A foot in the door: Nick engineers his future with internship opportunity

Nick PertNick Pert listened attentively as a representative from BAE Systems gave a presentation in one of his classes. When he learned that the global defense, aerospace and security company was participating in the Applied Learning & Career Center’s mock interview program, he decided to sign up.

“I thought, why not?” remembered the Engineering Science major, now in his second year at SUNY Broome.

A 15-minute interview led to a 40-minute conversation – and, a few weeks later, a six-month internship. For his internship, Pert works in logistics for BAE Systems, an experience that can only benefit his future career in engineering.

“This is definitely my foot in the door, and the networking is definitely going to help my name get out there,” he said. “I get them as a reference down the road.”

Pert is no stranger to SUNY Broome; he began attending classes while still in Chenango Valley High School as part of the Fast Forward program. By accruing credits early on, he was able to adjust his schedule later in his college career, allowing him to work part-time at his internship and participate in campus activities, such as lacrosse.

“It definitely prepared me for the level of difficulty at college,” he said of his experience in Fast Forward.

Pert, a three-sport athlete in high school, thrives on challenge – and not only in the field. He’s also part of the college’s academically challenging Honors Program, and is considering options for his capstone project.

One option: Clean energy. He’s currently exploring green technologies in class, looking at the impact of LED versus fluorescent lights, the impact of the geothermal system that will heat and cool the new John and Mary Calice & Mildred Barton Advanced Manufacturing Center, and other measures, from wind energy to the amount of lights that are left on in unoccupied rooms.

“I’m thinking about keeping my project close to campus and looking how we can save energy, whether there is anywhere we can decrease our carbon footprint,” he said.

A member of the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Pert also works as a football referee on the weekends and plays lacrosse in the spring, an activity that has helped him connect with new friends outside of his major.

“I met a lot of friends I wouldn’t have come across,” he said.

He’s looking to transfer either to the Rochester Institute of Technology or the University at Buffalo, both of which accepted him out of high school. He opted for SUNY Broome instead, viewing it as a smart choice both financially and academically.

In particular, Pert cited the college’s small class sizes and accessible professors. Opportunities such as mock interviews – which led to his current internship – are also a major plus.

“I couldn’t be happier as to how it turned out,” he said of his SUNY Broome experience.