Kettering University student working on impactful projects for government in co-op position

“I always tell families to apply for their dream job because they will be surprised to learn that they can actually get it.”

As a tour guide in the Welcome Center at Kettering University, Nick Foggia ‘16 offers the same bit of advice for all prospective students and their parents.

“I always tell families to apply for their dream job because they will be surprised to learn that they can actually get it,” Foggia said.  

Foggia followed his own advice and has spent the past three years completing his co-op with the United States federal government in Washington D.C. while working toward a joint degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering at Kettering.

Foggia first learned about Kettering after he finished an economics test early at Woodhaven High School, just south of Detroit. His teacher took his test and left a pile of college brochures on his desk in its place.

“In one of the pamphlets, I saw an advertisement for Kettering and connected with it,” Foggia said. “I came to visit the school once and I didn’t apply anywhere else.”

The culture, students and overall atmosphere inspired Foggia to attend Kettering. He chose to work with computers because it involved solving large-scale puzzles. Similar to a co-op at a large private corporation, Foggia was able to shift across multiple departments and was exposed to different coding languages and technical skills associated with both of his majors while working for the government.

“I didn’t know what to expect at first but this department has a huge impact on the entire country,” Foggia said. “When I had the opportunity to take this, I had to accept it. Now that I accepted it , I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”  

Foggia has an offer to return to work for the federal government after graduating this year but has also been interviewing with large private sector companies in Silicon Valley in California. While deciding between full-time positions, he’s also completing his on-campus duties.

“I came to Kettering with few expectations,” Foggia said. “I did not expect to get involved as much as I did but the more I did the more I enjoyed being a part of something.”

Foggia is the B-section student body president, Kettering Leaders Fellow, a first-year-experience peer mentor and a member of Beta Theta Pi and the esteemed Robot honor society. He credits the opportunities he’s had to his ability to network both on campus and at his co-op position.

“Networking is one of the biggest opportunities that Kettering students have,” Foggia said. “Just talking to somebody might give you a job offer or a connection to a place you otherwise might not have expected.”