When Caldwell University student Shyam Sharma started looking for internships he did not know the aggregate materials industry existed. Now he is well versed in how crushed stone is important to the building of roads, highways, bridges, hospitals and schools.
Sharma began interning with Tilcon New York Inc., a supplier of quality stone and asphalt products, in the summer between his sophomore and junior years. He has continued interning with the company ever since while still attending classes. A business administration major with minors in management and political science, he spoke about the value of his internship at the Caldwell University Business Advisory Council meeting Sept. 20. He told business leaders, entrepreneurs, faculty and staff how his work in the Human Resources Department at Tilcon involved contract negotiations, change management, and improvement of employee engagement. Sharma later transitioned his internship into Project Management where he was responsible for an IT server room rebuild, office relocation and demolition when the company moved its headquarters from the Mount Hope Quarry in Rockaway, New Jersey to a corporate setting in Parsippany, New Jersey.
He learned about the opportunity from Caldwell alumna Anne Poltorak ’78, Tilcon’s human resources manager, when he networked with her at a Business Advisory Council meeting during his sophomore year. Poltorak says her company has appreciated working with Caldwell students. One of the outstanding aspects of Caldwell’s internship program is that the faculty and staff “come out and spend time” at Tilcon “and show they care,” she said.
Professor Bernard O’Rourke and Professor Virginia Rich said this type of networking between businesses and students is exactly what they want to happen through the council. The group was established to provide a bridge between the local business community and Caldwell University, especially its business program. “The Business Division strongly encourages all of its majors to take at least one internship before graduation. Internships provide that vital experience which can increase a student’s career prospects. We are fortunate that our Business Advisory Council members are supportive in facilitating student internships,” said O’Rourke.
Other business and computer science students spoke at the meeting about their internships.
Joseph DiCarlo is also an intern at Tilcon. His internship began in the summer of 2016 and was extended through the fall semester. As a marketing major, DiCarlo utilizes his strengths in the public relations department, taking photos, filming video, handling social media and watching, as he says, “the net result of good public relations.”
Samar Tilmilsina, a computer information systems major, interned as a technology analyst at Bank of America in New York City. He worked with the team that provided archiving as a service to all the corporation’s internal clients. He created a capacity management plan and a prototype cost recovery system. Tilmilsina recently accepted an offer for full-time employment at the bank, and will begin working there after he completes his undergraduate degree in December.
Kate Reilly interned in the marketing department at Interactive Data in Manhattan. She has a double major in business administration and mathematics and a concentration in human resource management. Several of her Caldwell classes helped her prepare for the work. “The business communications class really tied in well,” she said. “I noticed just how well prepared I was to enter this job, which is mostly because of all of the support and training I have received from my professors here at school.”
Abigail Sobieski, a marketing major, spoke about her internship in the marketing department at Buyers Lab, a global document imaging company in Fairfield, New Jersey. Her duties include creating the monthly infographics for the products the company tests, making brochures and putting together email blasts for new tools.
Sobieski also helped out at Tilcon this past summer, creating artwork that Sharma envisioned for the company’s break room. She worked with Caldwell student Ilea Scrichfield on the project.
Geraldine Perret, director, and Christine Szeluga, coordinator of the Career Planning and Development Office, said they are grateful to the council members for providing them with leads about internship programs for students and hope their colleagues continue to expand opportunities for students.
About the Council
The Caldwell University Business Advisory Council has more than 50 members and consists of business owners and senior executives from small, medium and large businesses in a broad range of industries in the greater Essex County area. Members also include key people in the university community such as business faculty, senior administrators and student leaders.
The council meets at least six times during each academic year. It provides a platform for a wealth of activities such as discussion of best practices in business, mentorship and internships for students, and showcasing of faculty research and scholarship—in short, any endeavors that advance the involvement of local business leaders to the benefit of the community at the college and beyond.
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