By: Shane Simmons
The quintessential summer vacation for a college student usually entails no class, while staying at home and recuperating before the next semester-long intellectual marathon begins in August.
That’s not for Kelley Indianapolis senior Cassie Vera.
Instead of kicking her feet up and relaxing, Cassie, a marketing and international studies major, traveled through the majestic country side of Ireland, trekked through the Aran Islands, bog jumped and served on the marketing team for IMS Labels, a labeling company located in the Sandyford Business District in Dublin, Ireland.
The internship is part of the Kelley School of Business Dublin Internship Program, through which students take six credit hours and work 32 hours a week for an Irish company.
“My title while at IMS Labels was marketing administrator,” Cassie said. “I specifically worked on the marketing of a new product the company invented.”
The product, named Symeyo™, is meant to solve a simple problem that primarily exists in delis and bakeries. Often times in these damp and heated locations, the ink on the labels runs off or the label folds. But Symeyo™ double prints and laminates the labels, which eliminates the preexisting problem.
“I was spearheading negotiations with suppliers in China, the U.K., and local contractors within Dublin,” said Cassie.
But that’s not all, she was highly involved with a marketing research report that was presented to executives of Ireland’s leading grocery retail company, Musgrave Group. It had been a momentous day for the Kelley Indianapolis student, but it was about to get better.
Cassie, who still has two semesters left at Kelley Indy, was offered a full-time marketing administrator position at the Dublin-based company upon her graduation. It’s an offer she’s strongly considering. She says Kelley Indianapolis’ hands-on curriculum played a substantial role in her summer success.
“The Kelley I-Core experience taught me to tackle problems you may not necessarily know the answers to. I learned that problem solving is a necessity in the business world.”
While Cassie’s education at Kelley Indy has elevated her professionally, it was a scholarship from a former Kelley professor and alumnus that gave her the opportunity to study and work abroad.
Cassie was one of three recipients of the Dr. Victor E. Childers International Study Award, an annual scholarship given to students who plan to study abroad. The scholarship has been given to students for more than a decade.
Childers, who taught international business at Kelley Indianapolis for 29 years, said he started the scholarship so students could experience the magic of studying abroad.
“Traveling the world expands your horizons. It opens your eyes to the fact there’s a larger world out there. While there are differences among us, you’ll find that we’re more the same than different,” said Childers.
Throughout his adventurous life, Childers has traveled to more than 100 countries, studying, teaching, and consulting in a variety of countries, including Russia, Vietnam, the Ukraine, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia.
Childers says calling attention to, and providing opportunities to, study abroad is special to him. He particularly enjoys sitting down with students and talking about their global experiences, often “comparing notes,” as he says.
Throughout the next few months, Cassie will finish her senior year, while wrestling with the idea of packing up and moving across the pond. It’s a big decision, but as she’s learned, nothing is too much for a Kelley.