Career Center Teams Up with INROADS to Help Students Succeed in Corporate America
What happens when two powerhouses with a shared mission of fostering success for underrepresented and underserved students team up? Students land great internships that often launch their careers.
INROADS, an organization formed in 1970 to enhance diversity in the corporate workplace, began its partnership with Stony Brook University 13 years ago and has since found 102 Stony Brook students paid summer internships.
In addition to pairing Stony Brook’s qualified talent pool with well-matched corporations, INROADS connects with students on campus through job fairs, information sessions and on-campus interviews, as well as through educational programs such as Mock Interview Day and résumé-review sessions. It also schedules speakers from groups such as the National Association of Black Accountants and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to share their life experiences and tips for success with the students. INROADS annually helps several thousand interns on college campuses nationwide find jobs with more than 200 sponsoring corporations.
For its part, the Career Center schedules time for INROADS to connect with Stony Brook faculty and staff to increase awareness of its opportunities. INROADS gains valuable insights from College of Business faculty, academic advisors, EOP/AIM, CSTEP, Undergraduate Colleges and the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action.
Thanks to the partnership between INROADS and the Stony Brook Career Center, this past summer 10 Stony Brook University students gained valuable exposure to the corporate world while getting paid at the same time.
Psychology major Zarinah Skerritt ’14, from Bronx, New York, interned at Met Life Insurance in Manhattan, where she interacted extensively with customers. “My goal is to become a successful social entrepreneur. This internship helped me with my business-writing skills, my ability to market and connect with consumers and leaders alike, and network in the business world.”
Applied mathematics and statistics major Anas Patel ’15, from Brentwood, New York, interned for global insurance giant AIG. “INROADS ensures that the internships are in line with the students’ interests,” she said. “I was particularly interested in obtaining an internship in the financial sector, and that is why I chose to intern for AIG. I worked in the chief executive’s office, so I had the perfect opportunity to learn about the company and how it operates — an experience that few interns normally get.”
Four Stony Brook students landed internships at Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut. Senior information systems and business management double major Nam Kha ’14, of White Plains, New York, was assigned to work in Sikorsky’s Information Technology Department. “You just apply, and if you are qualified, INROADS will guide you through a candidates’ prep session and mock interview. INROADS then matches you with a potential employer.” Kha’s 10-week internship included career and leadership workshops.
“Before I started working at Sikorsky, I thought that my internship would involve typing code for programs,” he said. “It turned out to be completely different. My projects were to improve the current systems and programs that were in place and explore new systems and programs for possible implementation. Because of my exposure at Sikorsky, I think I may end up becoming an IT consultant or system analyst.”
Mechanical engineering major Roger Carson ’15 from Yonkers, New York, also interned at Sikorsky, in the Blade Engineering Department, fulfilling a dream. “I’m passionate about their products,” he said, adding that the experience was much more than an internship. “The professional development training they provide has helped me refine my image, enhance my networking opportunities, and help prepare me for the challenges of the real world that I will face after I graduate,” Carson said.
Sikorsky even provided an internship opportunity for marine science major/environmental studies minor Mykaela Copeland ’16, from Ossining, New York. As an intern in the company’s Environmental Health and Safety Department, Copeland learned how Sikorsky analyzes and attempts to minimize its negative environmental impact with regulations, advanced technological equipment and policy.
Sometimes, as New York City native Briana Brown ’13 learned, internships teach you which career path you don’t want to take. She has benefited from three summers of INROADS internships.
“I learned something new about myself each summer,” said Briana, an Applied Math and Statistics and Technological Systems Management major with a specialization in Mechanical Engineering.
“My first summer, I discovered that I didn’t have a passion for engineering but that I enjoyed operations work. INROADS and Sikorsky provided me with a mentor, and this relationship landed me my current role in Aerostructures Manufacturing Operations. During my second summer, I mastered the ability to set goals and be accountable for them, and this summer I learned how to leverage and sustain my growing network." Currently working in Sikorsky’s Aerostructures Operations Department, Brown is hoping for a full-time offer from the helicopter company after graduation.
“I’m extremely proud of the person I’ve become. Sikorsky and INROADS have accelerated my career and I am well prepared for corporate and community leadership,” said Brown.
By Glenn Jochum; group photos by John Griffin