Patti DeBow ’02: From Internship to First Job
Math major Patti DeBow '02 wasn’t required to do an internship, but she took the advice of her professors and did one anyway. It was a wise decision as it led to her first full-time job out of college—a position she kept for four years and one that led her to pursue an M.B.A.
“I decided to look for an internship for a few reasons,” she says. “I wanted to get some experience in a professional work environment, to build my résumé and to help me to figure out what kind of work I wanted to pursue after graduation.”
She obtained a position as a Catastrophe Model Intern at Towers Perrin Reinsurance, thanks to a recommendation from Dr. Louis Friedler, Professor of Mathematics.
Her work included collecting, cleaning and analyzing insurance data for risk from natural disasters. In the wake of September 11, she also worked on a special project estimating the exposure of an insurance company near the site of a terrorist attack. “It was a very direct application of the math and programming skills I learned at Arcadia—I even broke out my calculus book to work on the project!”
After spending four years at Tower Perrin, DeBow earned an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She now does management consulting for Accenture. Her work includes business planning and development, operations management and financial modeling.
Her advice to current students considering an internship is to: “It can be difficult to anticipate what kind of job you will like doing, so internships are a great way to test out a job and see what you do and don't like about it. An internship is also a great way to make your resume stand out to potential employers. It shows dedication in pursuing an internship while still in school, and demonstrates your ability to put your education to work.”