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Robert P. Stiller School of Business students have traveled to Shanghai to gain global and professional work experience, as well as valuable language skills. In this inaugural year, 10 students participated in international internships at the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, courtesy of a prestigious grant from the Freeman Foundation. Some of the students' internships evolved into full-time jobs post-graduation.
"As a result of my internship I've been asked to come back after I graduate and work in Shanghai for the same company," said Patrick Dodge, who interned at Iconx skate shop and Wild Rampage. Dodge conducted further research for the company during his senior International Business capstone.
This opportunity provides Champlain students a chance to gain invaluable international and professional experience. "Being accepted into this program was a major achievement," said alumna, Alaina Cellini, who interned at Shanghai Hippo Animation Company for 10 weeks in the summer of 2013. Cellini utilized her interests in supply chain sustainability, marketing and consulting in the internship at China's leading animation company. "My three months in China were some of the most life changing ones," she continued.
The grant provides a stipend towards normal expenses associated with a semester or summer internship in China. The grant also covers room and board through trusted third-party providers; an internship placement fee; airfare to China; and students may budget for regional travel, food and other goods. Other expenses are out of pocket for students. The program also provides 24/7 in-country support to students while they are abroad.
"We believe that we've built a successful internship model in China with the Freeman Foundation's generous grant and we're confident the program will continue to provide incredibly successful and rewarding professional and personal experiences for the students," said Dean to the Stiller School of Business, Dr. Scott Baker. Baker believes the Freeman Grant has been renewed "due to the incredible success of these programs, which were implemented through extensive collaboration between the Stiller School, the Office of International Education, the Registrar's Office, and the Office of Advancement."
Champlain College works with its third-party providers to match students' majors and interests to internships based established networks of in-country organizations. Champlain faculty and staff routinely travel to Shanghai to check in on the students, connect with internship supervisors and officials, and help students upon their arrival and departure. While they are there, they also interviewed students' site supervisors, ensuring a shared understanding of the high level of work Champlain students are prepared for and the added value they bring to the organizations for whom they intern. Clarifying expectations around the work students will be doing is a priority for the quality and success of current and future placements at these particular organizations.