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GLOBAL VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP – Fall 2021

1024 474 Nicole Mostert

Current university graduates are entering into a world facing brand new challenges.

As Tim Berners – Lee says “we need diversity of thought in the world, to face the new challenges” and as the inventor of the World Wide Web, he knows new challenges well. 

Diversity of thought was the order of the day on September 27th, 2021 when 26 students from 11 universities across 5 global regions met on Zoom to begin the GLC Global Virtual Fall Internship. Over the course of the 8 week internship, the fruit of this diversity was clearly seen. The interns were divided into 4 regional teams (Africa, Asia, Europe and South America), paired with local students, and placed with local host companies to complete an authentic project.

The projects centered around using the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to produce tangible solutions to real-life programs. Each project addressed two UN SDGs and over 8 weeks the students worked together in their multidisciplinary teams to come up with solutions and recommendations for their host companies. 

THE PROJECTS

Interns working virtually in the African region collaborated with Kwanele South Africa to research a wearable solution to the problem of gender based violence in the country (UN SDG #5 and #16). In the region of Asia, GLC interns worked online with Rejani Coffee Company to create a business plan for turning coffee by-products into profitable products (UN SDG #9 and #12). In the Europe region, students interned virtually with KLAFS on a project looking at sustainable sauna concepts and trends (UN SDG #3 and #9). Finally, the interns on the South American team partnered with Senior Concierge to develop a Campaign to raise awareness of the problems faced by those in the sandwich generation or those who are parenting and looking after their aging parents. (UN SDG #3 and #17) 

SOLUTION

Throughout the projects, the interns learned how to apply the UN SDGs in a multi-cultural environment and harness their academic knowledge to international challenges.  They had the opportunity to establish a professional rapport with professionals and students from around the world and develop their professional skills in an international work environment. On the personal front, the internship helped students examine their own strengths, weaknesses, values and beliefs as they consider future international careers.

In addition to host company representatives such as Jacqueline Pohl, interns have regional support teams. These teams consist of a regional coordinator who is in charge of scheduling and communication and a regional mentor who helps the team work through challenges and offers guidance in the local context.  

The final words for the GLC Global Fall Internship goes to our interns themselves as they exceeded all expectations with their passion, they’re ability to collaborate internationally and the quality of their final deliverables. Freekje Enzerink from the Netherlands shares: 

“First of all, The Global Virtual Internship was an amazing experience! The past couple of weeks were very intense but super thought-provoking, not only on an academic but also on a personal level.

The internship made it possible to develop my social skills and showed me how much I learned during the last years. I could now develop this further and apply this knowledge in real life for the first time! Working in a team of international students was very new and challenging. It was enjoyable to still meet people (even from all over the world!) during the times of the pandemic. This made us even more motivated to reach the specific goal. We had our challenges. For example, it was sometimes quite hard to schedule meetings since we were all so busy with our studies. However, it surprised me how well we eventually managed! The internship also taught me how to think further, develop my problem-solving skills, keep working hard, stay focused, and communication is key.  I never expected to learn this much, and I would again like to thank everyone from the Global Learning Collective.

The Global Learning Collective encouraged us to keep learning and work hard to a more sustainable world. The world is our oyster, and we must make the best of it.”

For all of our GLC Global Virtual Interns, the world is truly their oyster and with the passion we saw from our Fall 2021 interns, our world, in all its diversity, is in great hands!

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Global Minds. Local Ties.

© Copyright 2020

AFRICA: South Africa Office
NORTH AMERICA: US Office
ASIA: China Office
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil Office
EUROPE: Germany Office

GLOBAL VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP – Summer 2021

881 346 Jaret Waters

UNIVERSITIES:

This global virtual internship program involved students from 18 universities across 5 global regions!

COMPANIES

THE PROBLEM:

How do we best prepare the leaders of tomorrow to bridge cultural and geographic distances in order to solve the most pressing issues facing the world? 

Approach

In partnership with the Global Learning Collective team, we developed the second Global Virtual Internship Program. We brought together 51 students from over 10 different countries and nearly 20 different universities to work on projects with 5 companies from around the world. The projects, focused on producing tangible solutions to complex issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, offered students and companies the chance to learn from one another in a consulting-style virtual format over the course of 8 weeks.

BACKGROUND

The program aimed to engage with students on several different levels and to provide them with academic, professional, and project support through several different actors.

Firstly, students had regular interactions with company representatives in order to better understand the company’s background, the industry in which it operated, and the challenges that they were facing. Projects covered a wide variety of Sustainable Development Goals, including responsible consumption and production, sustainable cities and communities, quality education, and climate action. 

Secondly, in order to give students a better conceptual framework and relevant tools to tackle problems related to business and sustainability, they attended presentations and received resources from Jessica Thomas, the faculty lead of the program. And finally, bridging this academic guidance with the specific tasks presented by companies, the students had recurring meetings with the following mentors: Sebastian Kraus (Europe), Marcus Nakagawa, (South America), Barry Rawlings (Africa), and David Storm and John Storm, (Asia). These individuals supported students in bringing together all of the resources in their toolkits to be able to manage the projects efficiently and produce tangible solutions for each company. 

SOLUTION

The five different student groups, each paired with a different company and composed of students from different regions, spent the course of the program developing specific policies, generating innovative ideas, and exploring implementation strategies to improve the companies’ individual performance and to propel them towards further contributing to the UN SDGs.

