The GTI hosted 14 eager graduate and doctoral students from Japan’s top-ranked Nagoya University in June for a entrepreneurship and innovation. The students conquered delayed and cancelled flights and jet lag as they immediately jumped into their first entrepreneurship workshop with Jennifer Capps, the director of academic programs for NC State’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. The students discussed problems they had researched and observed in Japan and used those ideas to jump into the process of identifying an issue to solve during the program.
In addition to entrepreneurship, the students engaged in communication workshops to help them address issues and reservations when communicating in English, both in formal and informal settings. They even competed in a scavenger hunt across campus to help them engage with the community and learn some history and fun facts about NC State.
As they worked toward the development of their minimum viable products, they worked with mentors from the Entrepreneurship Initiative. The Nagoya students also visited companies that developed from NC State courses similar to their own. They got to see roof-top bee hives at Bee Downtown, an old bank-turned-innovation hub at American Underground, and the palette-constructed cubicles in the headquarters of FilterEasy. Even these offices were created in an innovative way!
But, GTI programs are never all work and no play. The students had the opportunity to explore the local area, have dinner in American homes, and even try America’s version of sushi.
At the end of the program, students presented their products to potential “investors” that were then able to choose which ideas they deemed worthy of investment. The winners included a shopping list app with an time-saving route builder for specific grocery stores, a cosmetic pump bottle with a removable bottom to eliminate product waste, and a portable study space to help procrastinators focus and get to work on those last-minute assignments.
Thanks to all those that helped make this summer camp an amazing experience for everyone involved!
I am thrilled to be serving as the GTI summer intern for the next couple of months! I am a Park Scholar double majoring in Political Science and International Studies with a concentration in the Middle East, and I am working toward a Spanish minor. I just returned from studying abroad in Havana for three weeks, so I am looking forward to working with students and faculty from around the world. This summer I will be helping with research for Cross-Cultural Training, updating the new student orientation guide, and helping with various cultural activities for programs in July, among other projects. Interacting with different cultures has always been important to me, so I am very excited to begin working on internationally-focused projects as part of this great organization!
Salomé Froment came to NC State to study International Business at SKEMA Business School’s U.S. campus for a year. Her goal was to make the most of her time at an American college, so she joined several student organizations and connected with several on-campus units, including the Women’s Center and the Center for Service, Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service (CSLEPS). She also learned and practiced, as part of the GTI’s Cross-Cultural Competencies course, how to bridge cultural differences between the French and American way of thinking, leading, and doing business.
“First, there is your way of doing things, but then you find out there is another way. After that, you try to mix them both to find the most innovative outcome,” she said.
Froment connected with large and small IT companies as part of the GTI course and final project, and she spent a lot of her time networking with various professionals in the region. In addition to her rigorous coursework, Froment also completed the requirements for the Visionary Leaders Certificate (VLC) in two semesters. CSLEPS also awarded her the Ronald C. Butler Visionary Leader Award as a result of her outstanding Leadership Portfolio.
Froment participated in an Alternative Service Break trip to Greensboro and Atlanta during her fall semester, which helped complete the 20-hour community service requirement portion of the certificate. She joined other NC State students from the the Multicultural Student Affairs office and Women’s Center to visit and volunteer with the National Conference for Community and Justice of the Piedmont Triad, Inc. (NCCJ), the International Civil Rights Museum, Martin Luther King’s birthplace site, the Boys and Girls Club/Salvation Army and more.
Salomé Froment is the second SKEMA student to complete the VLC. Pauline Gane obtained the certificate after one semester, marking the first time any student had done so in NC State history.
“Their ability to reflect and to dig deep within their own understandings of who they are as leaders and servants since they’re both engaged in service efforts were a true reflection of themselves on paper,” said Nathan Thomas, the program assistant for CSLEPS who oversees the certificate program. Thomas added that the program is good about identifying ways they are already engaged in leadership and service opportunities on campus and using that as part of their portfolio requirements.
“We’ve loved having the both of them, and we would love to have more,” he said.
Watch the video below:
Froment graduated from SKEMA in the spring of 2016 with a Master’s of Science in International Business and is currently working in Raleigh with a start-up IT firm.