Summer 2013: Gretchen Hughes: Fortcome Ltd. Shanghai
This past summer from May - July 2013, Gretchen Hughes pursued the opportunity of a lifetime, completing an internship in Shanghai, China through the CSB/SJU Center for Global Education's Summer Global Internship Program. Gretchen discovered this global internship opportunity after talking with Global Business Leadership Professor, Paul Marsnik. Although she was initially interested in an internship in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Dr. Marsnik encouraged her to pursue an internship in China, since it would be an ideal place to continue to explore the Chinese culture.
During her internship, Gretchen's limits were pushed further than she would have ever imagined. "I gave weekly culture lessons from the American perspective including: business emails, holidays, sports, dining etiquette, and public speaking." She was also able to design an "American style" kitchen and acted as spokeswoman for the company's KingSlicer product line. Gretchen's responsibilities also included market research on various kinds of outdoor equipment, proofreading the company's product descriptions online, and providing welcome materials (and even birthday cards) for visiting buyers.
Throughout her summer internship journey, there were numerous beneficial experiences. However, Gretchen says, "The most beneficial aspect of my internship was learning more about a real-world office setting, while also being able to observe cultural and communication differences. I was the only foreigner in my office and there were times where it was very difficult to understand my co-workers (or vice versa). I believe I have a lot left to learn when it comes to understanding others' perspectives and perceptions, and my internship provided me with an opportunity to begin that journey." As an intern, Gretchen used many skills she learned at CSB/SJU, such as networking and relationship building. She explained that the internship also provided her with fundamental skills that will help her in the future, such as self-motivation, pushing yourself, planning ahead, multi-tasking and seeking cultural understanding.
One of the most memorable moments during the summer internship was at her first company dinner. According to Gretchen, it is Chinese custom to toast to each guest at the table. When it was her turn to be toasted, her boss gave this advice: "At the end of your time with Forcome, I want you to be able to describe to me all the mistakes you made," he said, "I have little interest in what you do right, because you will learn very little from those tasks. [...] I hope by the end of your time in China, that you will be able to say you learned from many mistakes, and you will not have to make them again."
When asked about her choice to complete a global internship experience, Gretchen describes it as the best decision of her life. In addition to encouraging other students to pursue global internship opportunities, Gretchen also advises future interns to "Go into your internships with an extremely open mind. [...] Try to make the most out of each moment you have. Whether you're tired, whether you're a little bored, or whether you're excited for your plans next weekend, you never know what you'll discover or be able to look back on and appreciate."
Julie Zaborowski, a College of Saint Benedict Senior, Humanities major, experienced an opportunity of a life time over the summer of 2013. Julie interned at the 9-11 Tribute Center in New York, NY. She worked as the Education and Exhibit Intern where she served as a tour guide to visitors from around the world and gathered visitor cards. Visitor cards varied from personal experiences to poetry to even notes written to family members lost in the tragedy. During her internship, Julie used the visitor cards to create an exhibit in the gallery of the Tribute Center. While at the 9-11 Tribute Center, Julie often found herself as part of a support system to those who had been personally affected by 9-11.
Julie says, "The most beneficial aspect of my internship was learning about 9-11 and the effects on our country and world. It was also a great experience because I was able to meet and talk with those who were there. It was also an amazing experience to work inside a non-profit and see how they work." When asked, "What was the most surprising aspect of your internship"?, Julie answered, "when a group of university students from Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt came to the Tribute Center and had a discussion about 9-11 with them. This was very memorable because many of them knew very little or nothing about 9-11."
Julie was able to relate her experience back to the classroom by learning more about the past as well as others' perspectives on this world changing event. This internship helped Julie gain an understanding of the world as well as the current events happening in it. Julie said the most memorable event during her internship experience was, "when we went on internship excursions to different museums in NYC, and went to the National Museum of Jewish Heritage and had a tour from a Holocaust survivor. It was an amazing tour and experience of someone who was willing to talk about horrible experiences and how he could go on and live life afterwards."
To close her internship, Julie's final task was to research visitor responses that could be used in future Tribute Center marketing campaigns. Julie both encourages and advises future interns to, "make the best of the opportunity, ask lots of questions from everyone you work with, work hard, and you will have a great experience."
As a senior Environmental Studies major, Emily Hayne completed an internship this summer as a Community Garden Education Intern at the Mahtomedi Community Garden. Emily says her, "primary responsibilities are to present education to the youth during summer daycare programs. I have been able to create lessons for the daycare programs that incorporate activities that encourage young students to be involved in gardening. However, I also want to expose the students to different lessons about the environment such as human interaction with agriculture and nature. In addition, I am working at the community garden to promote composting and gardening care. I am managing two plots that have a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce and spinach. These vegetables, once fully grown, will be donated to the community food shelf. I have also been given the opportunity to document gardening development in the community. My entries detail the activities and benefits of our community gardens and have been posted to the Just BARE national blog page."
