Gilbane Internship Success Story

Alia Sasa '18

Johnston, RI



Human Resources Management



Gilbane, Corporate Human Resources Intern


Hired Upon Graduation

JWU students does Sun Devils internship

What is most import is that you research the company values and corporate culture and feel as though they match your own personal beliefs

Company Profile

Gilbane started as a small carpentry business in 1873 that flourished through a hard-earned reputation for quality and dedication to excellence. As a global integrated construction and facility management services firm, their clients entrust them to deliver the projects that will build their futures. Forbes ranks Gilbane as the 111th largest privately held company in the US with annual revenue reported at $3.9 billion.


What did you do?

I worked on a variety of projects. Some tasks I completed included a benchmarking project in which I researched onboarding and orientation practices of competitors. This information will be used to help identify trends being used to reduce turnover in new hires, and support their integration into company culture. I updated the new hire survey responses in the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) which helps Gilbane manage company talent and determine areas their employees have the most expertise in.

In addition, I worked with Talent Management data to assist in workforce planning practices such as succession planning and forecasting emerging leaders’ future positions. Other tasks included an electronic document conversion project, which required comprehensive auditing of physical personnel files using the Self Service application.

What did you learn?

Learning how to navigate through a company’s data warehouse, run analytical reports, and upload information is not something that can be learned in a classroom setting. Through my internship, I was exposed to how a HRIS gathers, stores, and organizes information. Although there are thousands of software and systems used for benefits administration, onboarding, self-service, or training and development, all the programs offer essentially the same tools and process information similarly; therefore, my newly acquired HRIS skills will be invaluable. Learning how to work in a team environment was very rewarding, and I was grateful to be able to actively participate and have my contributions be recognized as those of an equal member.

Advice for Others

I recommend registering for your Career Management course during your junior year because the resume and cover letter assignment and the creation of a “LinkedIn” profile were extremely helpful. This course will help you at the very beginning in conducting a job search, all the way to the final steps of interviewing for a position. If you wait until your last term to take this course, you will miss out on being able to use all of the great resources provided to you.

Want more? Visit > jobs & internships > find an internship to learn more about the importance and how to apply for internship. This is a starting point. To learn more see an experiential education coordinator.

Starting Her Career Path As a Freshman

Now a sophomore, Allie Nault a Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management major shares her first year experience at JWU:

As I was growing up, I always knew that I wanted to own my own business.  I was not sure what kind of business until I got my first job as a treat maker at Dairy Queen.  I loved it, and found my passion.  My dream was to ultimately own a number of fast food restaurants, and my first step towards this goal was to study Hospitality with an emphasis on Restaurant and Beverage Management.  I considered UNLV, the Rosen School of Hospitality, the University of Denver, and Johnson & Wales University.  

I have a learning disability - an auditory processing disability which is a form of dyslexia. Although I have learned to compensate for it over the years, I wanted a school with small classes where I knew my professors and they knew me.  But what was most important to me was that I have the opportunity for internships since I learn best by doing.  After researching the best hospitality programs in the country, I ultimately chose Johnson & Wales University because of the outstanding experiential education opportunities available thanks to the Experiential Education & Career Services Office.

I definitely chose the right school! The number of internships and job opportunities available at Johnson & Wales University is phenomenal. Career Services not only has the connections to draw countless amazing national companies who are actively recruiting JWU students, but they also prepare the students through mock interview prep, resume building, professional headshots, “elevator” speech practice, and social media exposure such as LinkedIn to ensure that you present yourself in the best way possible.

I was a freshman and only a few weeks into my first term when my Contemporary Business professor had us write about our ultimate professional goal.  We were told to dream big.  I wrote about owning five fast food franchises.  After reading what I wrote, my professor approached me and told me that my goal was fine, but that college was a time to “spread my wings” and to truly explore the other opportunities in the hospitality industry before committing to one plan.  She introduced me to the staff in the Experiential Education & Career Services Office, and that same week I attended a presentation by Hilton Worldwide that they had arranged.  The presentation was extremely eye-opening, and I was eager to apply for a one week externship with Hilton.

The completed application and resume were due to Hilton the next day and I had neither of these. I will never forget running into career services and having them help me with the submission process and resume building… literally overnight! Even though I was only a freshman, they worked with me so I could try to obtain my dream externship after only one term of college!  

I then heard from Hilton Worldwide that they wanted to interview me.  I worked with career services on my interview skills, and because of the practice, felt very confident during my interview.  I did not end up getting the one week externship. However, because of their magic and support, I was offered a 10 week paid summer internship with Hilton Worldwide at their Riverside New Orleans location!

