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Program Details

 "When hiring, employers are looking for students that can be the 'whole package.' Technical skills are critical, but people with successful careers today are expected to be able to present themselves well in a business setting, be able to converse on a wide array of topics, and interact with a variety of individuals. The GREAT Program will give these students the polish they need to be successful." -- Leslie Wolfe, central planning office manager of the Penn State Electro-Optics Center


Students participating in the GREAT Program have access to unique opportunities, like

  • Paid internships in engineering and technology positions

    Students can interview for and obtain paid, competitive internships in their field. They will have the opportunity to continue in their internship positions for up to 4 years, or for as long as they are enrolled at Penn State New Kensington. (Employer and academic expectations must also be met.)

    "Unlike other internships that are often sporadic and unaccompanied by enrichment, the GREAT Program provides 4 years of a consistent, challenging work environment, coupled with constant mentoring in the workplace and extra classroom seminars instructed by professionals." -- Bill Kiser, senior director of the Penn State Electro-Optics Center

  • Professional development programs

    Students will be invited to attend special events throughout the semester. These sessions will be led by industry professionals and will cover topics like project management, professional networking, and communication skills. Students will also receive coaching in creating an effective resume and preparing for interview presentations.

    "Through their real life experiences, the professionals offer insight on the intangible skills that new graduates often lack. The seminars strive to improve the student's workplace communication, work ethic, professional presence, project management abilities, and understanding of how a new professional integrates into an organization." -- Kim McKean, human resources manager at the Electro-Optics Center