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Signature Intern Program Sizzles in the Summer

Article by Dylan GerstleySeptember 27, 2018

IMG_8556_blogThe University of Delaware Horn Entrepreneurship Signature Internship Program is a specialized internship placement program for Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation (ENTI) majors. Horn Entrepreneurship leverages relationships and professional contacts across the country to match qualified students with partner organizations in special, innovative roles. 

“The Signature Internship Program is an exciting initiative that shows a strong demand for the skill sets ENTI majors bring to the table,” said Ted Foltyn, Horn Entrepreneurship adjunct faculty and Signature Internship Coordinator. “We had more positions than we had available students and we’ve received rave reviews from the students placed this summer.” 

Foltyn screens organizations interested in ENTI students to find appropriate intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial opportunities and then matches them up with student candidates. He then serves as a dedicated resource and guide for students as they begin their journey into the professional world.

“The screening process is rather involved, and for good reason: this isn’t an intern who gets coffee, this is a match that delivers through the entrepreneurial process,” said Foltyn. “I had regular check-in calls with the students just to make sure the internship was organized and managed well. I also provided the students with concrete tips and advice on how to act and perform within a professional environment, something many of them saw for the first time.”

Andrew Cercena, Class of 2021, learned on the job at the Buccini-Pollin Group with Matt Lombardi, Class of 2019. The ENTI students were tasked with bettering Wilmington through the use of a golf cart taxi service dubbed WilminGo.

“After getting connected to BPG through Ted, we were told that we would be starting a company and to present a feasibility report to determine if the business was legally, financially and physically viable,” said Andrew with a smile. “We were really thrown into the task.”

The two students worked hard to find their bearings, learning through experience while trying new things as frequently as possible. 

“We were given all of the resources and support to succeed from BPG,” said Matt, explaining the work environment. “Ted helped us maximize the value of the internship by creating a small community of interns who could help each other by sharing experiences.”

WilminGo progressed enough to have a soft launch at the end of the summer, with full support from BPG. 

“The problem solving skills and processes we’ve learned from Horn really made it possible to tackle such a complex and exciting opportunity,” explained Cercena. “It’s been a phenomenal learning experience.”

Lauren Graupman, Class of 2020, was placed in a strategic planning position at Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) in Chicago, Illinois. Lauren worked in the rapidly growing consulting department of JSSI, contributing key ideas to an evolving service.

“The culture at JSSI is simply amazing,” said Lauren. “Beyond enjoying what I was doing, I felt like I really had an impact in the department I was in. I worked with insurance companies and banks to find clients cost savings that would result in savings for the insurance company as well.”

Lauren’s biggest project was an in depth market analysis of the aviation industry over the last 20 years. The ENTI student helped improve marketing collateral, pricing strategies, pitch decks and case studies, while also proposing a new service offering.

“JSSI provided a safe environment to innovate and present new ideas that I was able to get feedback on and grow from. The Horn ethos directly helped me go through the entrepreneurial process of finding solutions to complex problems.” 

Scott Sherin, an ENTI and Finance double major, and Chris Quinoy, Class of 2020, worked to develop improved and consistent branding for the niche enterprise asset management firm Nuvolo. The recently established firm sells software to help companies make more informed decisions about the maintenance and use of mission critical devices. 

“My experience at Nuvolo was so eye opening and such a change from college classes,” said Scott. “You really have to learn on your own, as opposed to the classroom where there’s established pacing and the comfort of the syllabus.”

The pair were tasked with refreshing the company website as well as improving the marketing content surrounding the product and website. They also helped create a competitor news feed that would automatically populate with news and updates from competing firms.  

“I really learned how to become more resourceful and find indirect solutions to problems,” said Scott. “Buying into the entrepreneurial mindset helped me perform and get tasks done.”

The Horn Entrepreneurship Signature Internship Program has received excellent reviews from partner organizations and continues to provide students with advanced opportunities to learn, grow and succeed. The program is currently open to Entrepreneurship & Technology Innovation majors who have completed their freshman year. Those interested can contact Ted Foltyn via email at tjfoltyn@udel.edu for more information.

 

About Horn Entrepreneurship

Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world. 

Topics: future of work, careers, enrichment, community