International students get help finding internships

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For students in the College of Business, graduating isn’t as easy as taking a set of courses. Rather, students must fulfill an internship requirement, and for some international students, due to strict visa restrictions, meeting that requirement isn’t always a simple task.

That’s where the OHIO International Consulting Program comes in, allowing students to gain business experience while also earning internship credit.

“After finishing this program, I felt the OICP has enhanced my personal career performance and the more important thing was I gained some important experience from this program,” said You Xie, a senior studying marketing and business economics.

Ohio University gears the program toward students in the College of Business. Students are divided into multicultural teams comprising United States and international students who are tasked with solving real life business problems while teaching students about the business and diversity within the industry.

“What made the program beneficial was the difficulty. It was not easy to do. We had to communicate across three different cultures,” Joey Sekula, a senior studying marketing, said. “Just because business is done a certain way in the United States, doesn’t mean that this is true for Malaysia and China, or the foreign market we were researching. But we had some very cool experiences.” 

Sekula was in a group with five other OU students — two from the United States, one from Malaysia and two from China. Participants worked for several companies throughout Ohio and were required to communicate with senior company managers. And though trying, the program, Sekula said, ended up being hugely rewarding.

“My experience with OICP was the most beneficial academic experience I had in college,” Sekula said. “What was special about being in the OICP was the people.”

The university is looking to partner with universities in Poland, Malaysia and Brazil.

Students are able to learn skills such as training in real business situations, face-to-face time with senior managers, said Jeffrey Anderson, OICP director.

“I am truly glad that I applied for the program because it allows me to use what we have learned in class into a real, working setting,” said Sing Chuan Cheng, a senior from Malaysia studying marketing and fashion merchandising. “The most important things I got out from the program is that teamwork is the key.”


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