August 10, 2018
While living and working abroad, the late Eric Stein '69 realized the importance of building international business competency in students. Prior to his death in 2006, he generously created the Eric Stein Fund for International Experience, an endowment that enables students in the Sigmund Weis School of Business to intern with companies around the world.
This year, three students were named Stein Fellows and spent their summer working abroad.
Briana Johnson '19, a marketing major from Kernersville, N.C., completed an internship at GirlCrew in Dublin, Ireland.
"Using mainly a social media platform, GirlCrew created an app in which women can conveniently reach out to one another and plan fun adventures," Johnson said.
At GirlCrew, Johnson handled marketing analytics while also managing day-to-day challenges that included identifying weaknesses and opportunities regarding the efficiency of the company's use of social media and finding solutions to advance the company.
"The most challenging part of this experience was adjusting to the Irish culture-or perhaps just the culture of my work environment. Especially in college, I am used to the go-go-go mindset in which I work 110 percent of every second of the day," Johnson said. "On my first day at GirlCrew, I was actually told that I had completed too much during the work day, and that I really needed to slow down and enjoy the project that I was completing."
She's tried to do just that, taking time away from her internship responsibilities to enjoy hiking the lush fields of Ireland.
Johnson plans to attend law school immediately after graduation on her path to becoming a sports agent. In addition to the experience she gained during her internship, she also made valuable connections.
"After I revealed that becoming a sports agent was my career dream, my coworkers set me up with an Irish woman in charge of developing American football in Ireland," Johnson said. "The diverse academic foundation that I have built at SU has helped me tackle every obstacle sent my way. Even as a marketing major, I have developed the financial background to help solve profit-analysis tasks, the graphic design knowledge to help draw out new ideas for the company, and the communication skills that helped me adapt and speak up for myself throughout our daily meetings."
Ryan Beckwith '19, a finance major with a minor in creative writing, spent his summer in Tokyo interning with Titan Consulting, a recruiting agency that specializes in the Japanese healthcare industry.
"My job was to research candidates who are looking for new jobs and try to match them up with job openings in client companies," Beckwith said. "A few of the clients we worked with are global pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bayer."
Beckwith's biggest challenge was the language barrier, which he was able to somewhat overcome through a Japanese language class and his day-to-day dealings with coworkers.
"The Japanese people were very patient when interacting with me and I didn't meet anyone that was frustrated about my language limitations," Beckwith said. "I was able to learn enough Japanese to survive while most people can also speak basic English."
Tokyo is considered one of the most exciting cities in the world, which was one of the reasons Beckwith wanted to go there.
"There are a lot of reasons I wanted to go to Japan, mainly because their culture is vastly different from the U.S. I knew coming in it would be nothing like I ever experienced before so I really enjoyed it," Beckwith said. "It goes without saying that SU prepared me well to work in a business environment, but they also taught me about keeping an open mind when learning new things, like diving headfirst into a different culture."
Jin Zhang '19, a finance major from Port Trevorton, Pa., worked as a financial advisory intern for United Global Capital, a globally focused investment and financial advisory firm based in Melbourne, Australia, that focuses on private wealth, global property and business advisory.
"I was able to help manage our client's portfolio, give investment advice and analysis of potential investment opportunities," Zhang said. "Because United Global Capital is quickly growing, we are consistently getting new clients. Therefore, I was able to take on a group of clients on my own and give them financial advice based on their financial tolerance and economic goals."
That kind of responsibility came with challenges, Zhang said.
He mentioned having the opportunity to allocate a percentage of a client's available cash to stocks. Zhang said he had to learn fast from his advisor to calculate accurately and allocate the right amount to each stock share.
It was a test, Zhang said, but one he was able to handle due in part to supportive colleagues.
"It might sound simple, but I genuinely believe that a great company is created by the people who care about each other and want to work with each other to achieve a common goal," Zhang said. "During my internship, I enjoyed being around the people in the office. Everyone was friendly, patient and cared for me as an intern. We worked on the same projects and figured out solutions."