The Wise Individualized Senior Experience (WISE) is a program that offers second semester seniors the opportunity to find an internship. Participants are set up with a mentor through the Milken faculty or staff in a field that interests them. Milken was the first out of over 80 independent schools in the country to participate and embrace the WISE program.
WISE gives students a remarkable opportunity to explore areas of personal interest and exposure in a career field. While spending time with their mentor and at their internship, students gain a sense of independence and maturity.
A second semester senior would want to take time out of his or “senioritis” to participate in an internship “to come back to life again and to get rid of the burned-out feeling that can follow a very busy senior first semester,” said Ms. Guth, head of the WISE program at Milken.
Last year, three students worked with Milken alums for their internships. Josh Nozar ’10 was one of these students, and he worked with David Chasin ’00 at his Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Advisory Firm, Pegasus Investments.
Nozar felt that Chasin was willing to give Nozar an internship because of their mutual connection to Milken. Working with Chasin during the program helped Nozar tremendously.
“I learned what real estate really is. Now if I were to listen to him on a phone call I would completely understand what he’s talking about, and I wasn’t always able to before,” Nozar said.
Working at Pegasus Investments for WISE also helped Nozar realize that although he does want to work in the commercial real estate field in the future, he does not want to be a broker.
The mere fact that Nozar interned with a fellow Milken alum made his experience distinctive. In fact, Nozar is still working for Chasin at Pegasus Investments after finishing WISE and graduating from Milken.
“I still learn, but now I think it is more skills of how to keep a job and be responsible. I’m not in the program anymore so he could just kick me out, so I need to communicate well with my boss and co-workers,” said Nozar.
Chasin, who is a USC graduate, will also be writing Nozar’s college recommendation letter for USC. These two Milken alumni have formed a relationship that has evolved because of WISE.
“I hope that our seniors will maintain these relationships throughout college and beyond. Milken alumni are incredibly supportive of our community,” said Guth.