Nine Clemson University students are cutting their teeth in the business world – and getting a taste of Irish culture this summer – through internships with companies in Dublin.

Ben Davis and Deanna Cohen interned in Dublin, Ireland, this summer with seven other Clemson business students.

Ben Davis and Deanna Cohen interned in Dublin, Ireland, this summer with seven other Clemson business students.

Coordinated through the College of Business’s Office of Student Enrichment, this is the second summer Clemson students have benefited from a work experience on the Irish isle. And, this year, the College of Business began awarding credit where it is due, three to be exact, for students participating in the eight-week internships.

“We partnered with the university’s Center for Career and Professional Development to develop a course wherein students earn three credits for their work in Ireland,” said Sallie Turnbull, Student Enrichment’s international programs coordinator. “Internships like this are a great way to expose students to career and cultural experiences very different from what they would get in the U.S.”

Students interning in Dublin this summer, include: Jackson Wright, Mackenzie Carpenter, Deanna Cohen, Emily Lerner, Kate Rose, Stephen Miller, Keitt Panuccio, Sarah Holmes and Ben Davis.

Deanna, a business management major interning for the meetings and events teams at Dublin’s Croke Park Stadium, said she’s gained valuable daily workplace exposure in a wide range of business disciplines, but the internship’s benefits extend beyond the workplace.

“Combined with my study in Barcelona last summer, my Dublin internship has helped me to feel very capable and comfortable commuting in cities abroad. I’m excited by the amount of responsibility I’ve been given in my internship, and amazed with how well Clemson has prepared me for traveling and working in a foreign city. In the past year, I’ve traveled to 14 cities in seven countries. I’ve become more self-dependent and confident as a result of all the situations I’ve been exposed to,” Deanna said.

The students, majoring or minoring in a business discipline, are working in the marketing, finance, industrial engineering, management and accounting sectors. But their learning opportunities are enhanced through site visits, guest lectures from the Irish business community and from alumni visits.

“The students live together in a Victorian house and travel as a group on the weekends. Many of them are being exposed to a part of the world they’ve never experienced before,” Turnbull said.

Clemson considers Dublin an attractive international internship destination for a variety of reasons, according to Turnbull.

“For one, it’s a gateway to job opportunities in the rest of Europe. Employers there are also open to hiring Americans, the visa process is simplified, and there is job market growth,” she said. “Also, the communication and cultural gap isn’t as great as in some other European cities.”

International internships expose students to career and cultural experiences that employers find attractive, Turnbull said.

Dean Bobby McCormick met up with business students interning in Dublin.

Dean Bobby McCormick met up with business students interning in Dublin.

“Employers are always looking for candidates with strong communication and leadership skills, and an internship working in a foreign culture is highly valued, especially by multi-national companies,” she said. “Working abroad gives students the opportunity to increase inter-cultural communication and provides them with a greater understanding on how businesses and their customers think in a global marketplace.”

Ben Davis, an accounting major, is interning at Dublin’s Trinity College in accounting. Ben said he is benefiting from opportunities inside and outside the workplace.

“I’m learning how business principles I learned in the classroom are applied in a professional workplace, and I’m able to visualize how offices function, something that’s hard to learn from the classroom,” Ben said. “Beyond the workplace, I’ve gained a tremendous amount of cultural growth in learning how to adapt to another country’s work culture. And, I’ve realized the importance of global awareness. It’s difficult to do business with cultures that you don’t fully understand.”

Turnbull said the interest in and benefits of internships abroad have prompted Student Enrichment to consider expanding the international learning experience for business students.

“We’ve gotten very positive feedback from students and employers about our summer program,” she added. “We expect to continue the presence in Dublin and are looking at Bristol, England and Sydney, Australia, as potential future locations. Providing students with opportunities like this go a long way toward improving their career options in a very competitive marketplace.”

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