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Striking Twice, Brilliantly: Externship "Lightning Talks" —Round 2

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On December 14, in the second and final round of the Fall 2021 MBS Externship Exchange "Lightning Talks,”  25 multidisciplinary teams—to a virtual audience of nearly 200 students, faculty, staff, advisors, and corporate mentors—discussed how they applied their advanced knowledge of science and business to solve wide-ranging, real-world company challenges.

Growing exponentially each semester, the MBS Externship Exchange is a great success story—quadrupling in size from fall 2019 to fall 2021, and, in March 2020, proceeding full-speed and uninterrupted when COVID-19 forced all externship participation (and all learning at Rutgers University) online midway through the spring semester. 

 Christie Nelson, Ph.D., (pictured at top right) has led the Externship Exchange since its official inception in 2017—when the program consisted of one advisor (Nelson), four students, one project, and one partner organization. 

Now, more than 170 graduate and undergraduate students participate each semester and are advised by 15 adjunct faculty members and supported by eight student workers—there are now 95 corporate partners, and the number is steadily growing. 

Open to all MBS students, the Externship Exchange—which pairs students to company-sponsored small projects—is an excellent way for students to gain work experience in their intended careers or investigate a different career path altogether. Projects are completed through multidisciplinary teamwork—which not only yields creative solutions via collective and disparate perspectives, but which is an accurate reflection of the real-world move toward a multidisciplinary problem-solving approach.

Teams presenting spanned a range of industries, with companies including the following: 

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

PSM Editorial Staff
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