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Broad Spartans who explored the world this summer now share their insights via Intern Spotlight Series

By Omar Sofradzija, communications manager

Mackenzie Sappe
Mackenzie Sappe

This summer, Mackenzie Sappe went to Seattle for an internship. Although still in America, what she got was a global lesson in teamwork.

“My favorite experience was the time spent getting to know the incredible ladies and some gentlemen of the housekeeping team” at the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, the hospitality business major said. “These inspiring people are immigrants to the United States from all over the world. Not one member speaks English as their first language; instead, the languages spoken throughout the halls are Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog, French, and many more.”

Christopher Chacko
Christopher Chacko

“Despite the difference in their cultural backgrounds, this team works together on a daily basis to provide five-star services to our guests,” Sappe said. “It has been inspiring and educational to watch and be a part of this team.”

Sappe is just one of many Broad Spartans who returned from summer internships with stories to share of lessons learned, spirits lifted, and opportunities realized. To help spread those lessons, the Eli Broad College of Business features many of those stories in its Intern Spotlight Series.

Ellie Wedge
Ellie Wedge

Now in its fourth year, the series includes the stories of Broad Spartans at business-centered internships around the globe at major corporations like Citigroup, Ford Motor Company, Cisco, Deloitte, and many others; and in locales spanning the globe.

Beginning with their sophomore year, the college encourages admitted students to pursue internships that will allow them to apply lessons taught on campus in real-world settings, build a professional network, and develop their interests.

The Intern Spotlight Series can be viewed in its entirety on the Career Services home page. Highlighted interns include:

Jake Vallier
Jake Vallier

  • Christopher Chacko, a supply chain management major at Crowe LLP, who said this summer he learned the art of “drinking from the fire hose … To put it simply, this summer I have learned how to think … Whether it be through frameworks or from past experiences, I have been challenged to organize my knowledge and make it applicable to every situation I face. When I return to school in the fall I am no longer coming back with a student’s mindset; I will be coming back as a consultant.”
  • Austin Langlinais
    Austin Langlinais

    Ellie Wedge, who is applying to be a marketing and supply chain management major, went around the world for her internship with WildChina in Beijing: “My favorite experience has been learning first-hand how local culture and demographics affect business practices. Working closely with management on our customer experience project by collecting and analyzing quantitative data has given me insight into company goals, but immersion and friendships have given me a greater understanding of the cultural significance.”

  • Donyea Freeman
    Donyea Freeman

    Jake Vallier, a finance major at Quarton International who had a front row seat to see how deals are done: “One of my favorite experiences was when I had the opportunity to sit in on a call with the CEO and CFO of a very large company who were interested in an acquisition. I thought it was intriguing to hear what their thoughts and concerns were about a company we were selling, as well as why they were motivated to grow inorganically.”

  • Austin Langlinais, a supply chain management and finance major who learned the world is a classroom at Stryker Medical: “The real world is so much more than what can be learned in a book. By working at Stryker, I’ve learned how to work with others to bridge that gap and leverage the combination of my knowledge from classes, as well as my real-life experience to tackle problems that at first seemed impossible.”
  • Gigi Ngcobo
    Gigi Ngcobo
  • Donyea Freeman, an accounting major who was put on the cutting edge of change at the Dow Chemical Company: “I was assigned to the newly-founded Robotic Process Automation team … here I planned, developed, tested, and implemented  a robotic process automation related to running month-end reports.”
  • Cameron Kish, who had the opportunity to do his internship with Ernst & Young on two different continents: “I started off as an assurance intern in the Detroit office, working on clients in the auto industry. After that, I spent the final month of my internship in the Auckland, New Zealand, office … It was amazing to see two completely different service lines in two different countries!”
  • Ryan Lesser
    Ryan Lesser

    Gigi Ngcobo, a management major, who interned in her native South Africa for the SystemicLogic Group. There, she worked with the head of strategy for the Barclays Africa Group: “This opportunity has moved me out of my comfort zone and enabled me to find my voice.”

  • Ryan Lesser, a graduate student in accounting, who realized the value of networking at PricewaterhouseCoopers: “Building relationships is one of the most important, yet forgotten, aspects of working in the accounting field. Networking with other interns, staff, and partners has been one of the best learning experiences of the internship.”

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