Posted by: rcieri | August 2, 2009

Elon in N.Y. gives taste of city living, students have mixed reviews

by Rachel Cieri, June 23, 2009

When rising senior Andrew Quay enrolled in Elon’s newest satellite program, he expected to get a taste of the New York business experience in an internship at a corporate office. What he and three other students got, though, was more like a school project to work on from their dorm rooms.

“I’m not allowed to say I’m an intern for the company because our adviser at Bloomberg did not go through human resources, so we aren’t technically employed by Bloomberg,” Quay said.  “Additionally, my group is not working in the Bloomberg office for space reasons, so we aren’t getting a real idea of what the office life is like.”

Elon in New York, a new Summer Session I program geared toward business majors, was designed to give students the experience of working and living in the city through an internship and professional development course.

Quay said the experience is not living up to his expectations. Now, he said he wishes he’d pursued other options.

“I’m from Richmond, Va. and I was struggling to find an internship related to my major,” Quay said of his decision to participate in the program. “I’m not really getting much from the internship, and I probably could have found something more challenging and task-oriented at home or around Elon if I had starting looking for internships last fall.”

has had a similar experience with his internship for Credit Suisse.

“It is basically a report about Sovereign Wealth Funds,” Walker-Drennan said. “It feels more like a school project because its purpose is to educate ourselves about them, not so much for Credit Suisse’s benefit.”

Walker-Drennan and the other students assigned to Credit Suisse are also working remotely, meeting with the Elon alumnus who set up the internship only on the first and last days.

But the experience isn’t all bad. No matter what their internships are like, Quay said he and the other students still get to experience New York culture and living from their Upper East Side Manhattan dorm rooms.

“The living situation is perfect,” senior Melissa Mastropolo said. “The housing has a hotel-type set-up, and the rooms are similar to a college dorm— two beds, two desks, two closets, refrigerator, microwave and full bathroom.  The rooms are air conditioned, which is a plus for spending summertime in New York.”

Mastropolo’s experience, unlike Quay’s, is turning out to be everything she’d hoped for. Interning for the fragrance and flavoring company Symrise with five other students, the marketing major is soaking up city culture. She said her favorite memory was her first day on the job.

“I loved the early morning rush of people on the subways, and I love the Symrise office,” she said. “The office is clean and beautiful and the people couldn’t be friendlier.”

In addition to their internships, students have been exploring the city’s museums, parks and night life. The program includes a few extracurricular activities for students to attend, such as a walking tour of New York’s financial district and a networking event with Elon alumni who live and work in the city.

“It was nice to meet younger people working in the city and learn about their work experiences,” Quay said.

These activities served as part of a professional development course that students attended to build their skills in areas like resume preparation, interviewing and business etiquette.


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