Eder studied at Ostfalia University, in Wolfsburg, Germany – the location of the VW headquarters – from March 3 through July 10.
“This is a newly developed partnership with VW and Ostfalia University. This partnership is part of a broader strategic initiative in the College of Business to strengthen global industry ties and provide business students the opportunity to experience first-hand the impact of globalization on business and society,” said Dr. Robert Dooley, Dean of the College of Business.
As a part of the international program, Eder took classes with students from all over the world: South Africa, France, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, China, and Russia.
“My classes were non-traditional and unique in that they were small and highly interactive, with group work in almost every course. Because the international program at Ostfalia is still quite small, I became very good friends with my peers. We all worked together to navigate through cultural differences, whether it be translating doctor appointments, setting up bank accounts, or finding our way around the train system,” Eder said.
Eder also worked alongside the Ostfalia Business School faculty performing research, doing translation work, and helping create an International Student information page on the Ostfalia website.
“Because I worked during my studies at Ostfalia, I was able to learn about the administrative side of the Business Department and became actively involved with the faculty’s projects, which made my education in Wolfsburg far more integrated,” Eder said.
“I worked in a fairly new department called Continuous Monitoring. I was part of ‘Team Roll Out,’ which is in charge of introducing and implementing Continuous Monitoring in the Volkswagen subsidiaries,” Eder said.
As a part of her internship, Eder learned important aspects of German business culture.
“For instance, I learned about the importance of greeting and shaking hands with my colleagues every morning, even if they were already working,” Eder said.
Eder worked on various projects in both English and in German. Her heritage and German courses she took in high school were helpful, but she says her skills were a little rusty at the beginning of her internship.
“Breaking away from English was an unexpected challenge for me. With English being the universal language of business, the students I had class with were eager to practice their English, and although my ear for German was good, my German verbal skills were rarely used during my study semester,” said Eder. “At the beginning of my internship, my diction was awkward and my verb tense was a hit or miss, but I enlisted the help of my friends to speak only German with me after work, and within a few weeks, my colleagues noted an improvement in my speaking skills. The German language has been a very integrated part of my internship, since speaking, writing, and translating from German to English is a normal part of my business day.”
Eder returned to UTC for the last semester of her undergraduate education this month. She is looking at internships and research opportunities and plans on applying to graduate schools in fall semester 2015.
“I believe this program will have a positive impact on UTC, since it is investing in international relations. I hope that this relationship continues to grow and succeed. This experience has made me more open to pursuing future studies and work experiences abroad,” said Eder.
“Adrianna is, from what I understand, our first intern with the Volkswagen headquarters in Germany. While the internship was a tremendous opportunity for Adrianna, it was also a tremendous opportunity for UTC to help forge and strengthen this relationship with VW and Ostfalia University. Sending someone of Adrianna’s caliber as a student and a person was critical to that relationship. I am, of course, very pleased and proud that Adrianna is a Brock Scholar in the Honors College, a program that helps encourages and often prompts students to undertake these experiences. I can’t wait to see where Adrianna goes and what she’ll do next,” said Dr. Linda Frost, Dean of the Honors College.
“I want to say a special thank you to the Brock Scholars Program, the Honors College, and the College of Business for helping make this experience possible for me. I also want to thank Ostfalia and Volkswagen for making this collaboration happen, for going above and beyond to make sure I was well taken care of in Wolfsburg, and for placing their trust in me,” Eder said.