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Two Northern New Mexico College Students Receive NextGen Summer Internships

Natalia Tealer and Guillmer Germino are getting hands-on experience with J.G. Management Systems, Inc.

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. — Natalia Tealer and Guillmer Germino, both first-generation students at Northern New Mexico College (NNCM), have been selected for the inaugural NextGen Summer 2023 STEM Internship program. They are interning with J.G. Management Systems, Inc., (JGMS) in Albuquerque, N.M., working on Information Engineering Technology projects.

“Since its inception, JGMS has been an organization committed to providing meaningful work and opportunities for people in our local communities. Our work with GoEducate, Northern New Mexico College and NextGen Fellowship has allowed our business to easily connect with a diverse group of college students and support their professional development through internships and job opportunities,” said Mark Furmanek, Chief Administrative Officer for JGMS. “As an employer with ties to Northern New Mexico, it is important that we build strong connections and engage students to create a pipeline of qualified employees for the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with such great organizations that share a similar objective.”

NextGen STEM Fellowship, Inc. (NextGen) is a non-profit organization committed to enhancing equality in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. NextGen partners with minority serving institutions like NNMC to mentor promising undergraduate students in STEM fields.  Through dedicated mentorship, work-based learning opportunities and personalized necessity grants the organization supports student retention, skill acquisition and degree completion in STEM majors. JGMS, one of the contract employers on Northern’s GoEducate portal (https://nnmc.goeducate.com/), initiated the college’s partnership with NextGen.

This is the first year for the 10-week Internships, which were conceived as a collaboration between NextGen and U.S. Government contractors serving as corporate sponsors to give interns meaningful, hands-on experience in a STEM field. The emphasis was on choosing interns from groups that have been historically underrepresented in STEM undergraduate education. JGMS stepped up as this year’s sponsor.

Applicants had to have completed their sophomore or junior year and provide evidence of good academic standing and full-time enrollment in a STEM undergraduate major. Germino is entering his junior year at Northern, pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Engineering Technology. He also plans to begin working toward an Associate Degree in Engineering in Software Engineering this fall. Tealer is in her senior year. She is also going for two degrees: a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Engineering Technology and a Bachelor of Integrated Studies in Self-Design. Abraham Avila, a student at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo., is also participating in the program.

The interns will receive a salary of $7,200 for the summer. NextGen has also committed $4,800 per student for necessity grants to cover expenses such as transportation, housing, professional attire, internship-required equipment and/or supplies, etc. JGMS is augmenting the necessity grants with an additional $1,300 per student, plus covering payroll taxes and other costs associated with dedicated, meaningful mentorship.

"We are incredibly grateful for NextGen's partnership and the tremendously valuable opportunities that they offer to Northern Students," said President Balderas. "Providing students with career pathways into STEM fields is a top priority for Northern, and opportunities like this are critical to ensuring that our students have meaningful experience as they enter the workforce."

One of the projects the students are working on is creating programs that can detect solar flares, which involves translating files with many values into an image. The data is comprehensive enough to produce numerous photos, which will then be used to create a video. The hope is that the researchers will be able to pinpoint the general area where the solar flares are located, then highlight and integrate it into the video. Other projects involve cybersecurity, using natural language processing (NLP) to summarize large documents into an easy-to-read document and a presentation for the National Weather Service.

“Working with everyone here has been fun. Everyone is pleasant to work with and helps with many of the problems I get stuck in,” Germino said. “JGMS' goals for us are not only to task us with projects, but their other main goal is to help us overcome our shortcomings, and that's amazing.”

“It has been a great learning experience so far during this fellowship. I've been given the space to reflect and explore how the skills I have learned work in a professional environment,” Tealer said. “I am learning what it is like to work in a team and the importance of having clear communication amongst ourselves to keep everyone on the same track and to maintain the integrity of our projects. What I like the most is how JGMS has created an environment that allows us to feel safe and empowered while exploring the skills we have and learning new ones. What is most challenging is believing that I can solve my problems or answer my questions.”

The NextGen Internship furthers the goals of Northern’s Career Services Department and its partnership with GoEducate, an education to work technology platform that connects people, education and in-demand jobs at the local level.

“Internship opportunities such as the NextGen Stem Internship equip our students with the hands-on skills, adaptability and resilience vital for thriving in today’s dynamic job market,” said Sara McCormick, NNMC Career Services Specialist. “Our GoEducate platform is a vital tool in preparing our students for ‘earn while you learn’ opportunities and career and degree pathways. The platform also provides career assessment for those students that are undecided, as well as a self-guided resume tool.”

"With the help of GoEducate, I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, set achievable goals and create a clear plan to achieve them,” Germino said. “The user-friendly platform allowed me to easily access high-quality training materials and learn independently. I am incredibly grateful for the role GoEducate has played in helping me achieve my professional and future goals."

NextGen will be continuing its relationship with JGMS and expanding both its college/university partnerships and corporate sponsorships in 2024.

Image from left: Natalia Tealer NextGen Intern/NNMC student, Rob Smith, JGMS Project Manager, Abraham Avila, NextGen Intern/CMU student, Mark Furmanek, JGMS Chief Administrative Officer, Jeni Brown, JGMS CFO, Matt Comerford, JGMS Division Manager- Applied Technology and Guillmer Germino, NextGen Intern/NNMC Student


Northern offers over 50 bachelor's, associate and certificate programs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math); Nursing and Health Sciences; Liberal Arts and Humanities; Arts, Film & Media; Business Administration; Teacher Education and Technical Trades.
Northern New Mexico College is the most affordable 4-year college in the Southwestern US. Choose us for our value, our quality degree and continuing education programs in diverse areas of study, and our experienced faculty. We provide students with unique opportunities for academic, personal, and professional growth, small class sizes, personalized attention, and strong hands-on experiences from day one.
The Northern Foundation remains committed to stimulate leadership, promote equity, and grow resources and philanthropy in the Española Valley and surrounding rural areas. Over the past twenty years, we have granted $1.3 million to support over 1,250 NNMC students.