Experiential Learning: Data Analysis and Mechanical Engineering | Macaulay Honors College

07/31/2018

Student and Alumni News

Seeing Classroom Learning in Real Life

“I’ve gotten a lot from Macaulay that I wouldn’t have gotten somewhere else,” said senior Nick Vitale. “But then, you get out what you put in.”

Nick’s co-op internship with ConEdison is the result of that blend of Macaulay’s unique opportunities with student initiative. Nick took advantage of the career development offices at both Macaulay and his home campus, College of Staten Island. He used their advice to network his way into his internship.

Nick, an engineering major, has been working for ConEd since June 2017. What started out as a summer internship turned into a year-round opportunity. He has worked with the utility’s Energy Services Department, notifying the group of technology and user interface enhancements.

“What I’m doing now is more computer science and data analytics than mechanical engineering,” Nick said. “It’s not my field, but it’s great experience. It also connects with a class I took last year on large-scale data analysis.”

Nick works four full days a week for ConEd, goes to class in the evenings, and studies on weekends. He also serves as Captain of the college’s Quidditch team, traveling to matches during the fall. When necessary, he said, ConEd will give him an extra day off so he can “study and sleep.”

“What I like best,” said Nick, “is when ConEd takes [interns] on field trips to sites they’re working on, like Hudson Yards. Seeing things like transformers and network protectors being installed—I’m seeing what I’m learning in class out in real life.”