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A Real-World Internship

Jada Brinkley

Jada Brinkley

Jada Brinkley, a Wilmington University senior majoring in Business Analytics, is an intern at the Wilmington Alliance, a nonprofit organization focused on eco-nomic development and inclusion, promoting the collective good, and community-based interventions to halt violence in the city.

It’s a win-win-win relationship. Brinkley is helping staffers at the Alliance to understand the data collection and reporting capabilities of Apricot 360 more fully. This software platform is utilized extensively by nonprofits. Brinkley’s work will also help Alliance leaders make strategic recommendations on using data to impact their investments in community initiatives.

“I transferred to Wilmington University in the summer semester of 2021 to pursue my bachelor’s degree in Business Analytics,” says Brinkley. “My experience at the institution has been nothing but positive and I’ve exponentially grown in an educational and professional manner.”

Brinkley says she has gained applicable knowledge quickly. “This includes expertly crafting my Excel skills — which will always be needed — diving into R (language designed for data analysts, data scientists and statisticians) and SQL (Structured Query Language) for the first time, building models to analyze large datasets, importantly learning how to interpret data analyses in context, working with my classmates on extensive group projects, and so much more.”

According to Wilmington Alliance CEO Renata B. Kowalczyk, “Jada’s radiating positivity is infectious to everyone she encounters, and she exudes exceptional zeal in all that she pursues. Jada will help Wilmington Alliance capitalize their results-oriented value to master data-driven decision making and leverage collaboration opportunities.”

Kowalczyk adds that Brinkley has a 4.0 GPA, “and is gaining critical aptitudes to thrive in a world of big data.”

Several of my professors have instilled in me such a solid groundwork to understand the relevance of data and how it can support any function or industry.” — Jada Brinkley

“I am wildly impressed by Wilmington Alliance’s devotion and initiatives for an equitable community right in our city,” Brinkley says. “I’m passionate to exceed in my new role because the work is for the good of the others. It’s a true blessing to be involved.” 

In her free time, which there isn’t much of these days, Brinkley is active in her church, loves to read, and enjoys long nature walks.

“Internship programs are an essential part of our program,” says Dr. Kathy Ratajack-Kennedy, dean of the College of Business. “Students gain on-the-job opportunities that help them apply the theoretical concepts from the classroom to a real-world experience. We are proud of the relationships that we have with industry leaders and grateful for their willingness to provide our students with the opportunity for career exposure.” 

“Without Wilmington University, I would not be able to accomplish any of these responsibilities,” says Brinkley.“ (Professor) Dr. Sparco was lovely enough to introduce me to this opportunity. And several of my professors have instilled in me such a solid groundwork to understand the relevance of data and how it can support any function or industry. They’re such knowledgeable experts who are willing to teach beyond the course requirements, connect with us students, and effectively relate the learning material to real-world applications.” 

“I attribute the intensive, jam- packed seven-week block classes at WilmU to aid me in this kind of adaptability, because I’ve been taught to learn quickly and effectively in a fast-paced environment,” says Brinkley. “I am so excited about the present and future, which is largely enabled by my esteemed institution.”

—Eileen Smith Dallabrida and Maria Hess

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