This excerpt is part of an article that included internships at the Gene Editing Institute and Chemours Discovery Lab. It was written by Tracey Bryant and Karen Roberts and published on UD Daily on June 14, 2022. You can read the full article here.
UD’s STAR Campus shines as a place for student internships
The University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus is sparking joint research projects between UD and a number of companies that reside on the 272-acre site where a Chrysler auto assembly plant once stood. Clean energy, biopharmaceuticals, sustainable materials, and financial technology (fintech) are just a few areas being explored.
And that’s not all. Alongside these collaborations, student internship programs are taking shape. And that’s a big win for both the University and its students, and for companies struggling to recruit top talent in a still-hot hiring market.
“This is the toughest hiring market I’ve seen,” said David LaRoche, managing partner for U.S. operations at Predictive Analytics Group. The company is headquartered in the 10-story Tower at STAR, which USA Today highlighted in a 2019 roundup of “amazing” university and college buildings.
“But the University of Delaware is a great recruiting pool for us,” LaRoche said. “We know students come out of UD prepared, with a certain skill set and mentality to do the job.”
Business analytics on the rise at Predictive Analytics Group
Predictive Analytics Group (PAG) analyzes data in complex ways and breaks it down into easy-to-understand formats to identify key business trends and provide recommendations to improve their clients’ businesses.
A proud Blue Hen, LaRoche is a co-owner of the company with CEO Stephen Hoops and Chief Data Analytics Officer Dee Ridgeway. All three are former classmates and graduates of the Class of 1998 in UD’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. The company employs 25 people, and 40% are UD graduates, LaRoche said.
“By working with student interns 10 to 12 hours a week for a year or more, almost in a part-time employee model, we get to assess their strengths and opportunities,” LaRoche said. “But their UD education comes first. That is the priority.”
Carson Furci interned with the company over the past year and a half, working on projects ranging from developing the company website to learning the Structured Query Language (SQL) used in database management. He graduated from UD in May with his bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and in mid-June started working full-time at the company as a marketing/business analyst.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here, and I already feel like I’m a member of the family,” said Furci, who is from Yorktown Heights, New York. “My boss has over 25 years of experience, and my goal is to just do the best I can and to learn as much as I can. Ever since I started working for my dad in seventh grade, I’ve always enjoyed putting in the work, growing, learning and becoming proficient at something.”
In addition to offering a student internship program, PAG’s leadership team mentors students in the Horn Entrepreneurship Program, which has been ranked again among the best in the nation. The company also recently established an endowed scholarship in business analytics for UD students.