November 1, 2012

Fisher students help Ohio businesses expand global markets

Fisher student Teng (Lynn) LunFisher student Teng (Lynn) Lun

While Fisher has earned the distinction of working with large multinational companies, some of the college’s greatest impact is helping small to middle market companies improve their global imprint.

The International Programs Office (IPO) Export Internship Program, offered in partnership with the Ohio Department of Development and small to mid-sized firms aspiring to export products, is a national model for helping small companies go global. And the program’s signature structure is its reciprocal benefits to the companies and their executives, Fisher students, government agencies and Ohio’s economy.

Melissa Torres, executive director of IPO and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), and an Ohio delegation were invited to Washington, D.C. in September to present the program to the District Export Councils from across the nation. There are 56 councils in the United States.

Company executives participate in courses to help them better understand export strategies. Fisher students are also required to participate in a semester-long course on exporting, taught by Professor Stephen Hills, that include interactive sessions with industry practitioners and coaching to prepare them for summer internships.

 “Personally, international trade has never gotten my attention before, but now I have certainly developed the export/import mindset,” said Hanyang Wei, one of the students that participated in the program. “The knowledge of export strategy, research, and logistics are very practical and will help me in my future careers.”
One of the participating companies was Sutphen, based in Dublin, Ohio, which is a manufacturer of high-end fire trucks that are already sold over most of the world. However, the company was looking for support  to enter Asian markets and assistance in completing regulatory documentation for entrance into Asian markets.

Enter Fisher student Teng (Lynn) Lun, who was able to communicate with Chinese partners on the company’s behalf and coordinated with engineers to complete “Chinese Compulsory Certification Applications.”  She compiled export requirement data for 14 countries and produced a report on necessary provisions in labor contracts to hire foreign nationals.

She credits the Fisher course for helping her execute her duties and has decided to dedicate her career to international business.

“I just can't wait to get out in the real world, help a company to achieve its exporting goals and make my mark,” Lun said.

J. Grant Mosher called the program an “Escape from Intern Island.” Mosher worked at Fecon based in Lebanon, Ohio. The company produces heavy duty landscaping machinery.  Mosher said he didn’t feel lost, which sometimes occurs to some student interns at larger companies.

“Everything we learned was truly applicable,” Mosher said, adding he felt a sense of credibility and confidence in what he did.