Emily has loved working with her community members and teaching them about the things she loves the most was very rewarding for her. She said, "I know my position as the community garden intern effects many people, but it has been a privilege watching the young gardeners get excited about gardening and learning about nature. I'm surprised by how much they have learned and become connected to nature by gardening with me."
As an intern, Emily has been able to apply many of the lessons she was taught in CSB/SJU courses to aid in teaching young community gardeners. She has learned a great deal from her internship and loved achieving her daily goals.
One of the more memorable experiences that Emily had includes a group of five to seven year old children who were helping her plant vegetables in large pots. "They were very excited to get their hands in the soil and plant vegetables and seeds. It was difficult for them to get them away from the plants, soil, and seeds until several unexpected visitors made an appearance." Emily recalls, "This was the brief moment that the kids left their vegetable plants to hide behind me from the big-bad-bees and dragonflies that were flying too close for their comfort."
Emily's advice to future interns would be to, "do something fun that you will enjoy, and will allow you to develop your strengths as a student and employee!".
During this past summer, AJ completed an internship opportunity at Bruno Press in St. Joseph, MN. Bruno Press is a small business operated by Mary Bruno where she designs and prints her own line of cards. In addition, she does commission work such as wedding or graduation invitations, event posters, and post cards.
Throughout his experience, AJ has had a variety of opportunities come his way. He worked alongside of Mary in the creation and printing of the Millstream Art Festival posters and post cards used to advertise the festival. Also, he had the opportunity to create graduation invitations and thank you letters along with posters and business cards for Richard Bohannon who is running for state house.According to AJ, his most rewarding experience was attending the Lunalux Lock-in with Mary. Lunalux is an artist collaboration lock-in where artists are able to create poster ideas and combine them in a jar to share with others for inspiration. Each artist has a time slot where they select an idea from the jar and print a poster in their allotted time slot. AJ and Mary's posters were an absolute hit.
While interning at Bruno Press AJ was able to take away many aspects. He acquired advanced techniques on how to design and print. He also learned how Mary operates her business and how she designs her products to fit a commercial market. While attending the Lunalux event, AJ was able to experience how Mary interacted and networked with other artists to build her business as well as theirs.
For more information please click on the link: http://mcbrunopress.com/
This past summer, Bridget Deutz, a Senior Communications major at St. Ben's, completed an internship at DAYTA Marketing. Located in St. Joseph, Minnesota, DAYTA Marketing creates and manages social media sites for small to mid-sized businesses while developing new media including web design, video, and photography. DAYTA Marketing believes that young, outgoing and creative people help keep the company fresh and current. Therefore, DAYTA Marketing strives to provide extraordinary experiential learning opportunities for interns seeking hands on experience. For Bridget Duetz, her experience at DAYTA Marketing was above and beyond what she expected to gain from an internship.
As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Bridget was responsible for the social media presence of three different clients. To fulfill this duty, Bridget worked with a variety of sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and even more. As well as monitoring the content of these sites, Bridget was involved in brainstorming creative content and meeting on a regular basis with DAYTA Marketing staff and team members as well as clients.
For Bridget, the most beneficial aspect of her internship was the opportunity to gain hands on experience. Reflecting back on her internship, Bridget stated, "I've learned a lot about social media and marketing in various classes and as an executive board member of Marketing Club, but DAYTA gave me the real-world experience that I wouldn't had otherwise". For Bridget, the opportunity to apply the experience she gained during her internship is quickly approaching.
During Bridget's internship, the Vice President of Marketing at St. Cloud Federal Credit Union contacted DAYTA Marketing looking for a referral to fulfill their new position. DAYTA Marketing recommended Bridget who was later offered a position as a Social Media Marketing Coordinator. Bridget accepted the full time position and will start full time in January!
For future interns, Bridget's words of advice are, "If you're thinking about an internship - DO IT!" Bridget also recommends that future interns explore all aspects of their internship with curiosity and frequently ask questions. In her opinion, the "experience you gain as an intern is priceless for where it may take you in the future". DAYTA Marketing recommends that future interns dress professionally and come prepared with the knowledge of a variety of social media platforms as well as excellent tactics in spelling and grammar. Both Bridget and DAYTA Marketing encourage future interns to develop a strong and professional relationship with their company. Most importantly, have fun and create a memorable experience!
For more information please click on the link: http://www.daytamarketing.com/
Kelsey Torchia, a Senior CSB Environmental Studies major, took part in an unforgettable internship opportunity this Spring Semester as a Project Assistant with the Association for Social and Environmental Development (ASED). ASED is a non-profit organization in Kolkata, India, that works for the development and betterment of society and the environment. Its mission includes "working to achieve biodiversity enhancement through public awareness, action research, and people's participation as well as assisting in building sound civil society organizations through capacity enhancement, documentation, and action research."
