November 15, 2006
Internship pays dividends for SIUC student
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A foreign language student's drive toward success has landed him a plum job with a company hailed as the German version of MapQuest.
Brian P. Conner of Carbondale (204 Wedgewood Lane) is a senior in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's College of Liberal Arts, majoring in German studies and foreign language and international trade. After his December graduation, Conner will join Mapsolute GmbH in Frankfurt, Germany. The company provides Internet mapping and asset tracking services, similar to MapQuest's popular digital maps and directions.
"I am excited about this opportunity because I will be able to learn so much more about German culture and get a chance to interact with Germans on a daily basis," said Conner, who will join the thousands of SIUC alumni living and working abroad.
Last summer, Conner received a stipend from the Transatlantic Program of the German American Chamber of Commerce for a 10-week, all expenses paid internship with Mapsolute, a business working to open affiliates in the United States.
"I gathered information on competitors and compared the strengths and weaknesses," Conner said. "I also gathered information on potential customers and began contact with them."
Conner so impressed his bosses that they offered him a full-time job. The SIUC student will move to Germany in January.
"We are extremely proud of Brian," said Anne Winston-Allen, chair of the foreign language and literature department. "He has been an outstanding student since the day he arrived. As last year's German tutor, he got more students to come in regularly for help than all the previous tutors combined."
Conner's goals are "to work in Germany for a couple years in order to gain a better understanding of the business world. After that, I plan to get a masters in business administration and continue my career in the field of international business," he said.
A native of Southern Illinois, Conner first experienced living abroad through the internship. The new adventure in the new year should open up even more doors for him and help him to brush up on his German. "I saw a tremendous improvement over the course of the summer, so a couple of years will be great," he said.
Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.