March 10, 2022

Students Build Skills with 150 New Internship Opportunities

internship fairThis semester, finance major Shayn Horrocks has been putting theory into practice at Legacy Partners, an independent financial planning firm based in Plymouth Meeting with offices in West Chester ad the Lehigh Valley. His internship is part of the University’s Sesquicentennial 150 Internship Challenge. Kicked off last fall, this initiative has inspired regional businesses to create new internships for qualified WCU students. Employers can contact the University’s Twardowski Career Development Center for more information on creating other new internships by emailing

 “Interning with Legacy Planning initially appealed to me because of the opportunity for knowledge and how they value helping families,” says Horrocks. “The internship has exceeded my expectations.”

Lauren Marchese ’16 CFP, a financial planning coordinator at Legacy Partners’ West Chester office, supervises Horrocks, who works 9 to 5 three days a week. “Legacy is unique. We spend time and effort to really educate the interns. We pride ourselves on education,” she reports. “Our experience has been that these interns are fast learners who are invaluable to us on a daily basis.”

Marchese, who earned her economics and finance degree from WCU, interned at Legacy as a junior and, while her experience was enriching, she said the new internships the company launched this year are quite different. “These interns conduct research in many financial fields: marketing, accounting, estate planning, etc. They work often with financial reporting software and dabble in Morningstar and other reports.”

Another change: The company’s new arrivals shadow the interns who’ve been there for at least a semester. Horrocks shadowed fellow WCU intern James McEvoy and says he “has helped me a tremendous amount with working through different problematic situations and through the review process. He has done an excellent job at showing me the ropes and he assists me when I have questions — almost every day I work.”

As McEvoy proves, Legacy’s interns are often asked to continue their internships beyond one semester or summer. It’s an added bonus, says Marchese. “They accrue incentives and can stay until graduation. In the past two groups of interns, we hired at least one each time.”

At the time this article was posted, Jennifer Rossi Long ’05, director of WCU’s career center, reports that there are approximately 100 validated new internships like those at Legacy in the challenge pool. The challenge will remain open through Saturday, April 23, which is the date of the University’s campus-wide Sesquicentennial celebration.

WCU’s career center coordinated the 150 Internship Challenge in partnership with the Office of Alumni Engagement, the WCU Foundation, the Office of Parent and Family Relations, and University Affairs.

The career center also supports students who might otherwise have to turn down an internship because of a financial barrier. The Fund for Unpaid Internships, established in 2021 with two generous gifts from external donors, provided stipends for 19 students so far.

Several beneficiaries of the Fund for Unpaid Internships anonymously reported being able to quit a “meaningless” part-time job or reduce part-time work hours in favor of spending more time on studies and at their internships. Another said the support reduced stress in attending school and interning while taking care of the family.

Internships are valuable ways for students to acquire professional skills and experience. Students who complete internships are more likely to be interviewed for full-time jobs, more likely to make a higher starting salary, in a better position to evaluate their career choices, and even given the advantage of building a strong professional network before they leave WCU.

For more information, contact the University’s Twardowski Career Development Center by emailing

internship challenege

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