EDA Internships Offer College Students Insight into NJ’s Vibrant Technology Ecosystem
EDA interns routinely interact with Technology and Life Sciences staff to get in-depth understanding of New Jersey's dynamic technology sector. (From left: Venture Associate Alec Tripodi, Venture Analyst Ed Atiyeh, Interns Pawel Tomczyk and Madison Uram, and Venture Analyst Madhavi Bhatia)
TRENTON (August 31, 2016) – Internships at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) this summer exposed two college juniors to the State’s robust technology ecosystem and gave them an in-depth understanding of how EDA programs encourage entrepreneurs to grow their companies within the Garden State.
Summer internships offer college students multi-faceted, integrated learning opportunities designed to prepare them for a fast-paced work environment. This includes interaction with peer mentors, networking events, and workshops, which focused on a range of topics covering the New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Program, the State’s Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer (NOL) Program, the Edison Innovation Fund, and venture fund investments. The technology-focused internships are based at the EDA’s Commercialization Center for Innovative Technologies (CCIT) in North Brunswick.
“New Jersey entrepreneurs often cite the State’s deep pool of talented individuals as one of the main reasons to choose to grow their companies in the State,” EDA Chief Executive Offer Melissa Orsen said. “The internship enables students to see the wide variety of potential career opportunities available to them within New Jersey after graduation.”
Interns Pawel Tomczyk and Madison Uram both found this summer’s experience beneficial.
“The EDA offers a plethora of amazing programs to help grow New Jersey’s economy,” Tomczyk said. “I saw this internship as a way to combine my passion for finance and the markets with my love for community service. I enjoyed working directly with the businesses that were applying to the EDA’s program because it provided me with a deep understanding of how biotechnology and technology companies operate.”
Tomczyk is majoring in economics and mathematics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. During his freshman year, he was the finance captain of the Rutgers Dance Marathon, and the following year he was the marathon’s Assistant Director of Technology. Tomczyk previously interned at Tele-Data Solutions in Union. He graduated from Linden High School.
Madison Uram attends Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics, where she majors in finance and chemistry. Uram made the Dean’s List for the past three semesters. During her sophomore year, she participated in externships at three major financial firms – EY (formerly Ernst & Young), Deloitte, and Barclays. She graduated from Hamilton High West, where she was the treasurer of the Science National Honors Society and vice president of the school’s National Honor Society.
“My recommendation would be to ask as many questions as possible because everyone around you wants to help you reach your career goals,” Uram said when asked what advice she would give students considering applying for the EDA internship. “CCIT houses a diverse group of people coming from many different backgrounds. I was able to learn something from each person I spoke to throughout the summer, and putting each and every piece together has really allowed me to grow.”
A 2015 summer internship led to full-time employment for EDA Venture Associate Alec Tripodi. Tripodi joined the EDA full time shortly after graduating from Rutgers University this past May with a degree in finance and a minor in economics. As a venture associate, he works closely with EDA venture officers in business development activities and portfolio management. Tripodi is also involved in reviewing technology-led incentives, due diligence activities for Edison loans, and providing entrepreneurial support to the technology and life sciences community. Prior to joining the EDA full time, Tripodi also interned with Automotive Resources International (ARI) and Billtrust.
@NJEDATech spoke with Tripodi about his internship and his experience with the EDA:
Why did you choose to apply to the internship at the EDA?
I chose to apply to the internship at the EDA because I was intrigued by its mission to grow and retain jobs and stimulate the NJ economy. The opportunity to support entrepreneurs interested me as well. I consider myself to be a “techie,” so working with technology and biotechnology startups was an exciting opportunity to me. Further, being a New Jersey resident for my entire life and being a Rutgers student at the time, I am rooted in New Jersey and excited by the amazing things happening in our state.
What did you find most beneficial about your internship?
The internship allowed me to exercise some of the skills and knowledge that I gained in the classroom. My experience at the EDA also gave me real-world understanding in working with a team of diverse and talented individuals, meeting deadlines, and sharpening both my soft and technical skills. Plus, my manager Kamran Hashmi was a great mentor and helped me develop my professional skills along the way.
What would you recommend for students thinking about applying to the EDA Internship program?
I would absolutely recommend that they apply! If you’re looking for a challenging and fulfilling work experience the EDA is a great place to be. I would encourage students who are detail-oriented, team players who can manage multiple projects at once to consider an internship at the EDA. We work hard and have fun!