Westminster College Economics and Business Department Hosted Internship Strategy Panel and Alumni Networking Event

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College Department of Economics and Business hosted informational panels and networking opportunities on campus in September.

Six economics and business students were members of the internship strategy panel. They shared information on their recent successful internship experiences, including how they obtained their internships, expectations versus the actual experiences, and future employment opportunities that came with the internships.

"A good internship will put you in the driver's seat and ask you to drive using what you know. From there you find out what you're good at and what you need to improve on," said Harry Bittle, who was a panelist and the moderator. "Telling others about your internship experience not only gives them better insight on how to obtain a good internship, but it also builds confidence by letting them know they're not alone in the process.

"There's a lot of talent here at Westminster. Emphasizing the importance of internship experience allows students to spread that talent to outside of the academic realm and into the real world," continued Bittle.

Bittle, a senior financial economics major, is a son of Robert and Marianne Bittle of Sicklerville, N.J., and a graduate of Winslow Township High School.

"An internship is important because in this competitive job market hands-on experience and being able to differentiate yourself from other students and job seekers is important," said student Travis Kelly. "It's always great to hear others talk not only about their internship experience, but also how they were able to attain that internship and the lessons learned. I really wanted to share my experience in France with others to drive home the point that fostering relationships and obtaining contacts throughout the business community via an internship can ultimately benefit your career after graduation." 

Kelly, a senior business administration major, is a son of Timothy and Sharon Kelly and a graduate of Wilmington Area High School.

Other students who shared their internship experiences included: Chelsea Lyngarkos, a junior business administration major, a daughter of Anthony and Dawna Lyngarkos and a graduate of North East High School; Alexandria Ott, a senior accounting major, a daughter of Timothy and Chrystal Ott of Quincy, Ill., and a graduate of Bethel Park High School; August Santillo, a senior business administration major, a son of August and Kimberly Santillo of Mercer and a graduate of Briar Woods High School; and Thomas Turnbull, a senior financial economics major, a son of Scott and Marta Turnbull of Sewickley and a graduate of Avonworth High School.

Nearly three dozen alumni and professionals from the fields of economics and business were in attendance to network with students and to participate in panel sessions covering the fields of accounting/finance, humanities, human resources, business administration, and entrepreneurship. 

"Establishing a long-term relationship with professionals in your field is one of the most helpful things you can do as an undergraduate," said Dr. Daniel Fischmar, professor of economics and business. "This event helps students begin to establish these relationships. Participating in this event were recent alumni who have had success in a wide range of organizations and who can assist students in getting started in their careers."

Alumni in attendance were: Corey Altman `10, Carbis Walker/Opis Asset Management; Sam Becherer `13, Schneider Downs; Michael Cercone `12, First Niagara; Anthony Colwell '08, Travelers; Ben Gandolfi `12, Ernst & Young; Michael Gorman `12, Cornell Law/Jones Day; Jordan Hinds `06, UPMC; Annette Kosmowski `95, COO at Carbis Walker; Sherris Moreira `97, Rivers at Steel; Ben Nelson '06, Moody's Coporation; Christie Grewe Nelson '06, Rutgers University/DIMACS; Erin Palko `97, UPMC; Kim Pavilonis '12; Phil Petraglia `83; Pittsburgh Life Sciences; Lee Scott `07, CCO & Garfield Farm; Eric Shumaker `13, Steelite; Brad Steines `05, UPMC; Pat Sylves `12, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics; Julia Warhola `13, Bank of New York Mellon; and Kevin Winner `13, graduate student.

Additional professional in attendance included: Westminster College President Dr. Richard H. Dorman; Ryan Duchene, Deloitte; Megan Eaton, Ohio Valley General; Kyle English, Community Connections; Richard Epstein from Ekker, Kuster, McConnell, and Epstein; Dr. David Goldberg, Westminster associate professor of philosophy; Dr. Russell Martin, Westminster College professor of history; Kathie Nelson, Forum Health; Tom Nelson, Ameriprise; Kathleen Price, Mission of Love; Dustin  Stiver, Sprout Fund; and Dr. Jane Wood,  vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College.

The panels and networking opportunities were organized by Fischmar and Ben Nelson `06.

Contact Fischmar at 724-946-7162 or email for additional information.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.


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