Three Internships – Three Continents
by Amanda O'Rourke
Seniors Owen Madden and Ciara Middleton have clearly recognized the value of working in another country, having both interned on three continents each during their years at Susquehanna.
Their first experiences were in the U.S. before they went to work in another country, but even their domestic internships had international flavor.
Middleton, a global management major from Malvern, Pennsylvania, interned remotely for Deaf Open World, a New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization that provides services to deaf youth in Swaziland. Madden’s internship with the Nitron Group in Greenwich, Connecticut, required him to be in constant communication with suppliers, buyers and banks in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
“After gaining the confidence to work within a business environment domestically, I felt that I was up for the challenge to intern in London,” Madden, a finance major from New Rochelle, New York, said.
Madden and Middleton completed their London internships while on their Global Opportunities program with the Sigmund Weis School of Business, which requires internships of all its students. Their experiences gave them the confidence to take their international skills to the next level with internships in a non-Westernized country.
“I realized the comfort I had while in the U.K., surrounded by Susquehanna classmates, and I wanted my [next internship] to develop my adaptive and communicative skills,” Middleton said. “I have studied Spanish for years and I have always wanted to take my studies to the next level. I knew that pushing myself to enter a predominantly Spanish-speaking workplace would facilitate that progression.”
At Avamore Capital in London, Madden researched the effects that Brexit could have on the financial real estate market by analyzing political factors and their relationship to economic factors such as net migration rates, rental vacancy rates and business relocation rates.
“This experience taught me how to use the relationships, theories and concepts I learned in the classroom to analyze and interpret current political and economic trends,” Madden said. “After learning to manage the cultural differences in London, I felt that I wanted to further step outside of my comfort zone and truly work globally in Hong Kong.”
In Hong Kong, Madden interned with Winson Capital, providing operational support for clients, providers and senior financial advisors. He assisted in the development and design of portfolios that suited his clients’ goals while maintaining their risk appetite.
“Because of the difference in culture between the U.S. and Hong Kong, I learned the importance of adapting to different situations while interacting with clients,” Madden said. “This is a skill that holds the utmost importance in a global economy. It can be the difference between closing a deal or losing it.”
Middleton’s first international internship was for Flight Centre Business Travel in London. Her second took her to Magma Partners in Santiago, Chile, a South American hub for startup businesses. The company is a venture capital investment firm that provides support for early stage Latin American companies.
At Magma, Middleton did translation work, managed the company’s social media platforms and created content based on Magma’s podcast that promotes Latin American entrepreneurship.
Middleton and Madden both embarked on their internships in Chile and Hong Kong with the support of the Eric Stein ’69 Fund, which allows students in the Sigmund Weis School of Business to experience new cultures while interning internationally.
“The Sigmund Weis School of Business is the reason I was able to embark on a dual abroad program where I studied and interned in London,” Middleton said. “I came to Chile knowing what it would be like to leave home for a long period of time, create a brand new network, and independently work out how to navigate a novice location.”
Madden also credits Susquehanna’s liberal arts foundation for giving him a broad knowledge base in addition to the skills he gained through the Sigmund Weis School of Business in order to fully realize the potential of his international business experiences.
“An SU graduate once told me, ‘SU provides countless doors of opportunities and your ambition gives you the confidence to walk through them,’” Madden said. “I want to pursue a career in the international economy, and Susquehanna has been a perfect union between where I want to go with my career and life and the tools that will let me achieve them.”
Middleton is completing her fourth internship, this time on campus at the Center for Economics, Business & Entrepreneurship Education.