This past Friday, Oct. 24, a group of Albion Gerstackers returned from their busy adventure in France.
Currently, the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management provides a yearlong course for its students in collaboration with Sup de V, a university in France.
“Sup de V and the Gerstacker Institute have created a partnership and student exchange for upperclassmen around experiential learning opportunities dealing with entrepreneurship, innovation and change, and business plan development and implementation,” said Emily Nolan, director of the Gerstacker Institute.
The program goes beyond what is learned in the classroom and gives the students involved realistic and applicable experience.
“The exchange underscores Albion’s overall mission of thought into action,” Nolan said.
But it’s not only administrators who rave about the program. Students who went this semester seemed to quite enjoy their time abroad.
“[My time in Sup de V] was the most amazing week of my life,” said Caitlin McClorey, Wixom junior. “I am really glad I had the opportunity to participate in such an amazing experience.”
Like Nolan, the students of the Sup de V program are aware of the benefits that come from participating in this yearlong program.
“I got involved with Sup de V through Gerstacker, and I decided to participate because I believe that this is an amazing opportunity to work on an international level and learn how to successfully launch a product for the market,” McClorey said.
The students, both French and American, will continue working together to finish their projects by the end of the spring 2014 semester. The French students will present the projects to bankers and investors with hopes of convincing these professionals to invest in their projects, according to Nolan.
Additionally, at the end of the year students have the opportunity, as part of the program, to present their projects at Albion College’s Elkin Isaac Honors symposium.
But the students have learned more than simple, curriculum-based material and course objectives from the Sup de V program.
“Learning to explain things in different ways or thinking of what you’re trying to explain from [the French’s] perspective is the biggest thing I learned,” said Mackenzie Novak, Waterford junior.
Learning to break down the language barrier between Americans and the French wasn’t the only non-curriculum based topic explored.
“I learned a lot while I was in France,” McClorey said. “I learned that although our cultures are different, we still have a lot in common.”
Students learned what they and administrators believe to be valuable information, and they enjoyed doing so.
“[Sup de V] was awesome,” Novak said. “It was so much fun.”
Photo courtesy of Albion College