Internship Course Levels Playing Field of International Work Amidst Pandemic

Singapore
Allie Grill

September 01, 2020

By Samantha Carpentiere ’20

Despite the shift to online learning and remote work resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Susquehanna University leveraged this circumstance to give students an equal opportunity to take part in international internships. Forty-four students from the Sigmund Weis School of Business interned across the globe this summer.

Students reflected on their international experiences in a two-credit course taught by the Career Development Center’s Allie Grill.

The course was designed to help students process and connect their work to both their academics and future career goals. “We at SU wanted to make sure there was an additional layer of support and learning [alongside the internship],” Grill said. “It was our first experience doing these international internships in this capacity, so we wanted students to have a somewhat uniform experience.” The course also helped students hone their career readiness competencies including global/intercultural fluency, leadership and digital technology.

Through common study hours, LinkedIn Learning courses and theoretical readings, students were able to share their work, challenges and opportunities with each other and develop a greater understanding of their own identity and how it contributes to their work ethic. The community that was built through this course “normalized [the students’] challenges and built confidence about their experience,” Grill emphasized.

Students in the course were also required to build their LinkedIn profile, update their résumé, and create an “elevator pitch” to best market their internship experience. Grill explained that as recruiting for summer 2021 starts, students are walking away with a solid portfolio to demonstrate their key experiences to their future endeavors.

“My overall professionalism, even if conducted from my bedroom, evolved substantially by learning the importance of diversity in the workplace and by learning how to market my experience,” said finance major Braeden Cox ’22, who interned for Golden Gate Ventures in Singapore “While normality is just beginning to somewhat return, this unexpected opportunity was undeniably a positive learning experience and I cannot thank Allie Grill enough for taking on this challenge to ensure Sigmund Weis School of Business students like myself did not miss out on preparing themselves for a full-time professional career in the future.”

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