Business Pre-Grad Intern Madeline Keulen
"This summer I had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy with the Rome Study Program (RSP). My goals for the program were to better my Italian and learn more about the entrepreneurial environment in Italy. Austin has been a fantastic city to grow my interests in startups, but being here surrounded by so much support left me wondering about the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in other parts of the world.
Last year I was a participant in the IE Pre-Graduate School Internship program and had the pleasure of working with an incredible MBA student who had launched her own businesses, gained incredible industry experience and also shared a love for travel. Her mentorship and guidance in helping me decide about life after college and the possibility of pursuing an MBA made IE one of the most worthwhile experiences of my college career.
In my final week of RSP I gave a presentation to fellow students, our professors and host families about the difficulties faced by young Italians in finding work and founding companies. Conversely, I also highlighted my incredible experiences interacting with family-owned small business and the hope that Italy will grow more great companies in the future.
Through participating in IE and going abroad I've been able to learn the importance of understanding business environments through different cultural perspectives. I'm currently working on launching my own cake ball company, *Dolcetti*(which means "little sweets" in Italian) and preparing for my GMAT so that I may apply to MBA programs in the future."
UPDATE (11/11/13): Madeline's business, begun as part of her 2012 IE Pre Grad Internship, is thriving. Her website is up and running and she has been doing a small but sustainable amount of work throughout the semester. "I've really enjoyed the experience of running my own business," says Madeline. "Through participating in IE I've been able to learn the importance of understanding business environments through different cultural perspectives."