Interns in Action: A Look into Three Marist Student Internship Experiences
Natalie Garcia ’20, Rebecca Lopez ’21, and Tyler Rimaldi ’21, all obtained competitive summer internships that are helping them advance in their career paths.
October 24, 2019—Internships are a hallmark of a Marist education. In fact, 83 percent of Marist students complete at least one internship during their time at the College. We invite you to meet three Red Foxes who had extraordinary opportunities for experiential learning in their fields of study this past summer.
Natalie Garcia ’20: “An a-ha moment”
Natalie Garcia ’20 transferred to Marist last year from High Point University in North Carolina to be closer to her home in Westchester County, New York. A communication major, her initial goal was to pursue a career in sports communications. With this aim in mind, Garcia got some hands-on experience under her belt by working for Fantasy Sports Network in New York City. However, she soon realized that she might want to switch her focus. Garcia’s ambitions were clarified after a summer internship at Al Roker Entertainment, an award-winning production company in Manhattan. Garcia’s duties included researching the subjects or stories they were highlighting and being present during on-site filming and production. The experience helped her realize that entertainment was more her speed than sports. As she recalls it, “I remember sitting in my kitchen and looking up more things about Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas’ wedding in Las Vegas than about who was pitching for the New York Yankees game that night. That was kind of an ‘a-ha!' moment for me.” Garcia parlayed her experience at Al Roker Entertainment into a coveted internship at Entertainment Tonight, a popular entertainment news program. She is confident that the skills and contacts she’s acquiring throughout her internship experiences will help open new doors for her as she moves closer to graduation.
Rebecca Lopez ’21: “Meeting people from all over the world”
Rebecca Lopez ’21, a native of San Diego, California, has excelled during her Marist career. Majoring in applied mathematics with minors in economics and data science and analytics, Lopez has found her passion using mathematics to conduct high-level research. In summer 2018, Lopez participated in the prestigious Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. The REU program attracts top students in STEM from all over the country, giving them the opportunity to conduct research on a variety of subjects.
This past summer, Lopez received another REU to carry out research sponsored by the Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles. Says Lopez, “The application process was very intense, including meeting a minimum GPA and submitting two to three letters of recommendation.” Lopez applied to the “Research in Industrial Projects for Students” program; once she was accepted, and based on the strengths of her various team members, the team was sponsored by the Air Force Research Laboratory. Lopez and her colleagues focused their work on empirical parameter inference and attractor reconstruction on hydrogen-oxygen combustion for applications in chemical engineering for U.S. military research. Through her team’s research, Lopez gained experience not only in the field of applied mathematics but also in chemistry. She also made meaningful personal connections. “I definitely came out of this program with some very good friends. My best friend now is from Guatemala, and my other friend is from Ireland. This program was an amazing experience of meeting some of the best and brightest minds from all over the world—all the while learning about the subject I love.”
Tyler Rimaldi ’21: “The opportunities are right in front of you”
Tyler Rimaldi ’21, from Mahopac, New York, is committed to growing his skills in computer science and broadening his knowledge base. While his concentration is in software development, he also has minors in mathematics, philosophy, information technology, and information systems. As he was searching for colleges, Rimaldi recalls, “The computer science program is what really drew me to Marist. I didn’t want to go too far away; I enjoy being in college while still having the luxury of going home and seeing my family, but the computer science program is what caught my eye.” Rimaldi was accepted into the IBM-Marist Joint Study program the summer following his freshman year, which opened up a number of opportunities for him. The Joint Study, which dates back several decades, gives students access to cutting-edge technology and lets them apply what they are learning in the classroom to high-level faculty-sponsored research. Rimaldi’s work with the Joint Study program was extended into his sophomore academic year. During this internship, he and his team conducted research by developing and deploying a honeynet with the goal of collecting attack data. He also conducted research on ubiquitous computing environments by combining IBM Mobile Identity with Marist technology. Both research efforts were published in IEEE proceedings. Shortly after his research work, Rimaldi earned the opportunity to intern at IBM Poughkeepsie as a software developer with IzODA—specifically the zSpark team—for the summer following his sophomore academic year. This internship was extended into the current academic year. Rimaldi credits the College and its industry partnerships with opening doors for him: “What makes Marist so unique is that it is small, but you can really see the opportunities right in front of you.”