​Summer Experiences Both On And Off Campus

A look at what six RWU students did over their summer

Francesca Montemarano in front of an airplane
As part of her internship at Wheels Up, Montemarano's had the chance to visit different business locations that they partner with, including Bloomberg, Heliflite – a helicopter charter company in New York – and Teterboro Airport to learn about the planes there, including the King Air 350i which is exclusive to Wheels Up.
Juan Siliezar

BRISTOL, R.I. – Looking down from the top of the Bloomberg building in New York City, Francesca Montemarano '18 reflected on her summer which turned out to be one of the best hands-on learning experiences she's had as a Roger Williams student. Montemarano, who's enrolled in RWU's accelerated Master of Business Administration program, spent the summer in The Big Apple as an intern for Wheels Up, a private aviation company. That day, she was at the building as part of a team for a meeting with representatives from Bloomberg. The meeting was informative in seeing how two companies build relationships and collaborate. 

Montemarano's internship with Wheels Up gave her a 360-degree view of the company. Each week she was part of a different team, working with several department heads on various tasks and projects around the company. For example, one week Montemarano worked in the marketing department. Another week she was in partnerships and events. Continuing with the tour, she learned about the company's cutting-edge projects in the development department another week.

"The experience gave me the opportunity to learn all different aspects of a business," the 4+1 M.B.A. student said.

Montemarano wasn't alone in using her summer to expand her learning and prepare for life after graduation. Hundreds of RWU students discovered first-hand that summer, though a time to relax and unwind, is also the perfect moment to gain additional experience both inside and outside the classroom.

As summer ends and the fall semester begins, we look back at what summer looked like for five other RWU students:

  • Alicia Beauvais ’19, of North Attleboro, Mass., was one of nineteen RWU research fellows who presented at this year's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellows Conference. Beauvais worked to identify the species biodiversity and sequence the DNA of a red algal family (Rhodomelaceae) found in local waters, which will help scientists understand how these organisms are responding to climate change and other human-induced stressors. Her work will contribute toward a peer-reviewed article by RWU Professor Brian Wysor, who is leading the research, titled an Illustrated Key to the Seaweeds of New England, as well as larger research initiatives and public educational outreach.
  • Marketing major Carolyn O'Hara '18 took two Summer Session courses this summer: a business law course and a financial accounting course. In her business law course, O’hara became familiar with key law terms in business ethics through case studies and real-life examples. In financial accounting, O’Hara studied the fundamentals of accounting, with an emphasis on the use of economic data in the decision-making process. O'Hara appreciated the even smaller class sizes in the summer that lead to additional personalized attention from faculty members. While taking her summer courses, O'Hara lived on campus.
  • Christopher Pierce, a public administration master's candidate, interned at the Rhode Island Office of Innovation. The office, which was formed by Governor Gina Raimondo in early 2016 works to redesign government to be more collaborative, efficient and responsive to Rhode Islander's needs. Over the summer, Pierce was involved in projects that are helping to create strategic public-private partnerships that break down traditional silos and promote communication between state agencies. Pierce plans on continuing to serve as an intern through the fall semester.
  • Last semester, Galen Shrand '18 won a national Chinese language competition for university students new to studying Chinese. With the win, he was selected as one of six to join an all expenses paid Hainan Airlines sponsored Confucius Institute Cultural Ambassador China Trip for 10 days in the summer. The trip, according to Shrand, was fantastic. Shrand learned about Beijing's history and culture and also visited the Great Wall, where he enjoyed a stunning view of "blueish green mountains stretching for miles into the distance with the Great Wall snaking in and out of view."
  • Julia Uber, a graduate student in the forensic psychology program, spent the summer working on a research project for her master's thesis. She is trying to is trying to predict what factors may lead to multiple overdoses and what factors lead to fatal overdoses based on community samples from New Bedford, Massachusetts. Over the summer, she worked on collecting and organizing her data, so she can begin to analyze it in the fall. She hopes her findings will lead to longer follow-ups with overdose victims. Uber is working closely with RWU Professor Alejandro Leguizamo on this project.