This summer, Brown's Commerce, Organizations and Entrepreneurship Program is launching a pilot internship program in Hong Kong. According to Maria Carcovick, the program's administrative director, two to three students will be placed with two private Hong Kong-based financial companies that have operations and assets worldwide. These Hong Kong summer internships are intended to complement the existing internships the program has run in India for the past five years.
In creating this program, the concentration program partnered with the Advancement Office to find companies in Hong Kong and India that were affiliated with alums and were willing to take interns, Carkovic said.
The aim of the internship is to provide students with hands-on experience in business in a developing country, she said. "Even during the recession here, the economic climate in India or Hong Kong is as different as the culture," Carkovic said. "The (Career Development Center) already has various internship programs in the U.S., but this program is specifically suited for the students we educated — global entrepreneurs who can adapt to many cultures."
Students who have participated in the internship in India in the past have been placed into various jobs and positions.
Last summer, Anastasia Verghis '11 worked on a project to calculate and analyze the debt structure for Reliance Industries Limited, a large Mumbai oil and energy company. The company expected her to know technical financial procedures, she said. Though she was thrown into the internship, she said Brown had given her the tools to be resourceful.
Elise Fishelson '11 spent last summer at Blue Frog, a Mumbai recording company and concert venue. Fishelson did marketing research and organized a workshop on home-recording sound quality for emerging artists. According to Fishelson, the most challenging aspect of the internship was defining her own role and contribution. The company had never had interns before, she said. She spent time learning to use the equipment and asking questions, before deciding to create the workshop, she said.
Overall, both Fishelson and Verghis found the internship to be a valuable experience in working and living independently.
Students can apply to these internships through the COE program. The India internships have chosen seven students for the upcoming year, and the Hong Kong internship is still interviewing applicants.