I committed to Hilton Worldwide for the ten-week internship, but now I am hooked on all the opportunities that are available to me through the Experiential Education & Career Services office.  I have attended numerous presentations by nationwide companies who are actively seeking JWU students.  I have spent hours at their career fairs where there are so many companies recruiting that I did not have time to meet all of them.

I have gone from being fixated on having fast food franchises to now having my eyes so opened that I am overwhelmed by all the exciting possibilities out there.  Do I want my next internship with  the Kraft Group (a/k/a the New England Patriots!), the Breakers in Palm Beach, Capital Grille, or should I stay right in Rhode Island with the Newport Restaurant Group? Whoever thought my greatest dilemma would be deciding which internship to accept!  

Thanks to career services, even as a freshman, the opportunities have been innumerable. It is going to be an exciting four years!

Allie Nault
Restaurant, Food & Beverage Management '20
National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) - Secretary 

Student Shares Her Experience at JWU Sustainable Investing Forum

Pauline P. Saintil ’18  

Major: Finance 

From: Boston MA

Pauline P. Saintil ’18

May 4th was a great day to be a JWU College of Business student! The Finance and Investment Academy (FIA) and Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS) hosted a major forum centered around aspects of Sustainable Investing.  This included focus on ESG, which is an acronym for environmental, social, and governance.


A dynamic panel included industry professionals from Hasbro, PepsiCo, Ecolab, Johnson & Johnson, Bank Rhode Island and Ernest Young.  Students walked-away learning what companies are doing in efforts to be more sustainable and why investors look for companies who make this a priority.

As a finance major, a major take-away for me from the forum was that these companies were really passionate about their ESG efforts.  For example, Hasbro, chosen as the top company for amazing ESG efforts by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, is also a leader when it comes to gender diversity in the workplace.

It’s a good feeling to know when I graduate and go into the workforce, that I can work for a company that is socially and environmentally conscious.

This resonates with me in relation to the US government’s decision to drop out of the Paris Accord.  There are numerous cities, states, employers and employees acting on their own to make sure they keep the higher environmental standards outlined in this accord as a priority.  This shows we can all make an impact!


Highlights included the panelists’ perspective on how –

  • important impact and sustainability investing is
  • I can be strategic in buying products from companies with a sustainable focus
  • I can choose sustainable-minded organizations as future employers
  • I can invest in sustainable company 401K mutual funds once I’m employed.  

It’s so empowering to realize you can choose to invest in companies that are actually giving back and making a difference in the world. Now more than ever, it is important that we, even as students, take the initiative to engage in environmentally sustainable activities.   And I plan to do so!

Summer Internship Turns into Management Trainee Opportunity

joe esposito 17.jpg

Joe Esposito '17
Chester, NJ

Major: Human Resources Management '17 Masters in Business Administration '18

Internship: Kohl's Management Intern

Hired Upon Graduation:  
Store Management Trainee

"Kohl’s took me in with open arms and taught me
so much about their business."

Company Profile
Headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating 1,162 stores in 49 states, Kohl’s is America’s largest department store chain by the number of stores. In 1998, it entered the S&P 500 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500. The chain was the 20th-largest retailer in the U.S. in 2013 in terms of revenue.

What did you do?
I had an amazing opportunity as a store management intern. I was placed at the store level learning the big box store operations of the business, and was fortunate to learn all aspects of the day-to-day operations. This included logistics, employee development, visuals, cash wrap, customer engagement, and maximizing customer experiences.

What did you learn?
My most exciting experience was learning and being able to participate at the store level as an E3 which is the ‘Manager on Duty’. E3 stands for “Every Customer, Every Store, Every Time.” Some of my responsibilities during this assignment were making sure that every customer had the best experience possible from the moment they walked through our doors through to their purchase. I truly enjoyed working with the customers, solving their purchasing needs, and making sure the store ‘nuts and bolts’ were working in sync to ensure a seamless day.

Some of the key skills I developed included the ability to communicate with patience with customers, associates, and even the executive management team with ease and professionalism. I gained insight on creative problem solving and the energy needed to develop associates on my team.

Getting the opportunity to run a department was huge for me. My fellow intern and I were able to drive results by making the department flow better through strategic product placement.

I chose Kohl’s because I saw an opportunity to expand my knowledge, and be immersed in their culture that focuses on the customer and their store associates. I’m glad I had this experience and can’t wait to begin my career with them!

