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With Perone looking on, Hart talks while sitting at a table outside the HUB.

ABOVE: Patrick Perone '15 (left) and Andy Hart '90, senior vice president – diamonds and gemstones at Tiffany's & Co., discuss the importance of providing Moravian College students with opportunities to network in the business world. (Photos by John Kish IV)


Advocating for Moravian

Alumni Help Students Obtain Internships From the Inside

What’s the best evidence a Moravian College student will succeed at an internship? You. That’s exactly how Amy Saul, associate dean of students and director of career development at Moravian, explains it.

“Our alumni are proof of what a Moravian education can provide an employer,” Saul says. “And they are our strongest advocate for students landing internships and, ultimately, launching their careers.”

Moravian’s Career Center advertised 223 internships on its CareerHound website during the 2013-2014 academic year, a more than 25 percent increase over the previous year. A majority of the internship leads trace back to engaged alumni.

“Our alumni are our biggest ally in helping obtain employment and internship opportunities for our students,” Saul reasons. “They are our key partners because they can advocate for Moravian College from inside their companies, organizations and businesses. They understand the value of a Moravian education, and they know how well prepared our students will be when they get there.”

Here are four such stories:

Intern: Patrick Perone ’15
Alumnus: Andy Hart ’90
Employer: Tiffany & Co.

Not so long ago, Andy Hart recalled meeting with his department’s directors at Tiffany’s & Co., inquiring about why they didn’t hire interns and take advantage of what a few ambitious students might have to offer. Soon thereafter, the directors realized the mutual benefits and told Hart they’d contact New York University and Columbia University for prospective students right away.

“No, that’s not what we are going to do,” the senior vice president – diamonds and gemstones recalls telling his colleagues. “I want interns from Moravian.” And so Tiffany’s representatives attended a campus career fair and came away impressed.

“As Moravian alumni, we need to be helping students and providing them with opportunities to network in the business world,” Hart says. “I have seen students from Ivy League schools, and I know our students can compete with anyone. The education and background we provide at Moravian is second to none.”

Just as Hart said, students like Patrick Perone have succeeded, seizing the opportunity to intern at one of the world’s most recognizable businesses. Perone came away impressed by the responsibilities he was entrusted with, which included ensuring the integrity of the diamond supply chain. “When you think of internships, you might think of busy work, but that was not the case at Tiffany’s,” he said. “I handled a lot of tasks my boss handled the previous year. It was the perfect situation to learn in.”

Intern: Wendy Fomby ’14
Alumnus: Keith Bachman ’88
Employer: Bachman CPA & Co., P.C.
Location: Whitehall, Pa.

Bachman and Fomby smile while catching up during an afternoon conversation.

ABOVE: Keith Bachman '88 hosted Wendy Fomby '14 as a tax accounting intern during spring 2014.

Thanks to a connection by Professor John Rossi III, Wendy Fomby served as a tax accounting intern in Keith Bachman’s Whitehall office this spring. Having landed a position at PriceWaterhouseCoopers during her senior year, Fomby sought an internship at a public CPA firm during her final semester.

“Now, I feel ready to conquer my dream at a national firm because of the positive experience I’ve had here,” she says. “To see the passion Keith displays for this profession, the advice he provides, and hearing his experiences show me life beyond Moravian will be great because of the wonderful community we have.”

Not that Bachman made it easy. “I told Wendy, ‘I’m going to challenge you, and you let me know when you get to your job at PriceWaterhouseCoopers how prepared you feel,’” he explains. “Wendy will find that her initial training at Bachman CPA and Company will provide her with an advantage over her peers when her training commences at PWC.

“I want interns who want to learn and prepare for the start of their careers in the professional world,” Bachman concludes. “We have had excellent students interning with our firm, and I attribute that to Moravian’s programs – and also to Professor John Rossi. I’m an advocate for Moravian.”

Intern: Marisa Clark ’15
Alumna: Angel Gable ’01
Employer: ArtsQuest
Location: Bethlehem, Pa.

Gable and Clark smile while sitting in Clark's office in the ArtsQuest offices.

ABOVE: After meeting during a Coffee and Connections event, Angel Gable '01 (left) helped Marisa Clark '15 gain real-world experience through an internship at Artsquest.

Angel Gable understands the trials of being a Moravian intern, which undoubtedly helped her own intern Marisa Clark this spring. Beginning in 1999, two years before she graduated, Gable began interning at ArtsQuest. That role eventually transitioned into a full-time position, and “I never left,” she shrugs happily.

Gable, ArtsQuest’s graphic arts manager, and Clark met at a Coffee and Connections event and discussed the undergraduate’s goals, which eventually led to an interview and portfolio review. Gable has had success with Moravian interns in the past, and there’s definitely a familiarity and comfort level accepting students from her alma mater.

“With Moravian interns, I know what their program is doing, and I know what ways I can help, which is a big advantage,” Gable says. Interns really earn their keep, managing a portion of the organization’s large project workload. “This is real work, and if they weren’t handling it, then I would be,” she adds.

“After working in the field, I am positive that I have made the right decision with my major,” Clark says. “The real-world experience at ArtsQuest is very helpful in planning my future and has helped me make connections in my field.”

Interns: Myles Barros ’14 & Alek Szilagyi ’14
Alumnus: Pete Lega ’85
Employer: Merck & Co.
Location: Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Barros, Szilagyi and Lega stand on a stairwell in the Merck lobby in the company's Whitehouse Station complex.

ABOVE: Myles Barros '14 (left) and Alek Szilagyi '14 (center) were exposed to 'future-present healthcare technology' during a spring 2014 internship at Merck & Co. The internships came together thanks to Pete Lega '85.

Recently, a colleague at Merck charged Pete Lega with a simple request: Go find young computer science majors who remind you of yourself 25 years ago. “So, I called Ben Coleman and asked, “Who do you recommend?” he explains. On the computer science professor’s endorsement, Myles Barros and Alek Szilagyi secured internships at Merck this past spring.

“Myles and Alek have had an opportunity to craft future-present healthcare technology , and they have just eaten it up,” says Lega, director of emerging technology at Merck & Co.

That’s exactly the outcome Lega expected from Moravian students. “I think the quality of the program is fantastic,” he says. “The Moravian education is almost timeless in a way because students are given skills that translate well and that’s critical because our technology changes all the time. At Moravian, students are learning how to learn, collaborate and adapt. The liberal arts components they experience also provides a wonderful rounding out of their soft skills and holistic view of their work.”

Szilagyi enjoyed the opportunities to work with “groundbreaking technology” outside his Moravian classroom. “Merck has been incredible at providing an environment that is both challenging but forgiving,” he explains.

Barros credits Moravian for getting him ready for the real world, noting he never feels “overwhelmed” thanks to his preparation. “I feel my education at Moravian has prepared me extremely well for all of the challenges I will face once I leave college,” he says.

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