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Spring 2021 Externship Exchange Lightning Talks

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On April 27, 2021, after weeks of hard work, students representing nearly every MBS academic concentration displayed the semester-long fruits of their labors during colorful and interactive Zoom presentations as participants in Rutgers Master of Business and Science (MBS) Externship Exchange program. 

Addressing a large virtual audience comprised of faculty, fellow students, and corporate mentors, externs discussed how they applied their advanced, science-based knowledge to tackle a range of real-world challenges for companies representing a spectrum of industries, including: Bayer Pharmaceuticals, F&S Produce Company, Inc.Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)ConrailColgate-PalmoliveInfragistics, and many more organizations and entities, including the esteemed Journal of Information Architecture. 

This is a picture collage of the large, virtual crowd that turned out to hear the MBS Externships Exchange presentations on April 27, 2021
A large virtual crowd turned out to hear MBS externs discuss their complex, semester-long assignments for a wide range of companies.

Through Rutgers MBS Externship Exchange, students are matched to corporate-sponsored small projects in teams ranging from two to nine students—they then take a project from start to finish. All teams are directed by both an MBS academic advisor and a mentor from the organization to which they have been assigned. This unique opportunity allows students to gain real, hands-on work experience at some of the world’s leading corporations while also receiving structured, specialized instruction on topics including leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and giving effective presentations.  

This semester, externs applied their brainpower and out-of-the-box, design-thinking skillsets to a variety of projects and challenges: they developed a new logo design for a beta website, conducted market research and provided strength/weakness/opportunity/threat (SWOT) analyses. They learned about the pharmaceutical supply chain, how to use Tableau software for data visualization, determined technological feasibility for biotechnology, and created a taxonomy for a company to use on future genres while expanding social media presence for the company. 

Intensive professional development workshops are a hallmark of the program, which continues to grow each semester—both in number of participating students and the number of companies requesting industry partnerships says Christie Nelson, Ph.D., MBS Externship Exchange director. 

Students analyzed data on topics ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip integration to using application programming interface (API) calls in Python for data retrieval. Each project was mentored by both an industry expert and an MBS academic advisor—including assistant directors Karen Bemis, Ph.D., and Abbe Rosenthal, MA, PCC, and advisors Rupa Misra, Ed.D., and Lori Dars— Associate Director of Economic Development and Innovation for the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). 

“Our partnership with Rutgers Master of Business and Science Externship Exchange has provided BMI with a fresh-eyed outside consultant’s perspective on several ongoing projects that they’ve focused on for us,” says David Levin, senior vice president of licensing at Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) “The students’ work enabled us to dive further into these efforts, yielding unique insights and work products that we’ve integrated.” 

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.  

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 Christie Nelson at  cnelson@dimacs.rutgers.edu. 

Riya Patel 
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