Education Abroad Undergraduate Fellowship

Katie Ringhand

Katie Ringhand

Marketing and International Business Double Major, Spanish Studies Minor, BSB Class of 2020

Study and Intern in Madrid, Spain, Spring 2019

"Ever since I first heard Carlson’s new statement, ‘Business as a Force for Good,’ I have felt motivated that I can truly benefit by implementing business into the world. This theme is what inspired me to create the Business Week 2018 theme, ‘Be you. Be good. B-Week.’ One of my biggest long-term career goals is to move to Europe or South America and work in a marketing position that caters to international markets, as I will be able to connect and segment products to assist customer needs and preferences in different areas of the world. I am passionate about spreading positivity and opportunity to others, and I really enjoyed my experience working at the non-profit Mossier, so another long-term goal of mine is to work with a non-profit in some capacity. Business has most definitely been a force for good with Mossier, founded right in Carlson, but who is helping LGBTQ+ people get jobs and have value in places where that is impossible."


Take us through a 'day in the life' of your program.


"I start my day by heading over to the Fundación Ortega Marañon for my morning classes."


"Then, I grab a café con leche at one of the nearby coffee shops with some classmates."


"With my coffee in hand, I hop on the metro to get to my internship office."


"I’m interning at PeaceWorX in Madrid, a newly-founded nonprofit focused on using design thinking to tackle sustainability issues. Today, I’m researching one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to write a blog post for our website and social channels."


"I finish my day watching the sunset on the terrace of my apartment in Madrid’s Moncloa neighborhood after eating dinner with my host-mom."

Introduce us to someone in your host community who is doing 'Business as a Force for Good.'

"While I was in Madrid, I met an incredibly kind and inspirational lady named Eloise, and she is most definitely doing Business as a Force for Good. Eloise started a nonprofit called PeaceWorX, which is committed to making a more sustainable world using Human Centered Design thinking. Eloise is passionate about the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of 17 goals created to address and improve some of the biggest environmental, social and political goals to transform our world. Eloise and her team at PeaceWorX utilizes technology and data to collaborate with other groups working on projects related to the SDGs. I had the opportunity while in Madrid to intern for Eloise, helping create the website and write blog and social media posts about different sustainability topics. Eloise is doing business as a force for good with her work and passions for improving our world through design thinking and technology."


"My time abroad in Madrid, Spain has influenced me far beyond I could have ever expected, and I see it continuing to impact me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to live with a host family in Madrid because I experienced real life in Europe, which really forced me to think about how I want to live my own life. I greatly improved my Spanish language skills, which has already proved beneficial talking to a Spanish customer while at my internship this summer. Studying abroad in Spain allowed me to realize there’s more to life than having greed that I see ever present in the United States culture. I see myself moving back to Spain (or another country in Europe or South America) in my future because I like the more laid back and relaxed culture feel."



James Alexander-Young Headshot

James Alexander-Young

Entrepreneurial Management Major, Business Analytics Minor, BSB Class of 2019

Semester Exchange at the University of Otago in New Zealand, Spring 2019

"I have been interested in Eco-tourism and the hospitality industry since I was young. New Zealand offers a unique opportunity in this regard by having a large (and growing) resort and eco-tourism industry. Many resorts become islands of themselves, depriving the local community of a share of the profits. This same principle also applies to the local environment. The natural world has provided a beautiful location, in turn the industry as a whole must actively work to protect it. The destination that I plan on building would benefit the community through profit-sharing as well as funding education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Additionally, the resort would work with environmental groups to remain carbon-positive and leave the surrounding world and its people better off. There is no value in profit if the well-being of our natural world and our communities are forgotten in the process."


Take us through a 'day in the life' of your program.

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"My everyday commute, walking to class past the beautiful and iconic University of Otago clocktower. The clocktower is a symbol of the university and reflects the region’s rich history."

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"Cooking flat dinner with fellow international students at Otago. The Uni Flats structure means that you have countless opportunities to meet other international students and spend time exploring."

