Lerner graduate students seek personal and professional growth through internships

In this guest post, Queen Agboye, UD Lerner MBA student, shares her experience, as well as those of her classmates, about participating in the Lerner College’s Graduate Internship Program.

As a first year MBA student at the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and a business analytics major, I’d like to share my experiences as well as those of my classmates who are participating in Lerner College’s Graduate Internship Program(GIP), an elite program for full-time students.

“Lerner makes this opportunity available because it helps students get real-word experience in an industry setting while earning a stipend and tuition scholarship,” said Jill Pante, director of Lerner’s Career Services Center.

Many students in the program have interned with companies such as AAA, Christiana Care, Siegfried, Sallie Mae, DuPont and Barclays, and some have earned job offers through the internship positions.

My story
Writing and Marketing – Communications Team, Lerner College

I am attending the Lerner College’s MBA program because my career aspiration is to become one of the world’s leading entrepreneurial gurus, and to have an impact on organizations across multiple industries. My background is in accounting, and I worked in this industry for a time. However, I felt that earning an MBA would allow me to branch out and advance myself professionally. I chose UD in part because of its outstanding reputation, and the Lerner MBA program gives me the business acumen needed to thrive in a world defined by speed.

I was looking to get hands-on experience with marketing and communications, and was connected with an opportunity with the college’s communications team. This role is enhancing my public relations knowledge even more than I expected. Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is derived from being part of a phenomenal team that communicates the University’s message to people around the world. And the tuition support granted to me by the University for this internship relieves me from much financial stress, while allowing me to gain real-world experience.

Through my coursework, I am able to take an in-depth view of how companies operate, while developing core knowledge relevant to business management and leadership. I am also able to network with people who have similar drives to reach greater goals, which is indeed a prodigious advantage.

My fellow classmates are also on the way to fulfilling their goals. Read on for brief Q&As with some of them.


Liza Amatetti 
Event Planning – Dean’s Office, Lerner College

What made you decide to pursue your MBA?

Entering the general MBA program with a focus in strategic leadership was borne out of my undergraduate degree in hospitality. The program fits my personality, and I no longer feel like the unequipped professional I once was. It’s helped me find my footing in today’s marketplace. Also, being able to plan and direct events for the Lerner College and the MBA Student Association has helped me focus, gather experiences and put my skills to work.

What made you decide to go for the Lerner MBA program? 

The Lerner MBA is highly rated, and the program sells itself. UD has so many outstanding points, but specifically, the Lerner College is stellar. The MBA program prepares you for newer business challenges. My undergraduate program was foundational, but the MBA has enhanced my professional and networking skills, teaching me how to conduct myself in typical work environments.

What is your internship role, and how does this role fit into your career goals?

I’m an event designer at the Lerner College, working directly with the deputy dean to develop event ideas and manage special events for the college. My duties include all facets of event planning: recruiting participants, volunteers and managing event logistics. Currently I’m working on our tour guide/ambassador programs and project, which is a fantastic role that aligns perfectly with my vision.

What is your favorite thing about your role?

I love the autonomy I’ve received. Although I’m adept at following directives, that I am trusted to use my own creativity is absolutely mind-blowing. Seeing projects results I pioneered is very satisfying.

What are your post-MBA goals?

I would like to stay within the event industry and continue these types of projects. In time, I see myself being a chief executive director for an established company and managing it.


Reza Fakhrizadeh 
Credit and Risk Management – Sallie Mae

What made you decide to pursue your master’s degree?

I was looking to advance my career to the next level and I’ve always been interested in proactively managing regulatory risk across multiple jurisdictions in a single, end-to-end risk management environment.

What made you decide to go for the Lerner MBA program? 

The high ranking of the program greatly influenced my choice of UD along with its Graduate Internship Program, which is something I desperately needed. I have always known that I wanted to be in finance and I’m glad I could find the help, both within and outside classroom, with both professors and colleagues, who have helped me reach this level in my career and also enabled me to gather experiences on the way.

What is your internship role and how does this role fit into your career goals?

My role involves many functions aimed at analyzing and reducing risk associated with company assets. I have actually made my own working group and we have increased productivity overtime.

What are your post-MBA goals?

After my program here, I will venture into the job market and work for a reputable company for a few years. Then I will pursue a Ph.D. I’d like to do research and develop new ideas that will have a lasting impact in my field.

James Collier
Product Development – Spin-In, Office of Economic Innovation Partnership

What made you decide to go for the Lerner MBA program?

I chose UD after doing a cost analysis of the top 10 schools, their requirements, and comparing it to others with respect to the quality of education. Honestly, it’s a great program with the graduate internship program being a major plus. With cost being a factor for me, this program is outstanding.

What is your internship role and how does the work enhance your goals?

I work at the University of Delaware’s OEIP (the Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships). As a project manager, I work on the project called ‘SPIN IN’ where we give UD students tangible entrepreneurial experiences while simultaneously helping the region’s entrepreneurs enrich & commercialize innovations. We partner entrepreneurs developing early stage innovations with teams of University students who have the skills (technical, business, marketing, design, policy, etc.) to further develop the innovations and move them down the commercialization pathway. We work with businesses, securing government grants, and offering training programs to students in which they can work with local employers to create and sell unique products.

What are your post-MBA goals?

As to my future, I would love to work directly under the CEO of a smaller company in order to see how he/she operates and thereby gain firsthand experience. Ultimately, when I am ready, I do aspire to lead my own company.

What is your advice to potential or current students?

Greatness is not necessarily the school you go to (although I do think this is an excellent school). Rather, it is what you make of it. The whole point of learning, really, is pushing yourself and taking bold steps.

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