By Shehtaz Huq ’14
Matthew Schultheiss ’15 (Shaker Heights, Ohio) had a great chance to see how his interests in business and technology are combined through a week-long externship at networking giant Cisco Systems, Inc., in San Jose, Calif.
Angel Mendez ’82, senior vice president of Cisco Transformation, provided the opportunity.
“Throughout the week with Kavinda Udugama ’09 and Angel Mendez, I learned everything from how to ensure product quality to how a supply chain in a multinational corporation is effectively managed,” says Schultheiss, a double major in engineering studies and economics. “In addition to this, the conversations I had with Angel and many of his colleagues helped me to understand the daunting complexity of transforming a business model in a company.”
The most rewarding aspect of the week was getting to meet a myriad of functional groups within Cisco.
“There is an intricate balance of many parts that makes for a successful enterprise,” says Schultheiss. “Trying to figure out how all of this fits together was challenging, but it resulted in a better understanding of how effective corporations need to function.”
The externship, made possible by Career Services and a grant from Alumni Relations, helped him get a clearer picture of where he wants to work and how he can best contribute to any technology company, he adds.
Mendez enjoys helping students find their career path.
“Not only do I learn what is important to these students as they think of employers, but as a trustee of the College, I also learn what life is really like at Lafayette, how these students think of our environment, what works for them, what doesn’t,” he says.