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"Taking in the sunset at St Kilda beach near campus. Spending time in nature will likely be a pillar of your time at Otago, and there are a million ways to get out into the outdoors every day."

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 "Enjoying one of Dunedin’s many cultural festivals with live music and diverse food stands. Maori culture has been passed down for centuries and differs significantly from Western cultures. Otago gives you the opportunity to study and live within a culture that will show you new ways to live each day." 

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"A Highlanders rugby match is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the rich rugby culture of New Zealand. As the current World Champions, rugby plays a huge role in New Zealand culture and sport. I even decided to play rugby this semester!"

Tell us about your single best day on the program.

"My best day on the program at Otago was the first day I arrived in Dunedin. After arriving on a bus from Queenstown, I grabbed my key to my Uni Flat and immediately met other internationals living in the complex. They were welcoming and fun and without even knowing me, invited me to come along to Parakanui beach to camp out and celebrate one of their birthdays. Five of them, including my amazing Kiwi host, drove me to the beach and we camped and sang songs until late into the night. We swam in the ocean and took in the astounding views. Once darkness fell, we were approached by the cutest residents of Otago, tiny Blue penguins. New Zealand is a paradise unique in the world."


"My most impactful cultural takeaway from my time at Otago is a completely new understanding of what I value in life. Instead of the ceaseless competition of Carlson, the Kiwi culture is one defined by happiness and enjoying life. I have learned that this life is not only about your professional goals and that your work/life balance is vital to your happiness. Stressing about the little things in life won’t help you succeed and reminding yourself every day of that fact will make you a happier person."



Chrystal Otundo

Chrystal Otundo

Management Information Systems Major, Business Analytics Minor, BSB Class of 2020

Global Seminar: Solidarity and Community-Led Transformation in South Africa, January/Spring 2019

"I hope to lead projects that promote technological advancements created to improve the living situations in underdeveloped and poverty-struck areas of the United States. I don’t want my work to only fill my pockets, I want whatever project and business I’m a part of to fulfill and positively impact another person’s life. If I have the opportunity to use business as a force for good, I’m going to start by being specific in the types of projects I want to put my name on. My long term goal is to develop a non-profit organization in Africa, because being that I’m of African descent, I believe giving back through a non-profit organization will empower my African people."


"Our days started at 9 am every day, whether that meant going to class or on a field trip, and the day could end at any time. We either had class at the International Student Center or had it at a community center in Belville South. Belville South is a suburban township for colored people, where the non-profit company Building Bridges was established. Building Bridges is a non-profit working to serve the youth in the community, that we worked alongside for two weeks while were there. We contributed to Building Bridges by doing interviews with community members about what they would like for their youth, and also coming up with ideas for the structure of the company. We had class multiple times a week where we were challenged emotionally and mentally through conversations about race, oppression, colonization, and reconciliation in ways that we wouldn’t have in an average classroom in the US. We learned from each other through our lived experiences and previous knowledge, whether that was knowledge learned in the classroom, our required readings, or outside of school. We also went on a few field trips to the Slave Lodge, Robben’s Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), and District Six. South Africa was definitely a huge learning experience."


Tell us about your single best day on the program.

"These photos were taken in Groot Winterhoek at the Educo Africa Retreat where we were without our phones and knowledge of the time for three days. The retreat was meant to serve as a healing and growing experience before we combated the reality of South Africa, post-Apartheid era. The first day at Groot Winterhoek was the best because we were able to be one with nature, get to know everyone without the distraction of a phone, and watch the beautiful sunset."


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"The most impactful cultural take away is “Ubuntu,” meaning “I am because we are.” In South Africa they really value togetherness, unlike in the United States where we value individuality. Everywhere I went in South Africa, I was able to feel a sense of community; people always said hi and waved. I was always referred to as sister and was welcomed everywhere I went. There was always a sense of belonging for everyone, whether they were a native of South Africa or not."





