Jobs & Internships

JWU Finance & Investment Academy - Internship Pays Dividends



Wildcat Investment Value Fund (WIVF) 

Company Profile

The FIA is a JWU student organization originally proposed by Matthew Ross ‘14, Marquis Cooper ‘14, & Devin Rainone ‘14 who worked with Professor Jean Holt to set up the business plan for the creation of the organization.

WIVF Interns at EMpore Wealth Strategies

WIVF Interns at EMpore Wealth Strategies

In June 2015, FIA leadership pitched their five-step strategic plan to the JWU Board of Trustees and won support for allocation of monies from the 2016 endowment to fund the Wildcat Investment Value Fund (WIVF).

The WIVF runs based on a 9 student internship team. These students participate in a 13.5 credit internship spread over 3 terms. The teams organizational structure is comprised of 5 sector analysts, 3 senior members of the operating committee, and 1 portfolio manager. They are monitored by an advisory committee comprised of 3 university members and 3 industry members. The faculty advisor also serves as the internship advisor. 

FIA members are trained on the Kantor Challenge, a portfolio management training platform as well as an advanced Excel boot camp to master financial modeling.  Student members can attend the Global Asset Management Education (G.A.M.E.) Forum in NYC, and the JWU Career Chat where they connect to employers and mentors in the financial field; both held annually.

Succession Planning

FIA members are responsible for their own succession planning and as such have formal positions within an organizational chart with job descriptions assigned to them. If they want to move up within the organization they need to mentor a student to replace them when the time comes.  

FIA Alumni Advisory Board

Current FIA members know that they will continue to grow with the support of an alumni advisory board. The advisory board provides opportunities for the students to network and connect with potential future careers and provides the alumni with opportunities to continue to stay involved with FIA. Members of the alumni board include:

Robert Amoruso '11 Founder & Managing Partner at Gideon Strategic Partners
Nichelle Appleby '07 Compensation Consultant Americas at Sutherland
Patrick Avery '16 Financial Analyst at Citizens Financial Group, Inc.
Alec Bennett '16 Advisory Operations Specialist at Park Ave. Securities
Marquis Cooper '14 Audit Associate at Gray, Gray, & Gray LLP
Shelley Criswell '11 Investor Relations Associate at Gapstow Capital Partners
David Gonzalez '06 Director of Business Intelligence at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
Khakali Olenja '11 Senior Consultant at EY
Colin Flynn '14 Credit Research Associate at Loomis, Sayles & Co.
Ben Kantor '15, Assurance Senior at EY
Drew Kariofiles '16 Registered Client Services Associate at UBS
Matthew Ross '14 Senior Performance Improvement Consultant at Protiviti                 
Devin Rainone '15 Global Markets Intelligence Analyst at Ipreo
Greg Soltes '16 Controller at Choice Local
Vincent Staletti '16 Financial Analyst, IGT

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.

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 important 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.