The USC Global Fellows Program Receives 2013 Funding
The USC Global Fellows International Internship Program, a Student Affairs program administered by the Career Center, received $150,000 in funding from the Freeman Foundation to continue its 2013 program.
Over the past 12 years, the Global Fellows program has sent 267 students from a variety of majors to live and work in cities such as Bangkok, Beijing, Hanoi, Hiroshima, Hong Kong and Tokyo. There, they participate in an eight-week cultural immersion and professional development internship experience.
“That’s what really sets this experience apart ,” said Lauren Opgenorth, assistant director of internships and special programs at the Career Center. “It’s not just study abroad. This really exposes students to so much more.”
Since its inception, the Freeman Foundation has provided nearly $1.5 million in grants, which covers the cost of travel, housing and living expenses for the fellows. The Foundation — established in 1994 in memory of Mansfield Freeman, a businessman and scholar of Chinese philosophy — promotes understanding between the United States and East Asian countries. The foundation also supports USC’s East Asian Studies Center.
“No other school in the country has done what we have done when it comes to placing USC students in businesses, government agencies, and non-government organizations in different Asian countries,” said Michael L. Jackson, vice president for Student Affairs. “We are very excited that the Freeman Foundation has again provided substantial funding to support USC students doing internships in Asia.“
The program gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in an entirely different world and grow from the experience.
“I have a deeper sense of humility, an idea of how small I am in the face of an incredible world of difficulties and wonders, a refreshed appreciation for all that I have been given, and a more profound awareness of how many possibilities the future holds,” said Jennifer Padilla, a Master of Communication Management progressive degree student who spent time in Haikou during the summer of 2012.
Since the inception of the program, nearly all of the employers rated their interns as excellent and would be willing to accept another Global Fellow in the future.
“Students can now get a glimpse of the real world as long as the intern is serious in wanting to learn and as long as the supervisor is serious in his or her teaching — something I strongly believe in,” said David Hariela of Harilela George Ltd. in Hong Kong.
The Career Center works with USC international offices to identify internship opportunities for students in Southeast Asia.
“Out of the 13 years of the program, we’ve had over 100 different companies provide internships,” Opgenorth said. “We match students to jobs based on what they’ve put in their applications, as well as what they’ve said in their interviews.”
Matthew Prusak, a double major in philosophy, politics and law and international relations (global business), interned with USC Trustee Ronnie C. Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Group Limited and Hang Lung Properties Limited, in Hong Kong in 2012. Prusak said one of his favorite parts of his internship was the people he was able to meet.
“I’ve never come in contact with a wider variety of people in my life,” he said. “Sharing their stories and listening to their opinions gave me a greater appreciation for the many different ways people go through life and a better understanding of what I’m doing with my own. The Global Fellowship taught me not only about what it means to live and work in East Asia, but what it means to be a citizen of the world.”