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Pulaski Students Gain Real World Experience at Fulton Companies

Last spring, the Fulton Companies and Pulaski Academy and Central Schools revived a collaborative job shadowing program; this school year, five Pulaski students will be interning at the Fulton Companies.

From left are: Mark Banick, market research analyst for Fulton Companies; Pulaski District Mentoring Program Coordinator Ashleigh Wilson; Pulaski juniors Leonard Spano and Brett Nielsen; Fulton Companies vice president of sales and marketing Joel Southwell; and head engineer Steve Converse.
From left are: Mark Banick, market research analyst for Fulton Companies; Pulaski District Mentoring Program Coordinator Ashleigh Wilson; Pulaski juniors Leonard Spano and Brett Nielsen; Fulton Companies vice president of sales and marketing Joel Southwell; and head engineer Steve Converse.

Brett Nielsen and Leonard Spano, juniors at Pulaski High School, first discovered their love of engineering in an architectural drawing class at the school as a freshmen.

Nielsen and Spano said it was a great introductory course that introduced CAD (computer-aided design) software to them.

Nielsen and Spano were among the several students who applied for the job shadowing experience with the Fulton Companies.

The process involves preparing a resume and cover letter as well as interviewing with Joel Southwell (Fulton Companies vice president of sales and marketing) and Mark Hilton (vice president of manufacturing).

“This gives you a real-life experience,” said Nielsen. “You get to see what a real working environment is like.”

Southwell and Hilton provided the students with feedback on their interview and had great conversations about building their resumes and highlighting skills and attributes that employers look for.

The boys currently spend two hours after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Fulton Companies, reporting to head engineer Steve Converse.

They will continue shadowing until February, with the potential to continue on into the spring with a more hands-on role.

Pulaski High School Principal Michael Bateson (left) poses for with welding students and marketing student who are interning at the Fulton Companies this year. From left are: Marshall Simmonds, Konor Richardson-Sanderson, Samantha Nutting and Pulaski District Mentoring Program Coordinator Ashleigh Wilson.
Pulaski High School Principal Michael Bateson (left) poses for with welding students and marketing student who are interning at the Fulton Companies this year. From left are: Marshall Simmonds, Konor Richardson-Sanderson, Samantha Nutting and Pulaski District Mentoring Program Coordinator Ashleigh Wilson.

Spano said the opportunity has been a great learning experience, something that could not have been obtained through a book or by sitting in a classroom.

Spano plans on continuing on to college in the engineering and architectural fields, Nielsen would also like to pursue a career working with CAD.

Both students said one of their favorite parts about the Fulton Companies is feeling like a part of the team.

Pulaski District Mentoring Program Coordinator, Ashleigh Wilson, spoke about the admiration the students had for Converse, their mentor at the Fulton Companies.

“Having a mentor is so important,” she said. “Teaching skills, professionalism and being a part of a collaborative team, these are all underlying elements of a career.”

Pulaski student Samantha Nutting is working with Mark Banick, market research analyst for the Fulton Companies, as a marketing intern. This is the first job shadowing opportunity of its kind between Pulaski Schools and the Fulton Companies.

“It’s definitely a learning experience,” said Nutting. “Right now, I am working on a community survey. I’m gaining marketing experience and seeing what having a job is actually like.”

Nutting plans to attend St. Bonaventure University or SUNY Oswego as a dual major in accounting and marketing in the future.

She said the knowledge she has learned from her business class at Pulaski High School along with the Fulton Companies job shadowing experience will give her a leg up on the competition.

Two welding students, Konor Richardson-Sanderson and Marshall Simmonds, from the Pulaski District are also scheduled to intern in the spring.

Richardson-Sanderson and Simmonds are currently enrolled in the welding career and technical education program at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation.

Both intend to pursue a welding profession after graduation.