During her time in India, Kelsey provided impoverished children and their families in the Sundarbans, located approximately three hours south of Kolkata, with solar powered lights. Many people living in India do so without accessibility to electricity. Thus, after the sun goes down, they have no access to light. As part of her internships, Kelsey was given the responsibility of creating a documentary video about her experience traveling to the Sundarbans and delivering the solar powered lamps. Her documentary includes powerful images of the landscape, as well as poignant footage of the interviews she conducted with recipients of the lamps.
According to Kelsey, this experience was a life-changing opportunity that she will never forget. She stated that
"[this internship has provided me with a direct look into what it would be like pursuing a career working for a [non-governmental organization]. The work is challenging and often times carried out in an environment doing work that is often neglected by governments. However, the work is extremely rewarding and the most needed towards the development of a greater society today. Through this internship, I have seen that NGO's work act as a guide and a facilitator to the creation of change. In the case of ASED, it is not only the solar lamps that are changing lives, but the awareness and education that the children are given about environmental conservation that ultimately promotes a sustainable future."
Kelsey was also featurned in an article in her hometown newspaper! Click here to view the article.
For more information click on the link: http://www.asedkol.org/
During the summer of 2010 I had the privilege to work with Breakthrough Saint Paul. Breakthrough Saint Paul is an enrichment program for under-privileged and under-resourced youth in the Saint Paul Public Schools. Each year the program recruits 60 sixth-grade students who are highly motivated, but overlooked in their classrooms due to over population in the Saint Paul Schools. These students become part of a six year program consisting of two summers of rigorous Math, English, Science, and Social Studies classes before moving into the high school program where they receive laptops and complete weekly assignments. Finally, the program assists the students with getting into college by helping them through the college application process. The thing that makes Breakthrough unique is its "students teaching students" model. In order to be eligible to teach at the program, one has to be a junior or senior in high school or in the process of completing their undergraduate studies. Teachers and students are able to make connections and the students look up to these teachers as role models.
For the past two summers, I did this challenging, but very rewarding internship. I taught Social Studies to two sections of 10 students each. I designed a 6-week curriculum around elections, teaching students about how Americans gained the right to vote, the election process, and government. Students were able to participate in a mock election and to complete research papers. The main goal of the social studies department was to assist students with developing research, writing, and discussion skills. As I watched the students' growth through the summer, I felt I'd been successful.
Teaching was not my only role with the internship. I was also responsible for planning Friday events, participating in all school meetings, holding conferences with parents, and helping the program run daily. Despite working long hours every day, I had a ton of fun doing my job. Every day I woke up at 6 am to get to work, but knowing that I was going to be with Breakthrough students really gave me the inspiration to get through the day. I loved every minute of my job because it involved kids, who really needed the extra help. It was even more impressive because these kids came to Breakthrough daily during the summer when they could be off doing fun things with friends. It shows that they are dedicated to getting to college even though they are only in middle school. I can resonate with these kids because I had to do similar things on my path to college.
I love Breakthrough Saint Paul because is a program filled with energy. The kids are involved in hands-on activities that take learning to the next level and make it more fun. Breakthrough has an atmosphere, filled with cheers throughout the day and transition music to classes. Lunch time is loud, all school meetings are loud, and students really benefit from this environment because it is much different from regular school. I can truly attribute my development as a person and educator to the entire Breakthrough Saint Paul community. I would recommend this internship to anyone who loves working with kids and is interested in their development as an educator as well as a human being.
For more information click on the link: http://www.breakthroughsaintpaul.org/
Last summer, some CSB/SJU students chose to intern abroad. Andrew Braith, a senior History major, was one of them. Andrew interned at Centri Civilnih Inicijativa in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Andrew spent most of his days editing grant reports and publications for grammar and content. He also performed research on a variety of subjects, including public relations and the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina's constitution. He had the opportunity to sit in on press conferences on occasion. Some of his time there was spent setting up a database of contact for the office, a difficult task as he was writing it in a different language! At the end of Andrew's internship, he spent a great deal of time working through parts of an $8 million grant from USAID, which he says is "an experience I could not have anywhere else!"
Andrew learned a great deal about the culture of Bosnia and Herzegovina while interning. He said, "In the evening I would practice language and work with my co-workers on speaking during morning coffee." He also said he learned a great deal about how the BiH government functions and what role the international community plays in aiding and reconstructing Bosnia and Herzegovina. "I came to understand corruption, nationalism, and ethno-religious discrimination on a personal level. Although I was exposed to primarily well-educated individuals, some people I met either in person or on paper helped me realize that several individuals think dangerously close-mindedly. Through these chance meetings, I learned about the value of education in reducing ethno-religious hatred, and how people can change through knowledge," Andrew said.