Brianna Ammerman

Accounting Major, Management Information Systems Minor, BSB Class of 2020

MGMT 3033w: Business Communication in Spain, May/Spring 2019

"The phrase ‘business as a force for good’ has stuck with me throughout the past few years as I’ve been searching for the deeper meaning behind my interest in accounting. A long-term goal I have had since I arrived at the Carlson School of Management is to use my education to help increase financial literacy in the community. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to share my financial skills as a member of the Volunteer Tax Assistance Program, providing free income tax filing services to members of the Twin Cities community. My short-term goal for my career is to develop my accounting skills within the tax department of a public accounting firm.”


Take us through a 'day in the life' of your program.


"Each day of our program consisted of two site visits to local and global companies. On our first day in Barcelona, my class and I went to Cordorniu, the oldest wine and cava producer in Spain. This is a picture of some of the cavas (sparkling wine) aging in the wine cellar."

HP Barcelona

"Our second site visit of the day was to HP Barcelona where we learned about the company’s focus on innovation and research. This location focuses on graphic arts, specifically 3D printing and specialized printing for labels and large signage."

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"On some evenings of our program, we would go out to dinner as a class. This was a really great chance for us to get to know each other better while also trying some of the local dishes in Spain like tapas and paella."

Tell us about your single best day on the program.

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"On the weekends, many of my classmates and I used to high speed trains to take day trips in cities near Madrid and Barcelona. This is a picture of me in front of the Roman aqueduct that first greets you when you arrive in Segovia, just 40 minutes north of Madrid."

Segovia 2

"My friends and I found some hiking trails that lined the back of the city and we spent hours walking around on them. The views of the city were often far superior from these paths, including the Alcazar castle which I am pictured with here."

Segovia 3

"Our day ended with a guided tour of the cathedral in Segovia, including a climb up the bell tower which is the highest point in the city. Pictured here is a view of Segovia from the bell tower."


"The most interesting cultural takeaway I have from my time in Spain is how slow paced the culture is relative to the United States. I had always heard from friends who have studied in Spain that the culture is more relaxed but did not realize exactly how much different it would be until I arrived. This became most evident to me when I met a former foreign exchange student my family hosted for dinner. We spent nearly 4 hours talking over a few without paying any attention to the time. It was a different experience than the time-regulated culture in the United States and I appreciated focusing more on my relationships and interactions with the world around me."




Grace O'Neil

Marketing and Journalism Double Major, University Honors Program, BSB Class of 2020

CIEE Open Campus in South Africa, Germany, and France, Spring 2019

"Through entertainment marketing, I want to promote stories that put diversity both in front of and behind the camera. I want young girls of all races, ethnicities, and body types to be able to watch a character they relate to and can aspire to be. In the era of #metoo, I want my future daughter to live in a world where women can come forward and be the solution, both in Hollywood and in the rest of the world. I believe this change begins in popular culture, and I want to make business decisions that contribute to that change. Understanding the power of film to empower women across the globe is more important than ever. It would be an honor to be able to promote that empowerment."


Take us through a 'day in the life' of your program.

"A day in the life in Berlin, Germany, included a lot of exploring the city. I usually began with a morning run around Tempelhof Airport, a large abandoned airfield turned into a park. I'd then go to my Power of Social Media course, where we discussed theories behind the personal and commercial uses of social media. I would then go explore Tiergarten, Mitte, or other parts of the city with friends. Berlin was very fast paced and with such a big city, there is no way I could have done everything I would have wanted to in six weeks. But the casual urban culture, great food, and amazing music scene made it an unforgettable experience."


Tell us about your single best day on the program.

"While it is way too difficult to pick a 'best day' in Cape Town, my last 24 hours was incredible."


"24 hours before I left Cape Town we finally checked out Old Biscuit Mill market for an incredible grilled cheese."


"Sixteen hours before I left the city, my friends and I decided to take the cable car up for one last sunset."


"Six hours before I left the city, I completed one final hike up Lion's Head before hopping on a plane to my next six-week block in Berlin."