Advice for Others
I learned about Kohl’s through a round table hosted by Experiential Education & Career Services. After learning more about the company and their culture, I knew I wanted to intern there. While on internship, I recommend taking the time to embrace and explore new opportunities. It may just be the start of your career; like it is for me!

Other Successes with DECA
Joe has been elected as the executive vice president of Collegiate DECA at the recent International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California. Congratulations, Joe! Read more about the newly elected team.

Inspired to create your own Internship Success Story? Contact Experiential Education & Career Services to discuss internship.

Making the Most of a Career Fair


Susan Sunita Kuruvilla is a May 2017 MBA candidate and Graduate Assistant in Experiential Education & Career Services. She is currently the President of the Graduate Student Association and graduate student representative on the University Curriculum Committee. Prior to attending JWU, Susan received her undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, India and has four years experience working in advertising. During her time at agencies like Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Stirred Creative, Susan managed global clients and led the team on an award winning campaign.

Susan Sunita Kuruvilla is a May 2017 MBA candidate and Graduate Assistant in Experiential Education & Career Services. She is currently the President of the Graduate Student Association and graduate student representative on the University Curriculum Committee. Prior to attending JWU, Susan received her undergraduate degree in Economics from St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata, India and has four years experience working in advertising. During her time at agencies like Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and Stirred Creative, Susan managed global clients and led the team on an award winning campaign.

Like many of you, I’m entering the home stretch. My time at JWU is quickly coming to a close as I study for Winter term finals, plan my Spring internship, and prepare for graduation in May!

It’s a lot to think about knowing the real world is knocking on your door. At the same time, I know that the experiences I’ve had at Johnson & Wales have prepared me for that ‘real world’. Here are some tips I picked up while working as a Graduate Assistant in Experiential Education & Career Services.

JWU students network at a career fair

JWU students network at a career fair

Before the Career Fair

One of the most underestimated steps in planning for a Career Fair is to Know Your Goal. And by that, we’re not talking about knowing that you want a job or an internship. Knowing your goal requires a deeper understanding of the way you want to feel when you leave the Career Fair.

In a room buzzing with the sounds of palpable excitement, nervousness and competition, making an impressive first impression on an employer can be a tall order. But you’d be surprised how simple forethought and planning can give you the outcome you’re hoping for!



A great place to start is to do some basic research on the employers that will be at the Career Fair. Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Log in to jwuLink
  2. Go to the Jobs & Internships tab
  3. Go to the Career Events section and click Register
  4. Go to the Career Events & Workshops tab on the menu at the top
  5. Select Career Fair from the Category drop-down
  6. Hit Search
  7. Select your Campus’ Event
  8. Select View Employers Attending

Research the employers that you’re interested in, and then prioritize the ones you will focus your attention on. Nothing dampens a Career Fair experience like bustling through the crowd without knowing what you’re looking for. A little research can go a long way!

JWU students speak to Hyatt employees at a career fair.

JWU students speak to Hyatt employees at a career fair.

At the Career Fair

Once you’re at the Career Fair, make the most of it. It isn’t often that employers gather for hours in a purposeful effort to meet students. Here are a few things you should do, if you want to leave with more than some cool giveaways!


Be mindful of your body language

In many ways, a career fair is a test of your social skills. Remember to introduce yourself confidently and shake hands with people you meet. Employers are almost always friendly and outgoing, so they’ll expect the same from you!


Ask good questions

Asking the right questions is a great way to show an employer that you did your research. Employers are just as impressed with the questions you pose, as well as your well-thought-out answers.



Don’t ask a question with the sole intention of sounding intelligent. Employers can see through that! Be genuinely interested and listen to what they’re saying. You could learn something you didn’t know, and they’ll be impressed with your mindset.


Bring Your Resume and Business Cards

Make sure that your resume is in good shape, and if you don’t have a business card yet - making one is a great investment! Business cards add an extra touch of personality to accompany your resume. Bring enough copies of both, so that you can leave a set with every employer that you meet.


Request Business Cards from Employers

An important part of going to the Career Fair is following up with the employers that you met. So, remember to ask them for their business cards too! This will show confidence, and will also help you send ‘thank you’ notes to the right people.

A little time and effort can easily turn into an opportunity that you might not have otherwise had. So don’t let a Career Fair overwhelm you. Instead, remember that leaving with what you wanted will take a little more than a great suit and resume!

Want more?

Visit > jobs & internships and make an appointment with a career advisor for more guidance.