Unique University Assets and Experiences
“Students are eligible for internships their first year, which is not typically the case at other institutions.”
By the time Matthew Feeney ’15 applied for the Pfizer Professional Development Program in Finance during his senior year, the Jersey City native had amassed a distinctive resumé. As a freshman, Feeney and a business classmate won a national marketing competition. The following year, he landed a fellowship for first-generation college students. He went on to intern at Lehman Brothers in Jersey City, was selected for a summer management training program at Wal-Mart and wrote his honors thesis on the economic implications of virtual bitcoin.
He credits these experiences to relationships formed at Saint Peter’s University. “Early on, I got involved with professors and administrators,” he said. “They knew who I was—as an individual, not just as a student—and helped me connect with the right opportunities.” Feeney, along with Muhammad Shaoour Mir ’15 and Tamara Encalada ’15, were among 15 students selected last May for the highly competitive Pfizer externship, which is coordinated by the Independent College Fund of New Jersey. Feeney was hired by Pfizer as a finance associate in August. The applied learning, internships and leadership development he experienced at Saint Peter’s are available to all students.
“We engage students in career planning from the onset,” said Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs & Assessment Mildred Mihlon, Ph.D. “Students are eligible for internships their first year, which is not typically the case at other institutions.” With Pathways to Distinction, opportunities for experiential learning will be identified and enhanced, making what is currently a widespread practice among students ubiquitous.
The new Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning on the first floor of Dinneen Hall establishes a central facility for traditional undergraduates and adult learners to secure opportunities for practical experience through internships, service learning and part-time jobs. The Center will also create workshops and seminars and provides an ideal location for on-
campus recruiting. The initiative is also unique in that many career opportunities are grounded in the Jesuit ideal of service.
“It goes beyond resumé building,” stressed Dr. Mihlon. “We are preparing students for the world of work with a perspective that is consistent with our mission. We are preparing them for purposeful lives.”
The Starting Point
The Jesuit mission and identity of Saint Peter’s University is stronger as a result of VISION 2015. Ignatian principles such as cura personalis, magis and the lifelong commitment to be “men and women for others” inspired each strategic direction of Pathways to Distinction. These ideals form the greatest asset and promise offered to every student entering Saint Peter’s.
High Scores for Student Engagement
Collaborative learning, student-faculty interaction, enriching educational experiences and a supportive campus environment are indicators of student engagement, a key predictor of college success. According to the 2013 National Survey of Student Engagement,* Saint Peter’s outperformed peer institutions in several categories:
- 78 percent of seniors developed understanding of people of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, compared to 60 percent of peer institutions.
- 65 percent of seniors participated in a community-based project as part of a course, compared to 56 percent of peer institutions.
- 27 percent worked on a research project with a faculty member outside of a course, compared to 21 percent of peer institutions.
- Improve student learning experiences to enhance outcomes and engagement
- Enhance curriculum through innovation to respond to student needs and changing market demands
*A national survey administered every three years that measures student growth and engagement that
fosters learning and personal development.