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Real-World Experience at the World's Top Companies

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photo mosaic of 100 facesRutgers Master of Business and Science (MBS) Externship Exchange is a unique, experiential offering through which students are matched to corporate-sponsored small projects that they take from start to finish.Students can request projects directly related to their majors—allowing them to explore how their education applies to their intended careers—or they can select projects completely unrelated to their academic concentrations, which allows them to investigate different industries and career paths. 

On December 7, 2021—to a virtual audience of nearly 200 fellow students, faculty, staff, advisors, and corporate mentors—students participating in the Fall 2021 Externship Exchange discussed how they applied their integrated knowledge of science and business to solve wide-ranging, real-world challenges for companies representing a spectrum of industries, including:

Food Innovation:

Healthcare / Pharma / Biotech:

Logistics:

Nonprofits:

Entertainment:

Personal Care Products:

Tech / Tech Development:

​Each team was guided by both an MBS academic advisor (full team pictured below) and a mentor from the organization for which they worked. Each team also had a "Team Lead"—a student who serves as a lead project manager.  

flow chart of administrative team

 

The Externship Exchange is a win-win for both students and organizations: students gain hands-on work experience at some of the world’s leading corporations, and the organizations benefit from students’ out-of-the-box thinking and their application of classroom instruction to solve existing challenges or evaluate potential innovations—endeavors for which the company might not have the staff or bandwidth.  

All externs also receive structured, specialized instruction through intensive professional development workshops where they hone skills including leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and project presentation. 

Led by director Christie Nelson, Ph.D., the Externship Exchange has come a long way since its humble inception—starting with Nelson, four students, and one project/one partner organization. Currently, there are more than 170 masters and undergrad students per semester, advised by 15 adjunct faculty members, supported by eight student workers, working for more than 50 participating organizations. Moreover, from fall 2019 to fall 2021, the program has quadrupled in size.

Of course, the rigorous preparation for the end-of-semester presentations serves as its own experiential learning lesson, as students learn how to use data for storytelling, learn the essentials of effective presentations, and are constantly improving public speaking skills through practice. Students also learn data visualization skills, techniques to create compelling visual design, and how to put those elements together impactful presentations.

The MBS Externship Exchange opportunity is open to students of all majors during the fall, spring, and summer semesters. For students or companies interested in the program, please contact Dr. Nelson at  cnelson@dimacs.rutgers.edu

Author(s): 
PSM Editorial Staff
Published On: 
12/08/2021