internships prior to graduating, a level of internship placement that has led Princeton Review to rank Stevens among the top 20 schools for internships in its “Colleges That Pay You Back 2018.”
“We have a high internship placement rate because employers know that Stevens students can handle tough assignments and anything that comes their way,” Insley said
That claim is supported by students who completed internships this past summer. They were placed in situations where they were tasked with meaningful assignments and projects during their time as interns. Take, for example, Faris Ibrahim, a computer engineering senior who spent the summer working as a software engineering intern at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus.
“It was real work, and all of the stresses and responsibilities that come with that. I pushed myself like never before because it’s not every day you get an internship at Facebook. It was a great learning experience that sets me up very well for the future.”
Mechanical engineering junior Christina McDonald traveled to the other side of the world this past summer to gain an immersive experience at medical startup Bespoke Medical Innovations in Australia.
“Whether I was helping to create a database of FDA certification documents, learning to code in Python and HTML, making phone calls to customers, or training interns who started two months after I did, I can say I had a hand in just about every part of the business,” she said.
Much closer to home, engineering management senior Lucas Gallo found himself juggling five projects in the Manhattan office of Cheddar, a financial news startup that’s been dubbed “CNBC for Millennials.”
Gallo says the technical agility and problem-solving ability of Stevens students make them a great fit for any company or industry.
“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,” he said.
Insley agrees that the broad-based technology education students receive at Stevens is what makes students like Gallo, Ibrahim and McDonald so sought-after by top employers, not only for full-time positions but also for internships in all sectors, including finance, manufacturing, energy, telecommunications, construction and healthcare.
“Employers who recruit from Stevens for full-time positions know the caliber of our students and their potential to contribute to their companies in significant ways and want to identify that talent early on through their internship programs,” said Insley.
To learn more about student outcomes and experiential learning opportunities at Stevens, visit Stevens Career Center.