Alanna Kopp's Chinese Experience
Often business students prefer to spend their summers in an internship position in the United States. Alanna Kopp took a different route when she spent the month of July teaching English to students in the mountains of China’s Sichuan province.
How did she get there? Alanna chose her international business major because she loves being overseas and loves business. As she felt God’s calling to go overseas, he provided an opportunity through a non-profit organization that sends teachers to China. After going through the interview process, aided by the Career Services office, she accepted a volunteer position teaching English in a camp setting to twenty-five eager 15-17 year-olds.
How did the experience apply to her major? Alanna said it was interesting to see what American products made it into the Asian market, and what adaptations they had gone through. Good luck finding Lays’ barbeque chips – available flavors included blueberry and lime. She saw applications of case studies from her classes, and now has a better understanding of the difficulties companies face when breaking into a foreign market. Her international business classes helped prepare her for the experience and her studies of the Chinese language were also put to good use.
Despite some challenges in adapting to cultural differences, Alanna’s career path still has an international focus with the goal of being involved in international development. The experience reinforced her studies at Grove City and stretched her personally and professionally.
Candice VanTuilis a Senior Business Management major. This summer she had the opportunity to work at Athletes in Action. As an intern, she worked with the AIA’s sports complex. Her specific duties were helping with facilitating all the events on the complex. The greatest example of this was her duties revolving around the Athletes in Action’s collegiate baseball team. Candice also did marketing for the team. She worked in game entertainment, game day management, helped plan a stadium dedication, and plan the home opener festivities.
While an intern she learned that there is so much more that goes into planning and executing an event for a sports team then what everyone knows about. It is so much more complicated and detail oriented then people think. For those who are looking to get an internship she suggests making sure that you go after an internship that you are really going to enjoy, not just one that will look good on a resume. You need to be willing to stretch yourself, she says. If you do something you love, it will not only be a fabulous experience, but also one that is of great value.
Matt McKibbenis a Junior Business Management major. This summer he was an intern at RAHE Inc., which is a McDonald’s franchisee. He was a Certified Shift Manager for RAHE and therefore put in charge of the operational facets that go on each day. The most important trait he learned was how to work with people, whether it is an employee or a customer. This helped in dealing with different tasks and projects that needed to be completed for the internship. The most important part of learning to work with people was specifically in learning leadership skills. This helped him in working with employees that were under his control.
For those interested in an internship, Matt suggests exploring many different options, no matter how big or small; to find something that suits one’s personal abilities. Therefore, when one obtains an internship they can be a sponge and absorb and learn as much information as they possibly can.
Samara Vermilyais a Senior Business Management major. Over the summer she was an intern at African Inland Missions, International Services. While there, Samara was a Human Resources intern in Nairobi, Kenya. She spent her time working with national and international missionaries. She specifically worked for the paid staff and the missionaries. For the paid staff, she helped with finances, accounting, and financial planning. For the missionaries, she assisted in immigration paperwork, and documentation. Outside the office, she had the opportunity to embrace African life. She had a great international experience in learning business in an entirely different culture. Samara learned that Africa is much different from the US in how they do and think about many things.
She suggests to someone who is interested in an internship that “the sky is the limit”. If you feel God calling you in a certain direction, run hard after it. Networking is key and getting your name out there is very important. Ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid of doors that close in your face.
Nicholas Rendallis a Senior Marketing Management major. He interned with the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation. While working there he performed tasks around the Federation in Lake Placid, New York. His main responsibilities were updating website content, writing articles, creating a blog, and creating marketing proposals. From this experience he learned “all parts of making business deals and had the opportunity to improve his marketing skills.” He was able to develop his public relations abilities and learned how to use personal skills in developing donation campaigns.
For those looking into internships, his suggestion is the importance of the follow-up. Following up with a potential employer is key. Make sure that when you say you will follow up with a potential employer, make sure you do; so to distinguish yourself above other candidates.
Blake Curleis a Senior Finance major. This summer, he had the privilege of working for Paradigm Shift in South Africa. In South Africa, he worked with many churches by reviewing their loan approval process and helping with business training courses. He learned how to run a micro credit program and how it can help people break the cycle of poverty. He also learned “practical things about how repayment works and how to train businesspeople, but more importantly, learned about how business knowledge can help the impoverished.”
For those looking into internships, Blake suggests looking for an international internship, as it results in learning something about other cultures, seeing the world, and still learning about your field. He recommends looking at ministries, as they need businessmen and women to help in many ways that we take for granted.