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SIBC provides international opportunities

Sarah Mervosh | Monday, September 8, 2008

The Student International Business Council (SIBC) will hold its first meeting of the year tonight at 7 at Jordan Auditorium in the Mendoza School of Business, said fifth-year senior Evan Lintz, the club’s president.

SIBC gives students the opportunity to get business experience by way of projects and internships, she said.

One key concept of SIBC is to link such business experience with non-profit work, said senior Brian Eskew, SIBC director of internships.

“When you work for a non-profit, you feel like your work means more,” said junior Maria Bufalino, SIBC marketing director. “I always feel like I’m really helping in an area where they will use your ideas.”

Usually, internships work half with non-profits, and half with for-profit businesses, Eskew said.

He added that SIBC offers 20 different internships in 13 different countries.

“We pretty much span the globe in terms of stuff we offer,” he said.

Bufalino added the opportunities offered are not always specifically business oriented.

“SIBC is very diverse and has interest for everyone whether it is strictly business or more service oriented,” she said.

One such experience was this past summer, when sophomore James Pappas went to Ghana, Africa.

Pappas interned for the government’s cocoa industry doing clerical work. He also worked for the Agribusiness Development Group, a group founded by Notre Dame graduates that takes tropical fruits that would normally been wasted and dries them out to send to North America and Europe, according to the group’s Web site.

“It was an extremely eye-opening experience,” Pappas said. “There is no better way to broaden your horizons.”

Another major aspect of SIBC is the business experience that students get, said junior Eva Binda, the SIBC accounting director.

“You network with top firms. You network with these really famous companies that people want to work for,” said Binda.

One way to get experience with these companies is to work on case competitions, she said.

A case competition is an attempt to provide a business solution for fictional companies. For example, Binda said: “This business wants to go green so from an accounting standpoint, what can we do?”

This year, on Oct. 2, up to 30 teams of four people will compete and present a solution to a case, she said. Ultimately, one team will be chosen to go to an international case competition in Dubai, she said.

In the past, teams from Europe, Asia and the Middle East have attended, but this is the first year that North America will participate said Binda.

“This is giving us a chance to go international. [The winning team will] not only going to represent Notre Dame, but also the United States, which is a huge honor,” she said.

This case competition is open to students of all ages. The only qualification is that participants must be members of SIBC, but do not need significant business experience, she said. Students who attend Monday’s meeting and join will be eligible to participate, said Binda.

One of SIBC’s main goals this year is to increase awareness and expand participation across campus, Lintz said. SIBC is looking for students from all schools and majors to participate she said.

“It [SIBC] is open to anyone on campus,” said Lintz.