University Students Complete Prestigious Internships over Summer

08/28/2014

In research labs and boardrooms across the country, University of Scranton students spent the summer as interns and research assistants, honing their skills while refining their post-college plans.

Jacob Kanavy, a senior finance major from Archbald, completed a ten-week internship with the investment management division of Goldman Sachs in its Salt Lake City, Utah, office. He worked in the Alternative Investments and Manager Selection group on the Private Equity Client Portfolio Solutions team. 

“We constructed the portfolio review and pitch material, completed news and competitor updates for internal distribution, and met client needs varying from cash flow reports to portfolio diagnostics,” Kanavy said.

“From an academic standpoint, the lessons learned in the classroom provided strong background going into the summer. Even more important, however, were lessons learned from Scranton students regarding working hard and keeping current,” said Kanavy. “What separated a good summer analyst from a great one were the intangibles that The University of Scranton integrates as a core part of its education.”

Kanavy believes he grew both personally and professionally from his experience at Goldman Sachs. “The obvious progression comes from the countless hours of time and practice spent with programs such as Microsoft Excel and Power Point. But there were also the lessons that can only be learned by sitting in a room of brilliant and motivated people from the time the sun rises until well after it sets. I was lucky enough to have a desk located right alongside another Scranton alum, Raheel Malik. I would say I gained the most from observing his example, as he was often the first in and the last out,” said Kanavy.

Upon graduation, Kanavy hopes to pursue job opportunities on the East Coast.

Jillian Garzon, a strategic communications major from Howell, New Jersey, was one of 16 students nationwide to receive an American Advertising Federation Stickell Internship. She spent ten weeks at IBM’s corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York, working for the vice president of branded content and global creative and the advertising team. She worked on several projects including creating presentations, researching social media and cataloging content. She also attended photo shoots and visited IBM’s main advertising agency, Ogilvy & Mather, every week.

“I gained a large boost in confidence from this experience,” Garzon said. “At school, you present once in a while for a class. But, in the real advertising world it’s a daily occurrence. You have to be confident when you present; otherwise all of the preparation you’ve done goes to waste.”

“I also discovered the direction I wanted to go in my career,” Garzon said. “There are two sides in advertising – the client side and the agency side – and I was at a point where I didn’t know which one was the right fit for me. The internship gave me exposure to both sides … and this will be helpful in my long-term career decisions.”

Garzon hopes to work in an advertising or communication firm after graduation.

Brittany Boribong, a senior biomathematics major from Pataskala, Ohio, was one of 18 undergraduates nationwide selected for a research experience offered by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis.

Over eight weeks at the University of Tennessee, she worked with two other students on a research project they designed. Titled “A Meta-Analysis of Coastal Populations Genetic Diversity of Species Throughout Their Range,” the project “can potentially give insights and directions for developing more effective and feasible coastal conservation practices,” she said.

“This project felt very special to me because it was a unique question that my group originated on our own. It really helped give me a sense of how to design a research project from scratch and gave me a more realistic understanding of how a project in graduate school would be. This also helped reinforce my decision to go to graduate school, as I loved the work I did this summer,” Boribong said.

Boribong plans to apply to various graduate school programs and hopes to eventually earn a doctoral degree.

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