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Jordan Levine, a mechanical engineering major, will work for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a technology consultant following commencement.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Commencement 2015 profile: Jordan Levine
May 12, 2015Tweet
Jordan Levine’s final year at Binghamton University could be described as a real-life toy story.
The 22-year-old from Suffern, N.Y., spent the summer of 2014 working as a product-engineering intern at Fisher-Price/Mattel in New York City. Levine assisted and supported full-time managers as they worked on the design and development of branded toys.
“Every day, I would get products on my desk,” said Levine, a mechanical engineering major in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. “There might be a toy sample with no paint on it yet. We made sure everything was on schedule.
While the office’s branded toys included Disney Jr. and Thomas the Tank Engine, Levine worked with products from Nickelodeon, such as Dora the Explorer.
“People could say: ‘Oh, you sat at a desk and played with toys all day.’ That is what I did on days when (Fisher-Price/Mattel) wanted to test the functionality of a toy,” Levine said. “But I was also examining the toy and trying to make good recommendations about how to fix the issues. There is a lot of critical thinking involved.”
Levine learned about the position through Watson Career and Alumni Connections, which was working with Fisher-Price Engineering Director David Wong ’95 to find some student help. Levine interviewed three times, including once at the company’s 7th Avenue offices, before getting the internship.
“When would I ever get another chance to work at a company like this?” Levine remembered asking himself. “It’s probably the best job I will ever have.”
Levine arrived at Binghamton University as a fan of “the mechanical parts of physics: energies, momentums, velocities.” He chose mechanical engineering as a major and soon discovered the strengths of the Watson School.
“These are smart faculty members who are also good at teaching,” he said. “They give students the passion for knowledge.
“The students are another strength. You go through this curriculum with the same students over the course of three-and-a-half to four years. You get to know them so well. This (2015) class is a tight-knit group. Nobody is out to compete and get ahead. We share our resources so that everyone can succeed. Everyone recognizes how much work needs to be put in. You need the strength of your peers.”
Levine has spent the last year helping his peers while working at Watson Career and Alumni Connections as a student assistant. He reviews résumés, offers interviewing advice and helps plan events and projects.
“The best part of the job is when students come back and say: ‘Because of your help with my résumé, I caught the attention of an interviewer and now I have an internship,” he said.
Denise Lorenzetti, director of Watson Career and Alumni Connections, and Olivia Schofield, Watson Career and Alumni Connections coordinator, said they knew Levine would be an asset to their team.
“During our first meeting with Jordan, it was easy to see that he is very confident, well-spoken, and has a passion for learning and helping others,” the pair said. “This has held true as Jordan has been a strong contributor and a team player for the Watson Career and Alumni Connections team. Jordan has strong leadership skills, drive and professionalism, which assist him in excelling academically. We envision Jordan as a future leader in whichever path he takes.”
Levine’s other campus accomplishments include being part of a team of engineering students that built and presented a Formula SAE Electric vehicle in Loudon, N.H., in April.
In August, Levine will begin working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a technology consultant.
“I liked my experience at Mattel,” he said. “It was well-rounded engineering and working one-on-one with people. That got me thinking about doing something analytical, but not so heavy on the engineering. (PwC) will give me some good business skills to complement my engineering skills.”
The summer at Fisher-Price/Mattel continues to resonate with Levine. He hopes to someday do project management/engineering work in a consumer-product field. Levine also realizes the impact of the toys he worked on.
“Young children are learning from these toys,” he said. “If it’s a Dora toy that speaks Spanish, that child is learning Spanish through it.”
Levine still can see the results of his labor whenever he enters a store such as Target.
“The coolest part was when I would go to pick up school supplies,” he said. “I would be sure to wander into the toy aisle and see the toys on the wall. I thought: ‘I worked on that toy!’ I may have had a small role in the development of the toy, but I still played a part in it. Now it’s on the shelves and I can touch it and buy it. That’s rewarding.”