Ten Wilkes University students from its northeast Pennsylvania campus are spending the spring semester in Mesa contributing their time and talents to Arizona businesses and learning about the vibrant cultural opportunities in the region.
The students are participating in a pilot program, Semester in Mesa, which allows undergraduate students to pursue internship opportunities with Fortune 500 companies and other businesses that might not be available to them near the University’s home campus in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Similar to the University’s Semester in Washington program, Semester in Mesa also offers students exposure to a different city and cultural opportunities as well as a valuable internship experience. As part of their experience in Mesa, the students also are taking classes at the Mesa Center for Higher Education, where Wilkes is based.
Michael Speziale, Wilkes’ vice president for strategic initiatives, says that the program provides a way for Wilkes to give back to the City of Mesa. “The program adds value for students from our main campus and allows us to meet the needs of businesses in Mesa and surrounding communities by providing the talent and expertise that our students can offer as interns,” Speziale says. “We are grateful to the city and participating businesses and organizations for embracing this new initiative and providing the internship opportunities. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
The participants in the pilot are business and engineering majors and all have junior standing. Students are enjoying field trips to cultural and other points of interest, as well as doing real-world projects for their host companies.
Read about engineering student Dan Lykens work at his host company, Entrepix, on his blog at http://wilkesumesa.wordpress.com/
Lykens, who says “I am loving it here. This is such a unique experience,” wrote on his blog: Wilkes’ SiMesa program is a new and exciting change for undergrads. The area is booming between Mesa, Tempe, and Phoenix. That being said, new jobs are opening up everywhere….It is a unique program that allows students to get real world experience outside of the Wilkes-Barre area while giving them classes needed in the curriculum.
The Mesa businesses and their Wilkes interns are:
City of Mesa Engineering Resources Department: Douglas Cowley and Andrew Polzella, mechanical engineering majors, and Joseph Zack and Thomas Zelinka, electrical engineering majors, are interning with this city department which is responsible for providing assistance with the analysis, design and bidding of all of the City of Mesa's capital projects. The city uses consultants for approximately 80 percent of its projects, contracting directly with architects, landscape architects, and civil, environmental, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers.
Dashboard:Created by entrepreneur Mark Jamnik to help business executives better understand the psychology of sales, Dashboard is a strategic motivational program that emphasizes plans, systems and sales focus to help clients achieve peak sales performance. Sara Hagenbach, accounting major, is interning there.
Entrepix: The company provides production, engineering and technology development services to customers in the semiconductor and related industries. Daniel Lykens, electrical and mechanical engineering double major and Alex Planer, mechanical engineering major, are interning there. Note: Follow student Dan Lykens internship experience at Entrepix on his blog: http://wilkesumesa.wordpress.com/
NEDCO (Neighborhood Economic Development Corp.): This non-profit corporation is a partnership between private and public sectors, providing alternative financing programs throughout the state of Arizona. Ryan Joyce, finance major, is interning there.
Phoenix Marriott Mesa: Alexis Gildea, finance major, is interning at the hotel. Built in 1985, the newly renovated 12-story hotel located in the heart of the Phoenix East Valley is 12 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Visit Mesa: J. Brandon Carey, business marketing major, is interning with this non-profit marketing company that was formed to promote the City of Mesa and its partnering East Valley communities. Through advertising promotions and sales incentives, this organization markets Mesa as a venue for business meetings, leisure and corporate travel and showcases its proximity to sports and cultural venues.
The Semester in Mesa builds on Wilkes’ participation in the H.E.A.T. (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Technology/Tourism) Initiative for Economic Development in Mesa. The University is offering the master of business administration degree and the master’s degree in engineering management in Arizona.
For more information on Wilkes University’s Mesa site, please visit www.wilkes.edu/Mesa.
About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is an independent institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Its main campus is located in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Founded in 1933, the university provides its students with the experience, mentoring and education necessary for career and intellectual development as well as personal growth. Recently named one of the fastest-growing universities in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wilkes offers doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education and doctor of pharmacy degrees; more than a dozen master’s degree programs, including the master of business administration and master of fine arts in creative writing; and 37 undergraduate degrees.