August 16, 2013

Experiential Learning Sets Northwood Students Apart

As our track record proves, experiential learning is essential to the success of our students and alumni. Through involvement in real world business operations, our students are able to reinforce classroom lessons in a manner and degree not generally found at other business schools. 

As the following examples illustrate, our experiential learning programs provide students a unique opportunity to gain industry specific experience, network and build relationships, and advance their career opportunities. 


In Florida, Simon Sedric is interning this summer in the maintenance department at Oxbridge Academy, a private high school in the Palm Beaches. In addition to learning all areas of facilities management, he’s enjoyed the opportunity to devise and implement a number of problem solving ideas while simultaneously growing his professional network through participation in a variety of Oxbridge Academy gatherings and cultivation events. 

Like Simon, Michael Pugliese is learning the operations side of business through a full-time internship with ADCO Electrical Corporation in Staten Island, New York. In fact, Michael is “doing it all” as he engages consumers and clients, bargains with vendors, and learns the inner workings of a team environment in an office setting. And while it might sound like a lot, for Michael it is a great opportunity to apply classroom lessons while building a professional network in the process. “Being in the real world, and getting hands-on experience, as opposed to the classroom, was most enjoyable,” stated Michael. 

Brockni Lee and Joseph D’Alleva are working in the business operations of the automotive industry. Brockni is acting as a Managing Partner at C.B. Ventures Auto Sales in Jacksonville, Florida, while Joseph is working in the Junior Management Program at a Chrysler Jeep dealership in South Carolina. In addition to high levels of customer interaction and professional networking which both enjoyed, Brockni benefitted most from learning how to better manage employees while Joseph gained a deeper appreciation for the role each of us holds to our own happiness. “I learned that my success is dependent upon me and the room I have to grow as an individual,” Joseph observed. 


In Michigan, eight Northwood University students—Hayley Chartier, Hayley Dahl, Justin Edgar, Jillian Eggleton, Kristin Hammond, Ashley Reincke, Adam Ricker, and Christina Salmon—served key roles in the logistics and production of this year’s Automotive Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony in Dearborn, Michigan on July 25. Each was responsible for assisting this year’s honorees throughout the ceremony:

  • Sir Jackie Stewart, Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and winner of three World Drivers' Championships was inducted into The Automotive Hall of Fame.
  • Neil De Koker, Founding President and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) received the Distinguished Service Citation Award.
  • Robert Lutz, retired Vice Chairman of General Motors, was presented with the Industry Leader of the Year Award.
  • Lapo Elkann a founder of the lifestyle company, Italia Independent, received the Young Leadership & Excellence Award.

Christina Salmon played a particularly important role by personally coordinating Sir Jackie Stewart’s itinerary and accompanying him from the time he landed at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport to the time he returned for his trip home.

In addition to the Automotive Hall of Fame, Hayley Dahl is also making her mark through a part-time internship with WJR Radio (760 AM), one of our key advertising partners. Over the course of the summer, she is learning just how much work goes into producing a daily radio show as she oversees guest research, scheduling, and program coordination. “It is almost like putting together a puzzle,” she noted. But like her fellow students, Hayley has no doubts about the value this opportunity brings. “This experience has been invaluable to me and has given me so many opportunities to grow and to prove myself as a young professional. I have learned so much about myself and my capabilities and am eager to keep moving forward,” she explained.


In Texas, Francisco Chairez is working in Public Relations and Marketing for Dallas Summer Musicals where his responsibilities include a wide range of activities, including: the production of advertising proposals and public relations materials; client research; and coordination of celebrity speaking engagements, appearances, and photo shoots. But it is one particular skill set Francisco learned at Northwood that is making all the difference for him and his work this summer.

“Who knew that the most important thing that I would learn from Northwood was networking? I love what I do so it never seems like I'm working and in the process I’ve worked up-close and personal with Broadway and Hollywood stars like Val Kilmer and Debbie Gibson…In show business there is never a dull moment,” he says.

As with Francisco, and our students in Florida and Michigan, a number of other students from our Texas campus remind us the appeal of a Northwood education spans all market segments and industries. Among the many Northwood Knights interning this summer are: 

  • Marcus Johnson (who is working with Tyler Marrujo, class of ‘09), Van Country Rentals
  • Travis Kemp, AT&T
  • Lisa Nguyen, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
  • Daniel Stoakes, The Federal Reserve

Experiential learning remains an essential component of a Northwood education, and sharing stories like these with others is a great way to enhance our brand value in the higher education business market.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640