CSUMB student interns excel at FORA

Interns expect to apply what they've learned in a classroom to their new business environment.

At the Fort Ord Reuse Authority (FORA), however, Nick Prew quickly found himself applying skills he never knew he had.

Student Nick Prew works on infographics for the annual jobs survey.

Nick Prew works on the annual jobs report for FORA

Former Congressman Sam Farr once said that if California Senator Henry Mello had not introduced the bill that created FORA, Cal State Monterey Bay would likely not exist (see "Gateways Do Not Come Easy"). It’s not surprising a mutually beneficial partnership continues to this day.

The California State Legislature established FORA in 1994 to ensure the economic recovery of the Monterey Bay in the wake of Fort Ord’s closing. It has become the largest military base reuse project in the United States. Each academic year, one CSUMB intern helps support that mission.

Prew just graduated with a degree in business administration and finished his internship. He credits FORA with spurring him to learn skills that will better prepare him for the workforce.

Learning beyond expectations

Gina Archuleta, who graduated in 2017 with a degree in business administration, knew the skills she wanted to develop. She had recently enrolled in a class in market research and found a new passion. Her search for a "market research" opportunity led her to intern at FORA.

My internship at FORA was an amazing experience. I was able to take skills I was learning in school and apply them in my internship. It also helped me feel like I was contributing to my community.
Gina Archuleta, FORA Intern

While there, Archuleta learned more than market research. She learned marketing strategy and social media skills. Her Powerpoint abilities, public speaking and writing skills improved. More importantly, Archuleta found a mentor in Josh Metz, FORA’s economic development manager, who shared his knowledge, skills and experience while helping to build her confidence.

She soon found herself co-authoring a case study with Metz and professor Brad Barbeau. Archuleta was able to build her portfolio while at FORA. She is credited as co-author on each of the reports and surveys she helped produce. Her rich and varied experience helped her to land a job at the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Both Archuleta and Prew appreciated contributing to the mission of FORA.

Partnership

Metz works closely with the interns on a variety of projects that directly impact the economic health of the Monterey Bay region. He views one project in particular, the annual jobs report, as a mutually beneficial partnership for CSUMB and FORA.

With the jobs report, the interns not only improved the response rate, they enhanced the presentation of data, creating infographics and producing easy to comprehend summaries. Meanwhile, they developed skills in compiling, interpreting and presenting data, and they were credited as co-authors of the report, thus building their portfolios.

It’s amazing to know that the work I am doing with FORA now will have an impact for decades. I believe we are laying the groundwork for future economic prosperity in Monterey. It’s really nice to know you are playing a part in that.”

Nick Prew, FORA Intern

FORA is currently searching for their next intern as are several other businesses and entities around Monterey Bay. If you are a student looking for an opportunity, check out the campus portal to internships.

If you own a business that could benefit from the well-rounded skill set of a CSUMB student intern, you can list your internship opportunities with the university at Otter Jobs or Monterey Bay Internships.