International Internships Provide Added Value
Professor of Accounting Rick Davis, who served as London program coordinator until midterm, sees the London internships as providing a dual value. Students get the benefits of working in professional settings while also stepping out of their comfort zones to experience new cultures, says Davis, who will be succeeded by Jerry Habegger, associate professor of accounting and London program director.
"The London experience overlays the traditional internship with international exposure. Students may be doing some of the same things they'd do in a typical internship, but they'll be doing it in another culture. The cross-cultural experience helps to accomplish one of the goals of the GO program," Davis says.
The London internships will also encourage the 19 Susquehanna students enrolled in the program this fall to branch out in new ways.
"Each of our students will be flying solo," Davis says. "They'll be placed with different companies and organizations, so it will be an opportunity for immersion. They'll be interacting with Brits, sharing lunch with them and maybe even some social time," Davis says.
The internship requirement will truly set Susquehanna students apart, adds Davis, a tax accountant and lawyer.
Combine the international travel and internship with a university experience that couples the liberal arts with a business school accredited by AACSB, along with faculty mentors and a strong alumni network, and SWSB students are poised for success, he says.
"Our students' resumes will be very strong," says Davis, who also led a trip to Ireland with the students before he returns to the United States.
Habegger agrees that exposure to the London business community will give students a leg up when looking for opportunities following graduation. "Anyone with an international internship on their resume will have an edge, and these are really good internships. Not only are students working in another country, they're getting great professional experience."
Habegger credits former business school dean Carl Bellas with being the first to recognize the value of international exposure for business students. Even before the GO program, Susquehanna had a longstanding commitment to study abroad, but business students typically did not study away, says Habegger. "There were limited opportunities for business students, and many of the first-generation students we were attracting weren't interested in going abroad."
Bellas planted the seeds that led to establishment of the London program. After the GO program was launched, it made sense for the London program to move under the GO umbrella, Habegger continues. "It met the GO learning goals and led to the desired outcomes."
The newly designed London program provides students with "tremendous experiences and a major talking point when they're meeting with prospective employers," Habegger says. "It is a global society. Students must understand other cultures, other environments, and most London businesses are global. These internships will set these students up for professional opportunities and success."