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Economics and business major worked with David Bassin ’93 at InVentiv this summer

Gaining hands-on experience in the business world over the summer helped David Schissler ’08 (Middletown, N.J.) sharpen his career goals.

Schissler, an economics and business major, worked with InVentiv Commercial Services, of Somerset, N.J., as a strategic planning market analyst. The opportunity with InVentiv gave Schissler a close look at what happens in the business world, in this case how a company which provides an array of professional services to various firms operates.

The company works with clients as they launch new pharmaceutical products and maintain them in the marketplace. Sales and marketing teams, like the one Schissler works on, provide research and analysis, data collection and management, patient assistance, sample management, and regulatory compliance among other services.

Schissler’s host was David Bassin ’93, InVentiv Commercial Services’s Chief Financial Officer. He also worked with Paul Mignon ’89, President and COO, Ventiv Pharma Teams.

Bassin says internships benefit both parties equally and his company intends to continue its active participation with Lafayette, which began three years ago.

“I find programs like this to be useful overall,” he says. “We actually have a robust program right now geared toward doing marketing research for various products.”

Schissler was charged with a variety of tasks to make sure the company did a good job for its clients.

“I really don’t have a typical day, which is nice. Every day is a different test,” he explains. “I don’t come in every morning and say, ‘OK, I have to do this day in and day out.’ It’s really interesting and the fact that I’m being exposed to more than one area of the company really helps me broaden my experience.”

“David’s done a lot of projects that are geared toward meeting quarterly or annual metrics,” says Bassin.

According to Schissler, teamwork is the key at InVentiv. Vice presidents and other key personnel at the company work together on various InVentiv projects, which helped increase his exposure to various aspects of the firm’s operations. In doing so, he worked one on one with associates to come up with pricing models for clients, as well as deciding how to allocate personnel.

All in all, Schissler has been givin a multi-facetted, real-world experience that will assist him in choosing a direction for his future career.

“The purpose of an internship is just to learn what you like and what you don’t like. That’s why I’m here,” he says. “I feel like you really have to broaden your horizons to see what you really like.”

InVentiv’s goal to make sure interns are put to work helps as well.

“I’m not pushing paper and making copies. I’m actually in the business doing work. I’m experiencing what it’s like to have the job, not just as someone’s assistant,” Schissler says.

He also praises Lafayette’s emphasis on a liberal arts education.

“I believe if you focus too heavily on one thing you get lost. You need sometimes to step out of it and see what you’re doing,” Schissler says.

In addition to his academic activities, Schissler is treasurer of Kappa Delta Rho fraternity and a former member of the Intrafraternity Council.

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