Pacific students gain firsthand experience in internships found through Career Services

Four students walking in front of Stockton city building

(L-R) Sumeet Hothi, Mario Di Santi, Gursharan Kooner, Nathan Yep and Daisy Yang (not pictured) were selected for a 10-week internship with the city of Stockton.

Instead of heading home to his native Italy when the spring semester ended, Mario Alexander Di Santi ’23, chose to stay in Stockton to immerse himself in finances and spreadsheets—for good reason.

Di Santi is one of five Pacific students translating classroom knowledge into real-world impact as part of a 10-week internship with the city of Stockton. The students secured their internships at Pacific’s Career Services’ spring career fair.

The invaluable experience internships can provide is highlighted annually on National Internship Day, July 28. According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, students who complete two or more internships as undergraduates are more likely to secure a job within six months of graduation. About a third of Pacific students participate in at least one internship before graduating.

“Internships are very important for students,” said Deb Crane, Career Services director. “It can confirm for them, ‘yes, this is what I want to do.’ Or they may walk away from that internship realizing ‘this is not at all what I want to do.’ And both of those are good outcomes.”

Career Services, located on the second floor of the McCaffrey Center, offers advising, resume and cover letter development, mock interviews, professional headshots, rooms for virtual interviews and a career closet where students can borrow professional clothing at no cost.

Students are encouraged to explore and use the services available to them starting in their first year. Handshake, for instance, is a resource for finding internships and jobs. The online career platform connects students with companies around the country. 

For Di Santi, the internship has been extremely beneficial. He’s currently working on a fiscal health report for the city. “I was surprised at how helpful this experience has been and how much I'm learning.”

The benefits go both ways.

“It’s a symbiotic relationship where they are getting as much from us as we are extrapolating from their expertise and their work,” said Jayden Sangha, assistant Chief Financial Officer for Stockton. 

The students interning with the city of Stockton have varied roles in the Administrative Services Department, including accounting, payroll and procurement.

For Sumeet Hothi ’22, the opportunity has given her a chance to use her skills from data analytics class. “I have been working on special projects in the payroll department helping facilitate the integration of a new system that will go live later this year,” she said.

Di Santi also benefited from a class taught by Margaret Roberts, director of the Career Management Center in the Eberhardt School of Business. 

“It provides the students with preparation for not only the internship search process, but an understanding of employer expectations when they get into the work environment,” said Roberts. “I bring employers into the classroom to give students firsthand perspective on what they can expect in terms of communication and behaviors in the work environment that they may not have yet been exposed to.” 

The Career Development Seminar is part of the curriculum for business students but is open to other majors.

Pacific’s career services and experiential opportunities are helping students find success after graduation. According to a survey of 2021 graduates, 85% of survey respondents either had jobs or were accepted to graduate school within six months of graduating. Of those who found jobs, 85% reported that it was in their chosen field. 

For some of the students interning with the city of Stockton, the experience is already paying off. Hothi, who graduated in May, is planning to continue working for the city part-time while she considers her career options—an opportunity Sangha extended to the student interns who recently graduated.

“These are really capable students, and they have a great future,” Sangha said.