New Kensington engineering students intern at Alcoa Technical Center

Three Penn State New Kensington students were among 50 nationally who earned paid internships this summer at the Alcoa Technical Center in Upper Burrell, Pennsylvania.

Junior mechanical engineering majors Justin Koscianski, of Lower Burrell, and Hunter Reinsfelder, of Natrona Heights, and sophomore electro-mechanical engineering technology major Ryan Dolack secured paid internships at Alcoa through the campus’ GREAT program.

A two-year-old initiative that matches promising engineering students with local internship opportunities, the GREAT program is a partnership among the New Kensington campus, Penn State Electro-Optics Center and industries within the greater Pittsburgh region. Unlike many other programs, GREAT provides qualified engineering students with the opportunity to build professional skills and experiences starting as soon as their first year at the campus.

Alcoa and the campus have a long history of collaboration. In 1963, the company donated land to Penn State, and three years later, the present Upper Burrell campus opened on the 35-acre parcel. Since then, Alcoa and Penn State have worked together on numerous initiatives, such as scholarships, the virtual nature trail, "green chemistry" and service projects that have benefited the campus and the community. In July 2009, Alcoa was the recipient of the campus' inaugural Corporate Partner of the Year award.

Alcoa offers internships at its locations across the United States. The needs at each location may differ, based on the specifics of the business and current workload. Areas typically include: engineering; supply chain/procurement; environment; health and safety; and finance/accounting. As a part of the internship program, Alcoa provides professional development for the students.

The interns at the Alcoa Technical Center received their training from Penn State New Kensington. The campus’ Office of Continuing Education provided the professional development through a series of six courses called “Sharpen Your Skills … From Intern to Career.” The program helped the interns to improve their communicating and networking skills. The topics included:

-- Be the Leader You Want to Be
-- How to Make a Great First Impression
-- Social Media Presence-Clean Up Your Act
-- Intercultural Sensitivity and Power Dynamics
-- Genuine and Strategic Networking
-- Polishing Your Resumé/Vitae

The course were taught by Doug Rosensteel, president of BHD Technologies Inc., a consulting firm that has helps clients improve culture, leadership and performance. Rosensteel recently wrote a novel about mental arts, "Psi Another Day," published by Entangled Publishing.

For more about the GREAT program, visit

For more about professional development at the campus, visit

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Last Updated August 28, 2014