Experiential / Reality-based Learning / August 14, 2020

22 Undergrads Wrap Up Their Global Virtual Internships

This summer the Center for Global Business at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business organized the first Global Marketing Virtual Internship program, a program the center plans to make a yearly affair.

Twenty-two Maryland Smith undergraduate students were selected from a pool of over 100 applicants to participate in the cohort-based 10-week program focused on website globalization and digital marketing. The students were placed with Maryland and D.C.-based companies that export their products and services abroad.

A partnership with the Maryland Department of Commerce DOC allowed eligible companies to apply ExportMD awards to cover the expense of the program. The virtual program is one example of the pivots and innovations the CGB is currently undertaking to meet the needs of both students and Maryland companies during the pandemic.

“The Global Marketing Virtual Internship program is a perfect example of how the center works at the intersection of student learning and Maryland international business needs. Because of the pandemic, we saw that student internship opportunities were being limited at the same time that global trade shows were being canceled. Connecting students with companies that were searching for alternative ways to reach customers abroad proved to be a win-win,” said Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of the Center for Global Business.

There are over 6,000 companies in the state of Maryland who export goods and services on an annual basis. Over 90% of international trade is conducted by small to midsize enterprises. Students used their experiences in marketing, social media, and website development, as well as abilities to adapt and problem, solve to assist nine of these Maryland enterprises seeking to internationalize their business. Students were placed on teams and matched with companies to work on projects related to website optimization, analytics, search engine optimization, global social media strategy, and more.

The program offered students pre-internship training as well as mentorship and bi-weekly professional development. As part of the program, students received website globalization training with the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC), a business-to-business vs. business-to-consumer marketing tutorial, and training on global mindset and cultural dimensions. Students were advised by Mary Beth Furst, associate clinical professor of marketing, and offered additional guidance from the Center for Global Business. Bi-weekly check-in meetings offered professional development seminars on the topics of SEO/SEM and analytics, social media marketing, and effective professional presentation and communication skills.

Participant Leila Gilbert Rivera '21 was interested in the unique nature of the program. A marketing major, she says, “Not only was it a great opportunity to become a stronger marketer and learn to excel in an online environment; I was also able to support local small businesses.”

Sam Strongin '21 also participated. The marketing major says, “The Global Marketing Virtual Internship program through the Center for Global business provided me a great opportunity to hone existing marketing skills while learning a variety of new ones. I learned new skills in web optimization, SEO strategy, email sequences/automation, building landing pages, and lead generation. I also improved the current skills I already had, such as effective team communication and organizational skills.”

For more information about the Global Marketing Virtual Internship program, visit the website, or email smithglobal@umd.edu for more information. Learn more about how two global marketing interns helped Miltec UV globalize their business and about the experience of two global marketing interns at Early Charm Ventures.

This program was sponsored in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

—By Julia Barr, Center for Global Business

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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