I had a wonderful opportunity to intern for the summer at Rich Products in Johannesburg, South Africa.
After spending a year abroad in Budapest Hungary, I looked at my options and found out that D'Youville College would accept my credits earned at Balassi Balint Institute, and DYC offers a five-year combined BS/MS International Business program. It seemed like a win-win, so I couldn't turn down the opportunity.
I graduated from D'Youville in August 2008 and I am currently working at HSBC Bank in the International Banking Center as an International Sales Officer. My main responsibilities consist of working with clients from all over the world in a call center environment to establish their banking needs in various countries, utilizing knowledge of different countries' regulations and standard practices to ensure superior customer relationship opportunities.
I have always been interested in the international aspect of business. We are now living in a global economy and it is vital that we understand how other countries' social and political challenges impact day-to-day business on the other side of the world. My D'Youville education was certainly a stepping stone for my professional accomplishments.
During my time at D'Youville I was part of Enactus, an international nonprofit group formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE). This led me to a wonderful opportunity to intern at Rich Products in Johannesburg, South Africa for the summer of 2006. This was not only educationally and professionally rewarding for me, but personally as well since my father emigrated from South Africa to the US. Before getting this amazing opportunity with Rich Products, I had applied to numerous internships. Eventually, I found the opportunity at Rich Products and pursued it. I honestly didn't think I would be able to get it, but a few weeks after my interview I left for South Africa. I then learned how important it is to pursue something that you really want professionally and make sure that you do not give up before trying. My internship in South Africa was my very first exposure to an international business professional environment and it was an amazing one!
During my last year at D'Youville I started thinking about what I wanted to do once I finished my master degree. I knew I wanted to leave the US for a while and get some more international experience. The Peace Corps seemed like a great opportunity and a chance for me to give back. As a Peace Corps volunteer, I was assigned to Guatemala because of my Spanish language and business skills. I was originally assigned to do agricultural marketing, after which I got placed to work with a textile artisan cooperative. I was so lucky to have been able to work with probably the strongest women I have ever met! It was incredible to see how much these women respected me and listened to my advice. I just hope they knew how much I respected them. One of my favorite things in Guatemala were the market days on Sundays when I would walk down running errands and people would stop me on the street and ask me how I am and when I would visit them again.
The best advice that I could give to any student is that sometimes opportunities fall into your lap; when they do, take them for what they're worth. When they don't, go find them, because they are out there and if you don't take that chance, someone else will.
Barbara Elizabeth Veres '08
Combined Degree Program
International Business (BS/MS)