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    Jonathan McBride

June 22, 2020

As the world adapts to a “new normal” in response to COVID, these new global circumstances require new approaches and innovation. Susquehanna’s entrepreneurial faculty and staff at the Sigmund Weis School of Business devised a way to continue its longstanding commitment to hands-on global business placements — through remote international internships.

Forty-four juniors and seniors are working with companies based in locations worldwide, including Barcelona, Singapore, Hong Kong, London and New Zealand. Host companies range from startups to Fortune 500s and span a variety of industries, including financial institutions, marketing agencies, consultancies and healthcare. Internships run from a four-week consulting position to a six- to eight-week individual internship.

Students who are interning remotely are required to complete a two-credit course through Susquehanna’s Career Development Center. Associate Director of Employer Engagement Alexandra Grill teaches the course, which is focused on synthesizing the career readiness skills students are gaining through work with their host company.

“Given the global pandemic brought on by COVID-19, the local, national and global workforce is in a period of rapid transformation. These students are experiencing that firsthand, both domestically and in their international internship sites,” Grill said. “Tackling a remote international internship is an excellent example of perseverance and demonstrates how proactive our students are when it comes to their own professional development.”

The course requires students to participate in weekly reflection and professional development activities to help them:

  • Apply concepts from the students’ field of study in the international internship context;
  • Identify the cultural differences between domestic work/internships and the students’ internship placement; and
  • Hone the career readiness competencies of global/intercultural fluency, teamwork, communication, leadership, professionalism, digital technology and career management.

“During a remote international internship, students are honing global/intercultural fluency and digital technology skills on a daily basis,” Grill said. “These are two skills that are prioritized by employers. Study abroad is a differentiator for Susquehanna University being one of only a handful of schools in the nation that requires a study-away experience for all students; this experience builds upon that history.”

The Global Opportunities program is an instrumental partner in the business school’s commitment to guaranteeing international internships for its students.