My Favorite Marshall Experience: GLP Summer Internship in Taipei, Taiwan
Though I have only been a part of Marshall for the past year and a half, my favorite experience has by far been the Global Leadership Program Summer Internship in Taipei, Taiwan. When being accepted to the Marshall School of Business, I was selected among the top 10% of incoming Marshall freshmen to participate in the Global Leadership Program (GLP). During my first semester in GLP, I listened to many different USC Alumni and business executives share their leadership styles and advice for college students. Second semester, the program focused on international economics and business, concluding in a week-long trip to Shanghai and Beijing to tour companies, meet with executives, and experience global business firsthand
At the end of the course, GLP offers a variety of summer internships in East Asia to further one’s knowledge of international commerce and Asian culture. Originally, I was turned away by the idea of spending the summer in Asia. However after talking with my parents, adviser, and friends, I realized that I would be ridiculous to ignore this amazing opportunity to live abroad, experience a culture that is very different from my own, and develop both my business and professional skills. Additionally, most students never have the opportunity to intern abroad, especially after their freshmen year of college. After long and hard considerations, I decided to go outside my comfort zone and participate in the GLP Summer Internship.
After being accepted to the GLP Summer Internship program, I was assigned to work in Taipei, Taiwan at a e-commerce start-up that sold discounted wedding dresses. Still unsure if I made the right decision, I packed up my bags and embarked on my journey for the summer. Upon landing in Taiwan, I moved into a two-bedroom apartment that I would call “home” for the next two months with four other USC students and former GLP participants. All of us were interning at different companies in Taipei and had to fight over who would get to use the bathroom in the morning. While living with four girls in a tiny apartment for two months may seem like a nightmare, I made friends that will last me the rest of my time at Marshall, and would do it again if I had to.
In addition to getting to know my classmates on a more intimate level, I was able to grow and strengthened my business skills through both a global and marketing perspective. The company I was interning for, Simply Bridal, had three main channels of operations. They made their wedding dresses in Shanghai, sold the dresses in California, and had their headquarters in Taipei. By interning at their main office, I was able to see firsthand how these different lines of communication came together in order to bring their product to market. Specifically, the other interns and I worked underneath the marketing department and were given the tasks to redesign the online and mobile lander pages for Simply Bridal’s wedding photography business. The online platforms that we designed outperformed and replaced the company’s original websites. Before starting my internship, my main goal was to make a difference at Simply Bridal and add value to my position. After successfully creating these online and mobile lander pages, I felt as though I had achieved my goal.
What I enjoyed the most about the GLP Summer Internship was having the opportunity to experience a foreign culture firsthand and explore Eastern Asia. When I wasn’t at work, I was always finding ways to learn more about Taiwanese and Asian culture. I would spend most nights going to night markets and trying new foods, maybe being a little too adventurous; if anyone goes to Taiwan, I highly suggest avoiding stinky tofu. Trust me. Over the weekends, my roommates and I would go hiking and travel to different areas of the island. I hiked the Toroko Gorges, made a life-size paper lantern in Shifen, biked through Sun Moon Lake, and experienced more aspects of Taiwanese culture. Through the GLP internship, I was able to explore more of the world and gain a better appreciation for different cultures.