Marketing student chronicles internship abroad and shares experiences as a 2016 Holland Fellow in China

Senior marketing major Samantha Bender is completing a 12-week internship in China. She is also producing a weekly newsletter chronicling her international experiences to keep her friends, family and Appalachian associates informed of her vast array of daily activities and cultural growth.

Rods FactoryHer internship, based at Su Fang International Commerce Center in Shanghai, allows her a unique perspective on the global supply chain. "One-third of all China's international trade passes through Huangpu River in Shanghai. Commerce centers like Su Fang are vital because they serve as mediators between factories and retail stores abroad - linking the communication between both parties," she wrote.  "Seventy percent of Su Fang's business comes from Big Rock Sports, one of the largest outdoor sporting goods distributors in North America based out of Morehead City, NC."

Bender, far right, pictured at a rods factory.

Su Fang overlooks all of their fishing rods and tackle manufacturing. Her internship was built through collaboration with both companies, and she is in constant contact with Big Rock's Marine Division.

Bender, who is a 2016 participant of the Holland Fellows Program for Business Study in China, arrived in China in May as one of the 12 Holland Fellows. The Appalachian delegation traditionally stay three weeks in China as part of the exchange program, but frequently fellows extend their stay abroad to further their international experience.

China Scenic

Approximately 15 percent of our Appalachian Holland Fellows extend their stay in China to complete an internship," said Walker College of Business Development Director Will Sears. "The Holland Fellows Program has provided many Appalachian State University students the network and connections to earn internship opportunities in China."

Bender shares her weekly newsletter with Sears, as well as other friends in the states, and, in week three of her stay while the Holland Follows returned to the states, she cautioned readers that "I lost all eleven of my proof-readers, so please bear with me... all facts are double (or triple) checked and all opinions are 100% my own... nothing more, nothing less."

Bender shares insights on not only the business experience gained through Holland Fellows, but also the individual experience of a world traveler.

Bender ForumIn her week three letter, Bender inquires of readers, "Have you ever felt an overwhelming, nearly immediate connection with a city? I have. When I traveled from Philadelphia to Boone that is how I felt. It was an urge so strong, it would be a sin to ignore. I never thought I would have that feeling again, but I did in the city of Hong Kong."

In the letter chronicling week four, Bender shares how she is approaching her work with a positive mindset. "Globalization is good for businesses and the countries overall," she wrote. "It's good for the environment, human rights, education and price control (because of increased competition)."

Bender also notes that she is appreciative of those who have made her journey possible, including trip leaders to program founder William Holland and supporters like Alice Roess, commenting that they believe "undergraduate students can become researchers and global communicators." 

To receive the weekly newsletter, email, Hong Kong Galleria Peak

About the Holland Fellows Program

Since 1997, Walker College of Business students have had a unique opportunity to participate in a semester long research project with Fudan University in Shanghai. Ranked among the top five universities in China, Fudan offers a 10-day program highlighting the opportunities and challenges of doing business in China. The students then present their research at one of the world's largest international business forums - The Shanghai Forum - usually being the one student group invited to present. Students also participate in lectures given by professors in Fudan's School of Management, as well as visit the vibrant cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. They gain an understanding of international business by visiting state-owned enterprises and foreign joint ventures in China and by meeting Hong Kong businesspersons. Students visit state-owned enterprises and foreign joint ventures, such as Alibaba, Texas Instruments (Hong Kong), Shanghai Stock Exchange, Beijing McDonald's, BaoSteel, Shanghai Bell and Coca-Cola (Shanghai).  Learn more.

Marketing student chronicles internship abroad and shares experiences as a 2016 Holland Fellow in China
Published: Jun 22, 2016 11:28am