Right after spring final exams, 10 undergraduate students at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business traveled to Sydney, Australia, with Mary Harms, a clinical associate professor of marketing. The program began with an intensive two-week global marketing course taught by Harms and culminated with eight-week internships at companies such as PwC, Chubb, Otis, Nielsen, 3M, and the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Classroom instruction and discussion was enhanced with field trips to local business and manufacturing sites. An open pit coal mine and a steel mill helped students better understand the impact of mining on Australia’s economy. Students also learned about cloud computing at Salesforce.com’s Australian offices, joint ventures from a Yahoo account executive, and how shopping malls are changing to meet the technology demands of today’s consumer at the global headquarters of Westfield. At the visit to the U.S. consulate, students heard from Americans living in Australia working in many capacities.
“It’s been a great experience. I’ve been able to do more than I thought I’d be able to as an eight-week intern,” commented Ryan Warshavsky, a rising junior in finance. PwC intern Amy Liang was so enthusiastic about the program that on her last day of her internship she volunteered to start helping promote the program for next year’s Smith students.
In addition to earning six academic credits for the summer, the students also managed to get in some weekend sightseeing and other experiences at various tourist areas such as the Great Barrier Reef and the Blue Mountains.
Brandon Tillman, a rising junior in supply chain and marketing, remarked, “I really love my internship. The office is full of people under 30 who are all huge sports fans so I fit in pretty well. I’ve gotten to meet the players and coaching staff and was even on the field when they won at home last weekend so I really couldn’t have asked for a better place to work.”
This was the first international summer internship program offered by the Smith School and represents the Smith School's commitment to providing professionally relevant opportunities abroad. The internship program follows a long history of activity in Australia; in the last academic year nearly 50 students studied in Australia on one of the university's exchange or faculty-led programs. The region's business story - Australia is one of the only countries to not have had a recession in the past six years - continues to attract Smith students and faculty. Application details for Summer 2015 will be available soon.
- Special thanks to Mary Harms for providing this story and leading this global study trip