One of the many unique features of the Rutgers Professional Science Master’s (PSM) program is our abundant externship exchange program. A highlight of experiential learning, the externship exchange program partners students with corporations to gain first-hand experience in their fields. On December 6th and December 13th, 2022, Externship Exchange Director Christie Nelson, Ph.D., and her team of Advisors hosted the Fall 2022 Externship Lighting Talk presentations. 

What is an externship?  

Externships offer students an interdisciplinary learning experience, culminating in a final presentation in front of MBS students, faculty, mentors, and other industry professionals. They provide students with hands-on problem-solving experience in fields relating to the PSM concentrations and business, finance, and marketing areas. Externs work under the mentorship and guidance of a professor and external company mentor in teams in a remote setting, and each team has a member serve as lead extern.  

We began offering externships to promote the personal growth of students. Externships benefit students who may be learning new areas within their field, exploring career options, gaining skills as experienced students, or even exploring new industries.  

We’re Growing! 

The externship exchange program began in 2016 with just 13 students. However, it has since grown due to student interest. The fall 2022 semester program included: 

200 students  

46 student project teams  

31 partner organizations 

Externs are students from a variety of areas including the PSM program, Undergraduate School of Engineering, Engineering Honors Academy, Undergraduate Honors College, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, New Jersey Big Data Alliance, and more.  

In total, we’ve worked with 119 unique partner organizations and had over 1,500 total student spots. 

The Lightning Round 

It’s difficult to compress a semester-long project into a short presentation, but each team successfully gave a lightning-fast, full-scope report of their project. After introducing team members, mentors, and advisors, each team discussed these main elements: 

  • Background. Introduction to the company sponsoring the team and background.  
  • Problem Statement. The problem each team wanted to solve, including clearly defined goals. 
  • Concept Map. The team’s approach to their project. 
  • Timeline.  Project timeline, including milestones 
  • Results.
  • Insights and takeaways. Common takeaways included the importance of teamwork, communication, project management, and learning new skills—especially learning new technology and software.  

This year, students partnered with organizations such as Colgate-Palmolive, BASF, Princeton Health Department, Bentley Labs, ECPAT, Transpires, Union County, Kentucky, and more. Projects examined a variety of problems, including how to effectively electrify the entire Rutgers’ fleet, launching a website to bring awareness to human trafficking, providing consumers with the latest and most advanced cleansing products, and more. 

The audience took part in this event, voting for the teams that had the best slides and overall presentation.  

The night ended as Dr. Nelson and Advisors announced the best lead externs and awarded MBS fellowships to several students.  


Slide with images of MBS students   Slide with images of MBS students

The MBS Externship Exchange is open to students of all concentrations during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. To learn more about externships, visit the MBS Externship Exchange program webpage or register for one of our informational webinars.  

Author(s): Julianna Rossano Published on: 03/22/2023
Tags: Externship, MBS Externship Exchange, experiential learning