By Alex Carey
April 18, Elkin Isaac day, is a big deal at Albion. Faculty, students and parents gather to watch students present months of work and research. Because the event is held at Albion College, no one has to travel too far to watch the presentations – except the French participants, that is.
Last week, Albion College hosted a group of 16 French students as they joined with eight Gerstacker members to present months of work ofinternational business development plans at the Elkin Isaac Symposium.
“The French guests seemed really excited to be here,” said Megan Wickens, Livonia sophomore and tour guide. “They wanted to see everything on campus.”
Wickens gave a tour to the French students from the Ecole Superieure de Vente, a business and communications school in Saint-Germain, France. These students began work with the Gerstacker students at the beginning of the school year to develop business plans.
“The primary goal for the student teams is to create a business plan that takes into account both cultures, has a focus on technology, sustainability and a business-to-business focus,” said Vicki Baker, economics and management professor and advisor for the program.
Project topics ranged from developing a smart phone app that supports fitness on-the-go to creating usable energy just from walking.
“This has been an amazing experience,” said Kimmy Leverenz, Grosse Point senior. “I know I have learned a lot about international business and communication. Not many places offer programs like this, and I am thankful for this opportunity.”
The eight Alboin students traveled to France in October to meet with the French students for the first time. All other work was done via Skype. Last week, it was Albion’s turn to play host. With a busy week of preparation – and maybe a short break to see Timeflies – the students were kept busy and entertained before presenting at the Symposium.
“I am proud to be a part of the group that secured this partnership,” Baker said. “It helps us bring the world to Albion and to show other schools the amazing talent we have here and in the Gerstacker Institute.”