Partnerships with Asian universities create internships with global corporations

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Kelsey Bebout at Ciaxin internshipsKelsey Bebout (right), Ciaxin intern

Through a new model of cooperation with several universities in Asia, Notre Dame students are participating in research projects and gaining workplace experience with global corporations, including IBM, GE, Honeywell, and Oracle.

Historically, logistical complications, including visas, have created obstacles for students wishing to intern for corporations in Asia. Strong relationships between Notre Dame and universities in Asia—as well as with global corporations and alumni —are creating ways forward.

During summer 2015, six Notre Dame engineering students participated in the China Summer Engineering Program, which is an international undergraduate exchange program between Notre Dame and Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The ND and Tsinghua students worked together on collaborative teams to complete design projects supplied by multinational companies. This year, GE, Honeywell, and Timken supplied the students’ projects. 

Students who participated in the six-week Summer China Business and Culture in 2015 had the opportunity to extend their stay in China through workplace engagement opportunities provided by the presidents of the Notre Dame Clubs in Beijing and Shanghai. “My time at Caixin Media was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Kelsey Bebout, a junior economics major. “Working and living in Beijing allowed me to fully immerse myself in the city's life and culture, and the experience opened my eyes to the possibility of working abroad more permanently in the future.” 

Don McCauley, COO of Oracle Japan and a Notre Dame alum, created internships for ND students through a new summer business experience program with Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and also supported by the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.

Emily Campagna in Tokyo Oracle internship

“Oracle Corporation Japan was thrilled with the outcome of the ND summer program,” said McCauley. “The students’ project was to assess Oracle's vision, objectives, and strategy to determine employee engagement—a near impossible task for employees on payroll. They brought energy, objectivity, and a fantastic perspective. We are looking forward to extending the program.”

Notre Dame initiated the IBM Global Internship Program in Beijing in 2010. Since then, more than 20 Notre Dame students have conducted research at IBM China Research Lab in Beijing, which has been facilitated by the Beijing Global Gateway. Students also have the opportunity to have research internships at IBM’s research labs in Zurich, Bangalore, and Dublin.

Participation in NDI’s growing summer programs in Asia will provide more internship opportunities for students who aim to enhance their professional experience within an international workplace environment. 

“The students we work with are more deeply enriched and challenged by their study abroad experience—and better position themselves for future employment—when they participate in international internships,” said Jonathan Noble, director of the Beijing Global Gateway and assistant provost for internationalization.