Lea Delfs, an international student studying Business Administration, says that when she first came to Washington College she found it difficult to find a job that was a good fit. Lea is currently spending my year abroad at Washington College as an international exchange student from Germany, University of Tübingen.
When she received an email from Stew Bruce seeking interns for the GIS lab, she immediately took the opportunity, signing on to work for the GIS Lab marketing team promoting the Online Training Program. Lea says this internship has proved to be the perfect fit for her. She is able to practice both her English and marketing skills. She also says she has been able to meet interesting people while working at the lab, even attending a GIS conference in Pennsylvania.
“My main focus was on marketing the Online Training Program and the Summer Camp offered by GIS. Washington College provides self-paced virtual instruction to develop or expand the knowledge of ArcGIS Desktop, ENVI EX, and Trimble GPS. The business model is simply to allow anybody at any convenient time to take online workshops. Users can use it for free by logging-in as guests or register for a certain fee in order to receive professional feedback and evaluations.”
“I also created a Flyer with all the important information about our Professional Development Program. In November 2012, Professor Bruce offered Caitlyn Riehl and I the opportunity to go to the Technology & Engineering Education Association of Pennsylvania (TEEAP) Conference. We had the chance to promote our Training Program as a curriculum for High-Schools and our Summer Camp. Overall, the conference helped us to establish new contacts and increase our business presence in Pennsylvania.”
Lea then used her international ties to spread GIS beyond the boundaries of the Eastern Shore. Her main goal was to contact as many international, bilingual and private schools in Germany in order to spread the news about our Summer Camp in Chestertown. Students from Germany are given the opportunity to improve their language skills, to make new friends from all over the world and to gain a deeper insight into the American college life. She contacted about 200 different schools, but since the time period is inconvenient for most of the schools, we are currently thinking about changing the dates of the summer camp.
This semester she is branching out further, working on updating the Upper Shore Harvest Directory. The Upper Shore Harvest Directory is a brochure, both in paper and online, which helps to connect consumers with local agriculture, agritourism, charters, and restaurants. Lea’s job is to send out surveys and make videos of local businesses, which are going toward the creation of the website. While working on this project, Lea has had the chance to visit local farms and charters. She says that she has enjoyed getting to know the Upper Shore and the Chesapeake Bay.
Lea feels that her work at the GIS Lab will be useful in her future career. She has been able to experience the American professional life, improve her English skills, and has met plenty of interesting people in the process.
– By: Dana Case