Connections

Business Interns Span the GlobeBusiness Interns Span the Globe
Summer internships for School of Business students span the globe.

Summer internships for School of Business students span the globe.

Dan Shirley ’12 worked this summer in his hometown of Madison, Conn., for Squeeze Pod, a new company manufacturing single-dose dispensing systems for travelers’ lotions and gels.

Jared Finke ’12 went to Windhagen, Germany, to work for Wirtgen GmbH, part of Wirtgen Group, an international corporation that manufactures road construction equipment.

Internships place students in venture capital firms, fashion companies and nonprofits. And an internship allows the student to put to use almost every course taken at Ithaca.

Summer internships are a natural extension of the campus experience, says Elma Borcilo ’12, who spent her summer with City Year New York, a mentoring and tutoring program for inner-city youth. She helped created a 140-page math guide for tutors, input grades for partner schools, and assisted in the Starfish Corps, a literacy-based service program for third- to sixth-graders.

“I have been able to effectively combine my education and my campus experiences to learn so much through my time at Ithaca. This internship with City Year has allowed me to refine these skills that I began to learn at school and it has let me put my knowledge to work,” said Borcilo, an international business and marketing major with a minor in politics.

She perfected the Excel skills she learned in freshman and sophomore classes, especially from management professor William Tastle. “When I was given the task to make pie charts to show the progress of the students in math and language arts, I felt confident that I could do the task, which was a delight to my supervisor, who did not know how to complete the task,” she said.

She applied what she learned in writing politics papers to compose letters that asked other organizations to collaborate with City Year New York.

And “the skills I was taught about proper business etiquette and different cultural customs allowed me to properly adapt to an environment that was a vast pool of different religions, cultures and business customs,” she said.

Back on campus for her senior year, Borcilo says she will use the research skills she learned at City Year and bring a nonprofit focus to her marketing research class and emphasize her experience with inner-city schools in two politics classes.

“Ithaca College is amazing at preparing students for real-world application, because we are a hands-on school, as opposed to text-based,” said Jake Tenenbaum ’12, who spent the summer in New York City with the J. Christopher Capital marketing team, working on the accounts of C.Wonder and Monika Chiang.

“My responsibilities were immense,” said Tenenbaum, a business administration major concentrating in international business and marketing, while studying for minors in integrated marketing communications and legal studies. Both accounts are new ventures aimed at women – C.Wonder, a luxury retail store; and Monika Chiang, a consumer lifestyle and retail brand.

“I was working on comparison research with competitors, working on taglines, website concepts, photo shoots, packaging design, and other aspects of marketing, ad copy, communicating with vendors in China and India, and price comparisons,” Tenenbaum said.

“I utilized a lot of my coursework – whether it was campaign strategies and consumer behavior, or understanding the various vehicles of marketing.”

He ticked off the courses that helped prepare him for his summer: consumer behavior, introduction to computers and technology, world of business, principles of marketing, international business operations, introduction to strategic communication, and advertising.

When Heather Bissell ’13 worked on master projection sheets in the wholesale and retail planning department of Steve Madden in New York City, she relied on what she’d learned in professor Tastle’s business systems and technology class.

Bissell, a business administration major double concentrating in marketing and international business, served two internships last summer, a short one at the flavor and fragrance manufacturer Givaudan and a longer one at the Steve Madden footwear company. At Madden, she confirmed orders for stores using customer order sheets and the master projections sheet; pulled sales by customer for certain divisions, using their databases; and observed the market preview for Macy’s management.

“I had to meet with my supervisor to help make a master copy of the projection sheet for Betsey Johnson (a shoe company Madden has acquired) and Steve Madden so that the formulas in the Excel sheet would work consistently even with data changes,” she said. “(Tastle’s) class helped me work my way around Excel so that I was able to do this.”

His business finance class with professor of finance and international business Alka Bramhandkar boosted Jared Finke in Germany. He said he used his knowledge of finance, accounting and computers to help develop the receivables analysis program for Wirtgen GmbH.

Finke, a business administration major concentrating in finance, worked on two projects. As a test user of the custom receivables analysis program’s English version, he tested each function of the program and reported any errors to the SAP software team. And he researched the structure of customer holding companies through Internet searches, annual reports and credit ratings. With this information, he updated the existing customer database and consolidated all of the subsidiaries under one group name, using the German version of Excel.

The benefits of hands-on experience also struck Dan Shirley, a business administration major concentrating in marketing, during his Squeeze Pod internship. His responsibilities with the marketing department included attending marketing meetings, constructing spreadsheets and reviewing media kits for the most effective use of advertising dollars.

“I have become more of a businessman than a student,” he said. “Actually going out and meeting with formulators, CEOs, and other business partners, I was not looked at as a student but rather a person to do business with.”

In marketing, time spent in the field is time well spent. Shirley values the lesson he learned about getting out of the office building and visiting stores.

“Many large corporations will compose case studies to get a feel for competition, which limits creativity and an open mind,” he said. “CEO and founder of Squeeze Pod Kevin Garrity taught me this as we would talk to store managers and look at the new packaging, positioning and prices of different products. Any advice I would give to a student is hit the stores and soak up the information they have to offer.”

With a summer internship, students sharpen their focus on their goals after graduation. Shirley is excited: “Seeing all of the work it takes to make a business, it has motivated me to be as polished as I can be for when I graduate and re-enter the business world with a new vision.”


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