Students in each of the teams came from different backgrounds and majors, allowing them to divide up the work, share differing perspectives and analytical frameworks, and ultimately develop a more robust and holistic solution. In the final weeks of the program, students were invited to present these findings and contributions to company representatives, at which point companies could begin implementing these solutions. 

As faculty lead for the Summer GLC internship, it was my role to lay the foundation for the students. I had the opportunity to share with student tools and resources to prepare them for their internships and also life long careers. What was most rewarding for me was to be able to inspire the students by sharing with them a new model of business that is focused on transforming capitalism in a way that benefits people and the planet, B Corps. These are for-profit companies at the leading edge of purpose, innovating to address social and environmental challenges, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I was inspired to see the students put into practice what they learned and apply it to real world projects. The students demonstrated critical thinking, adaptability and leadership skills. It's important for students to learn to bridge academic knowledge with real-world experiences because when they realize how interconnected we are, how the SDGs are connected to each other, how important it is to collaborate across sectors, and how to translate what they learn into practice, they will be better prepared to transform themselves, the companies they will work for and the world.
Jessica Thomas
Assistant Professor and Director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative at NC State’s Poole College of Management.

“At first, when I heard about an online cultural immersion, I was intrigued. After all, this was a very new concept. When I first got accepted to the program, I wasn’t sure I could gain much of an international experience sitting home. Still, I was thrilled with the opportunity to gain more from a business perspective. I didn’t realize those two were intertwined, that one could not endure without the other.

Prior to the course, I didn’t understand that a great part – if not the most important part – of doing business is understanding and engaging with the people you’re dealing with.

And it is important to emphasize that I don’t mean only clients, but the people you’re working alongside as well. I think the way the course was presented was really helpful to this comprehension. First, we got to engage with each other, the people we’d be working alongside/amidst. Then, we participated in cultural workshops, enabling the awareness of one another. After that, we started to learn about the participating countries’ data and economics, which would come in handy later, when we’d meet our client. By then, we were already a part of an international community, and had learned all the tools we needed to do a great job.”

Luciana Mary Neugedachter

Undergraduate student at the Universidade Federal Fluminense and intern with MOVIN

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Global Minds. Local Ties.

© Copyright 2020

AFRICA: South Africa Office
NORTH AMERICA: US Office
ASIA: China Office
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil Office
EUROPE: Germany Office

GLOBAL VIRTUAL INTERNSHIP – SPRING 2021

1024 479 André Siffert
What challenges affect our lives most
in an ever-increasingly globalized environment?

In partnership with the Global Learning Collective team, we developed the 1st Global Virtual Internship Program!

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Students
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Universities
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Companies
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UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Welcoming 32 students from over 10 different countries and over 11 different universities to work virtually with 5 companies to promote tangible solutions on multiple problem-based projects related to the United Nations SDGs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.

THE SOLUTION

By means of a global strategic partnership, we developed a Global Virtual Internship with 5 companies: Demeter (Europe), Eaton (Asia), Habitat for Humanity (Asia), Sustainability Institute (Africa) and Raízs (South America).

Composed of global multidisciplinary teams,  they worked with companies to develop new policies, present ideas, and explore strategies to propel global leaders and companies towards achieving the SDGs. During the internship experience, students met weekly with the partner organization, attended sessions with team mentors for feedback and support, participated in a variety of cross-cultural activities and traveled virtually for regional cultural engagements. 

"As Faculty Lead, my role was to provide intern support by offering participants a virtual orientation to the academic foundations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and guide student project development. I was thoroughly impressed by the design of the program and the engagement of the students from over 10 different countries, all working collaboratively to tackle real-world projects and contribute. After participating in the program, I'm more hopeful than even that we can achieve a sustainable future for all."
Jessica Thomas
Assistant Professor and Director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative at NC State’s Poole College of Management.

Project-based learning
with real company partners

Immersive learning experience

Small diverse teams

This global virtual internship program involved students from 11 universities across 4 global regions: North America (Texas A&M University-Texarkana,University of Southern California, and Lehigh University) Africa (Varsity College, South African College of Applied Psychology, and Stellenbosch University)  Asia (Beijing Foreign Student University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University)  Europe (University of Sheffield) and South America (ESPM and Mackenzie Presbyterian University) with the main objective of solving real-world organizational challenges to the UN SDGs (#2: Zero Hunger,  #3 Good Health and Well-Being, #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities & #12 Responsible Consumption and Production).

In addition to company interactions, we had the expertise of Jessica Yinka Thomas acting as the Faculty Lead of the program, providing support and guidance to the students throughout their project development, in addition to local mentorship from the following mentors: Cornelia Hack and Sam Soudai  (European team), Marcus Nakagawa, (South American team), Barry Rawlings (African team), and Paul van Brenkelen and John Storm, (Asian team), that offered great insights and were able to support our global network and help our students to find a tangible solution for each company. 

"It was an incredible experience for me to learn new things and improve my communication skills. I learn how to develop a project from scratch, and also how to adapt to this new virtual model."

Giovanna Cabral

Undergraduate Student at Insper

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Global Minds. Local Ties.

© Copyright 2020

AFRICA: South Africa Office
NORTH AMERICA: US Office
ASIA: China Office
SOUTH AMERICA: Brazil Office
EUROPE: Germany Office