Internships: Test-Driving a Career

Dan Kortick ’89

by Andrew Wickenden ’09

When Dan Kortick ’89 graduated from Hobart College with a B.A. in economics, he went immediately into a training program at Fleet Bank, which rotated him through the bank’s various departments. Today, he says, internships are beginning to replace such traditional training programs, providing early experience and focused career preparation.

“I had no experience,” he says of those early days. “I spent the first two years essentially doing internships in different parts of the bank. It was a good test-drive for both sides — for me, to see whether I liked working in that segment, and for managers, to see if I was a good fit.”

Now, as a managing partner at Wicks Group, a private equity firm based in New York City, Kortick is involved in all of the Group’s investment and management activities and serves on the Board of Directors of its operating companies. Through the Scandling Trust, Kortick has pledged his support by making a gift of an Annual Fund Intern.

“The opportunity for students to get ‘real life’ experience outside the classroom is extremely beneficial to help formulate what they want to do once their college experience is over,” Kortick says. “It allows students to be better candidates … and it helps from the employer side to have candidates with relevant experience.”

Prior to joining the Wicks Group in 2000, Kortick spent 11 years in various capacities at Fleet Bank and BankBoston, earning his MBA in Finance from Bryant University. He previously served as director in the Media and Communications Group of BankBoston, working with clients on financing mergers and acquisitions within several media segments, including broadcasting, publishing, cable and entertainment. Earlier, Kortick worked in the loan work-out and asset-based lending groups at Fleet. He currently serves in different capacities in many educational, community and charitable organizations, and is a steadfast supporter of his alma mater.

Looking back on his time at Hobart and William Smith, Kortick recalls a particular essay, though less for the essay itself than the lesson he learned because of it.

“It used to be that we didn’t need a certain number of credits to graduate,” he says. “The primary achievement you had to accomplish before you could graduate was the Baccalaureate Essay. You had to pick a topic and argue it from two different perspectives, and have it approved by a faculty specialist in one of those areas and by a generalist. There was so much focus on the bi-disciplinary point of view that it forced me and my classmates to look at everything from different perspectives.”

Today, Kortick says, HWS continues to offer that “broad-based liberal arts education, which I believe is very valuable. The expansive course offerings of the Colleges, the ability to experiment in all these other fields, the ability to do internships to get a specific view of professional responsibility — it rounds out the educational process.”

The Scandling Trust
Katherine D. Elliott’s ’66 and Dan Kortick’s ’89 investments capitalize on a 24-month initiative called The Scandling Trust, which leverages the final gift of William F. Scandling ’49, L.H.D. ’67 to the Colleges to encourage the support of others in three areas: endowed internships, endowed scholarships, and entrepreneurial leadership initiatives.

Their gifts will help ensure that every student of good academic and social standing who successfully completes the Pathways Program will be guaranteed at least one internship or research opportunity during his or her college career.

Internships and research opportunities are often unpaid, and Elliott’s and Kortick’s support reinforces the Colleges’ goal to give each student with an unpaid internship a stipend to help defray costs, ensuring that HWS students do not have to choose between present limitations and their future success.

Other gifts will make manifest the Colleges’ responsibility to ensure that students’ future choices are not unduly driven by the management of education debt. To ensure that an HWS education remains a viable option for bright and deserving students, The Scandling Trust will raise $10 million for scholarships and $10 million for internship support, providing more students with the resources they need to attend Hobart and William Smith and to take advantage of the opportunity offered.

Through popular initiatives like the Stu Lieblein ’90 Pitch Contest, the HWS IdeaLab, the Leadership Institute, Leadersin- Residence and the new Entrepreneurial Studies program (see page 19), students are encouraged to leverage their ideas into products, social movements and creative projects. In cooperation with these developments and in recognition of the important role the Colleges play in preparing students for the future, Hobart and William Smith are now placing a strategic focus on entrepreneurial leadership programming. Through the Scandling Trust, the Colleges will develop academic programs and learning environments, and support collaboration and innovation to foster creative and critically-thinking future leaders.

For more information on making a gift to the Colleges in support of The Scandling Trust initiative, please contact: Leila Rice, Associate Vice President for Advancement | (315) 781-3545


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