Andrew's experience was life-changing overall. Along with meeting incredible people that became like a family, he said, "I learned about international affairs and aid which has expanded both my outlook on life and my worldview. Learning about grants from organizations like USAID has given me renewed fervor for increasing international aid projects throughout the world. This experience benefited me greatly and I am a better person for the experience. I have made lasting friends and gained valuable experience in the grant writing process; I simply could not ask for more!"
For more information please click on the link: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=hr&u=http://www.cci.ba/&prev=/search%3Fq%3DCentri%2BCivilnih%2BInicijativa,%2BSarajevo,%2BBosnia%2Band%2BHerzegovina%26biw%3D968%26bih%3D638
To some people, training dolphins might sound like a dream. To Vanessa Yeager, it was not only that, but the opportunity of a lifetime as well. Vanessa is a junior Liberal Studies major, and this past summer she worked as a Marine Mammal Intern at the Minnesota Zoo. Vanessa's summer days consisted of spending long hours in a wetsuit, sorting through hundreds of fish...and training bottlenose dolphins. Not only did Vanessa play with and train the dolphins, but she also got to direct dolphin shows at the Zoo. During the shows, Vanessa's favorite part was doing Semo's (one of the dolphins) fluke splash. A fluke splash is when Vanessa would hold a target pole over the pool, and as Semo swam by, she would slap the water with the pole. This would cause Semo to splash his fluke in the water, causing a "monsoon" of water to drench Vanessa.
Although Vanessa had a wonderful time during her summer internship at the Zoo, it wasn't all fun and games; she learned a lot as well. There are many important ideas that go into dolphin training, such as operant conditioning and using positive and negative reinforcement. Vanessa said that, "trainers need to be really conscious of what's going on, because just being present in the pool area can be reinforcement for the negative behavior of a dolphin".
After graduation next year, Vanessa wants to go to graduate school to become a marine mammal veterinarian. Her internship at the Minnesota Zoo has given her valuable experience in her field of interest, as well as helped her meet people who may play a pivotal role in her acceptance to graduate school.
Working with Dolphins Vanessa Feeding Dolphins
For more information please click on the link: http://www.mnzoo.org/global/internship.asp
"When in Rome" is a popular saying that many of us have heard but there are only a few of us have actually been able to say it and mean it. Fortunately for her, Katie McMurray is one of those lucky people. Over the summer of 2007, Katie spent seven weeks in Rome, Italy interning at the Community of Sant 'Egidio serving the Italian community through various forms of volunteer work. Katie stumbled upon this internship through family friends who were able to experience the uniqueness of the Italian community and started a similar one here in Minnesota. Katie jumped on the opportunity to make a difference in the world and off she went to Italy.
One of the best things about Katie's internship was her ability to connect with people. "I liked telling people about the community, sharing its history and explaining what the community does today internationally and in Rome," says Katie. Her daily tasks, besides enjoying her beautiful surroundings, included: working at a soup kitchen, making food packages for the homeless, working at "School of Peace" an after school program, and spending time with people of the community.
While she was in Italy, Katie stayed with a host family whom she met through her family friends. She described her experience as eye-opening and enjoyed her sense of independence and her opportunity to constantly meet new people. Katie has used this internship toward her goal of a Peace Studies major but also has walked away with so much more. This internship has provided Katie with a diverse world experience and has made a positive difference in her life and the life of the community. As Katie says, and many of us would agree: "Peace is wonderful".
Summer 2007 New Friends
Enjoying Rome Spending time with the Locals
For more information please click on the link: http://www.santegidio.org/index.php?&idLng=1064
Sometimes the most valuable internships aren't located overseas or across the country, but right in your backyard. During fall '06-spring '07, Senior Psychology and Communication major, Mary Scheeler found an experience-filled internship with the area WorkForce Center at the Sauk Rapids-Rice high school. The WorkForce Center is a very popular place to intern through our office and provides great contacts and support in the area.
Calling colleges, meeting with students to discuss post-high school plans, and helping students research majors, careers, and colleges are just a few activities in a typical day for Mary. Her work is highly student focused, which she says is her favorite part of what she does. She enjoys "meeting with the students and talking to them about their interests, and helping them understand what they want to do with their lives."
Currently, Mary is working on a Sophomore Open House, which will welcome sophomore students into the Career Center to get to know the staff and learn about their resources. Mary's internship has allowed her to incorporate both her majors while gaining great experience. While advising and counseling students, she also gets to advertise and market the Career Center. Mary said, "Having an internship as part of my academic plan has been beneficial in preparing me for future work experience."
For more information please click on the link: http://www.isd47.org/