By Peter Troiano ’15, Management Major, School of Business & Management
Over the recent winter break, I interned with the marketing department of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., a professional services consulting firm specializing in geotechnical, water, ecological and construction management services located in Norwood, Mass. Board of Fellows member Kenneth R. Johnston serves as the firm’s chief administrative officer. GZA employs more than 500 engineers, scientists and technical support staff in 25 offices throughout the United States and is consistently ranked among the top 100 environmental firms.
GZA offers two paid winter break internships, which enabled me to work alongside my fellow Norwich classmate, Mike Doyle. Both of us gained valuable real-life office experience that will invariably help us as we embark on our own professional careers in just a few short months. At GZA, we were asked to help with an effort to rebrand the entire company, to rewrite pre-existing project descriptions into new formats and determine which core groups each project description belonged to. The work we did directly impacted the image of the company and will have a big impact on how investors view GZA.
The internship I had at GZA was a very professional one. GZA employees were not only very friendly, but very appreciative of the work Mike and I were doing. Johnston was a very fair leader and manager. He demanded the best work from Mike and me, yet always made us feel welcome at GZA. Although my internship was short, in those few weeks I easily saw why Johnston has been so successful and able to rise through the ranks at GZA to his current executive team position.
Mike and I were also fortunate to participate in the Board of Fellows Shadow Program while at GZA. The Shadow Program connects current School of Business & Management students with Board of Fellows members and other alumni, providing Norwich students the opportunity to follow a BoF member throughout his or her business day. This allows students to gain insight into what the actual work in particular industries or business roles entail. For our Shadow Program experience, Johnston looked for ways to provide us with in-depth understanding of other areas outside of marketing. To that end, Johnston arranged several meetings with other GZA employees, who excelled in areas specific to our own future career interests, including a meeting with the Chief Financial Officer of GZA. We also had the pleasure of joining other area Norwich alumni for lunch, including Board of Fellow member Tony Agnitti. Overall, I was very happy that I was able to have this experience. I am very thankful, and feel very fortunate, that Johnston offered this opportunity to Mike and me. I would encourage other Norwich students to take full advantage of opportunities such as these in the future.