Global Fellows Spotlight: Mollie Mertes
Mollie Mertes is a Junior Finance major and Business Analytics minor who participated in the Global Fellows program this year and visited The Gambia. We had the chance to ask Mollie about her international experience and how it has shaped her career path.
Could you summarize your Global Fellows placement and project?
This summer I interned at Starfish International in Lamin, The Gambia through the LSB Global Fellows program. Starfish International is a non-profit organization whose main mission is to uplift Gambian girls through service-based education. I spent five weeks teaching summer courses as well as engaging in a cross-cultural immersion.
What were your main takeaways and professional skills gained?
Through my experience as a Global Fellow, I learned about the many challenges Gambian girls face in pursuing their education. I gained a deeper appreciation and respect for the hard work the Starfish International community puts in to support and prioritize girls’ education. My experience in The Gambia allowed me to hone my personal resilience and adaptability skills. Furthermore, it allowed me to strengthen my collaboration skills and ability to work on a diverse team.
Do you feel your Global Fellows experience has made you stand out as a candidate for jobs?
I believe my Global Fellows experience has allowed me to stand out as a candidate for internships and jobs. Gaining practical international experience in a culturally different environment is something that few college students are able to do.
Why do you recommend the Global Fellows Program to business students?
In the increasingly globalized business environment, it is an asset to have experience interning internationally. I think the Global Fellows program did a great job of preparing me for my placement, supporting me during my time abroad, and prompting meaningful reflection on my experiences.
How did Global Fellows better your understanding of international business?
My Global Fellows experience has given me a much more nuanced understanding of international business, especially in a collectivist, developing country. My time in The Gambia allowed me to learn many of the ways in which collectivist culture manifests and how to navigate a culturally diverse environment.
How did Global Fellows impact your career path?
As a service-minded business student, I have always been interested in non-profits. This experience gave me insight into the day to day challenges that go into running a non-profit and the importance of a strong team that shares the same vision.
Did you study abroad after your Global Fellows project? How was this experience?
I am currently studying and interning abroad in London, England following my Global Fellows experience. I went from living in a small village in The Gambia to one of the largest cities in Europe. The Gambia and England are extremely different and while it was initially challenging to make this transition, I’ve found that my Global Fellows experience has deeply enhanced my time in England.