"One of the best parts of my program was my ability to study abroad in three different cities in six-week intervals. However, this was also one of the biggest challenges. Every location had different living situations, friend groups, and cultures that made it difficult to transition from place to place. It was very tough saying goodbye to the incredible friends I had made in Cape Town and Berlin. In Paris, students lived in apartments scattered throughout the city instead of in one building as in my previous locations. This made me more independent, which at times was tough after being around people constantly at the other locations. To better adapt to my Paris experience, I had to change my mindset and understand that not all cities were going to be the same. By letting go of my expectations and preconceived notions of how the program should go, I was able to love gaining independence and explore the city more personally. I was able to better reflect on my time abroad and appreciate the city of Paris."



Lauren Scheidler

Lauren Scheidler

Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management Double Major, University Honors Program, BSB Class of 2020

Study and Intern in Florence, Italy, Spring 2019

"I spent the last three summers interning in the healthcare industry, most recently at Optum. As our population ages and technology advances, there is a huge and important opportunity to create and deliver solutions in the increasingly complex world of healthcare. I also spend time with organizations who provide fundamental resources, like medical care or education, to those who are struggling. My passion for using business to drive positive social change is reflected in my participation with various organizations, including Love Your Melon and Operation Smile. My long-term goals are less concrete. However, one thing is abundantly clear: I aspire to pursue a career that is professionally challenging, personally fulfilling, and mission-driven."


Take us through a 'day in the life' of your program.

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  • "During the week, I would wake up in the morning and go for a run along the Arno River before my classes for the day."
  • "After a quick breakfast, I would walk the short five minutes to ACCENT for school. My classes ranged from drawing and Italian to marketing and crime!"
  • "My friends and I would enjoy a panini for lunch between classes or after we were done for the day. My favorite one had Tuscan salami and pesto!"
  • "One of my favorite spots in Florence was Piazzale Michelangelo. My roommates and I would often watch the sunset there, enjoying the panoramic view of the city."
  • "To end the day, I would usually cook dinner around 7 or 8 pm. Most nights were spent doing homework, hanging out, or getting a late-night gelato."


Tell us about one goal you have accomplished.

"One of my main goals for my study abroad was simply to grow – as an individual, a student, a daughter, a friend, etc. During our school-sponsored trip to Sicily, I had the opportunity to have a homestay dinner with a local Italian family. It was a bit intimidating at first since we had never met and they spoke almost no English, but we were able to connect and learn so much about each other and our different cultures. It was one of the most interesting and meaningful experiences I had throughout my time abroad. Through experiencing new places and meeting new people, I was able to reflect meaningfully on my surroundings, gain new perspectives, and grow in more ways than I could’ve imagined."

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What is your most interesting or impactful cultural takeaway?

"My most important cultural takeaway from this semester abroad has nothing to do with school or Florence and everything to do with life. Living in a new city, on a new continent, surrounded by people who don’t speak your language takes stepping out of your comfort zone to a whole new level. I was constantly confronted with new ways of doing and living and, while these cultural differences were frustrating at times, I pushed myself to understand and embrace them. Had I chosen to call these differences “wrong” or “weird” and reject them, I would’ve missed out on a profound learning experience. One of these cultural differences that initially proved challenging was the slower pace of life and lack of emphasis on efficiency. However, I gradually learned and accepted that, for Italians, it wasn’t about being slow or untimely, but rather taking pleasure in the beauty of everyday life. The slower pace of life was something that I came to appreciate as it was a reminder to be present and to acknowledge the little things. Through my experiences abroad, I came to truly appreciate the value of cultural awareness and open-mindedness – something that I think is difficult for many Americans. Those aspects that were difficult at first became those things that I appreciated the most. I learned to love what I didn’t always understand because it’s not always about understanding or knowing, but rather sharing and experiencing. While I can’t say that my life is forever changed or that I’ve come back a completely different person, I can say that it was the most valuable, eye-opening, memorable, and remarkable experience I’ve ever had in my life and I would do it again in a heartbeat."