Friday, May 20, 2005
Student lands internship with VW in Germany
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Emily Murphy got her first taste of the German language from an au pair who lived with her family when she was young and from then on she had an interest in the language and has been studying it seriously since high school. She will have the opportunity to put her German skills to the test in an internship at Volkswagen in Dresden, Germany, this summer.
Department of Modern Languages Chair Barbara Mabee learned of the Transatlantic Program through the German American Chamber of Commerce for the Midwest, which announced that American students in business and engineering areas would be allowed to participate in the 3-year-old program for the first time this year. Students are placed with companies throughout Germany to improve their language skills and learn German business customs.
Mabee immediately thought of Murphy because of her human resource management and German double major and minor in international business, which made her a likely candidate for the internship. Murphy, who will finish her degree at OU next year, also spent a year in Germany as part of the Oldenburg University direct exchange program.
“I felt she was really the most qualified with her double major and she had already spent a year in Germany,” Mabee said.
As part of the Transatlantic Program, Murphy, along with 24 other American students, will live, work and explore in Germany as part of a three-month summer internship for students with German language skills who are majoring in engineering, economics, marketing, finance, business administration and computer science.
Murphy will work in the human resources department, with an emphasis on development and qualification, as well as assist with apartment searches. In the future, she would like to explore careers in international relocations and this internship will provide her with experience.
Murphy’s owes her interest in German culture and language to the extended family she has in Switzerland and the German au pair that lived with the family when she was younger.
“That’s really helped me and that’s probably, looking back, what got me so interested in German,” she said.
It was also the business friends her dad brought home for dinner that piqued her interest in German and business.
Murphy left for Germany on May 19 and will have 10 days of language and culture training before she begins her internship at VW on June 1.
OU offers students the opportunity to study and work at internships in countries all over the world. Mabee said a global education is important to all students, regardless of their major, and for those who have an interest and a desire to study and learn abroad, the opportunities are available.
“There are international program and scholarship available to study at other universities,” said Mabee. “This campus is getting more and more interested in establishing scholarship for our students to study abroad.”
For more information on the available opportunities, visit the International Education Web site or (248) 370-4131.