September 20, 2019 | 70° F

Cap and Gown: Out of college, into real world


After graduation, the Class of 2019 will no longer be centered at Rutgers, but instead scattered around the globe. Some students will be directly entering the workforce, starting new jobs, internships or fellowships. Others will be continuing their education by going to graduate school. Others still may focus on family, relationships or buying a house. 

Throughout the academic year, The Daily Targum has interviewed numerous students, some of whom were seniors, on stories ranging from student achievement to breaking news. We caught up with a few of these seniors, asking them about their plans for the future, as well as how Rutgers got them there. 

Michael Nitzsche

Last October, the Targum spoke to Nitzsche, a School of Engineering senior, on his experience as an intern for NASA at the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. For the internship, Nitzsche said he worked on improving the energy efficiency of supersonic airplanes and designing them so they would be quieter when flying. 

This summer, Nitzsche will be returning to the Glenn Research Center, this time working on the propulsion of electric aircrafts. Later in the fall, he plans on starting in the MS/PhD program in mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he will be focusing specifically on the application of liquid metals as a way to transfer heat. 

“My ultimate goal is to apply this training in a career leading research efforts in renewable energy and sustainability,” he said.

Kaitlyn Welch

Welch, a School of Engineering senior,  was also interviewed by the Targum about her internship experience at NASA last year. Working at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, Welch did data analysis on the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, a proposed space station that would orbit around the moon. 

She was recently accepted to be part of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, a program that supports women interested in all aspects of aerospace, from engineering to science journalism, by pairing them with experienced mentors. As part of the program, Welch will be working this summer with Astranis Space Technologies in San Francisco, California, on the development of satellites to expand the internet to underserved communities. 

“I met a lot of great people through the Honors College, my aerospace classes and the Brooke Owens Fellowship, and I think that having these incredibly supportive people in my life going forward will help me in whatever comes next,” she said. 

Michael Zhadanovsky

For a special wrap covering the midterm elections, the Targum interviewed members of Rutgers University Democrats on their endorsement of James Cahill, the current mayor of New Brunswick. One student we spoke to was Zhadanovsky, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and executive director of RU Democrats. 

This summer, he will be working as an advisory associate in KPMG, a global network of member firms offering audit, tax and advisory services. Zhadanovsky said as part of the job, he will be working with major clients on reviewing and improving their information technology security practices. He plans to continue his commitment to political science, though, hoping to later work in a government office or on a 2020 presidential campaign.

“Rutgers set me up by providing a real-world-like experience … just as in the real world, at Rutgers, you are responsible for your own successes and failures,” he said.

Alexander Rosado

In the later half of October, the Targum also reported on the workings and history of Cap and Skull, a once secret society that accepts 18 student leaders in each graduating class. One of the members we spoke to was Rosado, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, who said he applied to the society on a whim while studying abroad in South Africa.

In June, Rosado will be moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to begin his commitment with Teach for America, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand educational opportunity for children. Rosado will also be starting in the master's program at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. 

“I am super excited about this because in August, I’ll be starting as a middle school English teacher, which is something I’ve dreamt about since my youth,” he said. “I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, so urban education is something that’s near and dear to my heart. I can’t wait to be the advocate my students deserve.”

Patrick Phillips

Another member of Cap and Skull the Targum interviewed was Phillips, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, whose passion for music and public service is demonstrated through his positions as a Scarlet Ambassador, business manager of the Glee Club, member of the service fraternity Alpha Psi Omega and executive board member of Rutgers University Student Assembly. 

Though he initially intended to major in biology, Phillips is now majoring in music and minoring in political science. This summer, he plans on going to the Philippines to see family and conduct ethnomusicology research.

"After that, I'll be a public school music teacher for a few years before I head off to graduate school for ethnomusicology and choral conducting," he said.

Victoria Perez

Most students are familiar with the police horses on the Cook and Douglass campuses, so the Targum spoke with students part of the horseback policing program, known as Mounted Patrol, to get the inside scoop. Perez, a School of Arts and Sciences senior and head student supervisor of Mounted Patrol, gave insight on the horses as well as her experience with the program. 

She will continue working with the Mounted Patrol horses this summer through Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD), and will also be pursuing a master's in social work at Rutgers to eventually become a police officer.

“I was so lucky and fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend Rutgers. These experiences the past four years have really transformed me as a person,” she said. “Through working for RUPD, I feel like I have grown to become an individual who stands up for what is right, as well as strengthening my work ethic.”


Catherine Nguyen

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