COVID-19 may have brought the world to a crashing halt in 2020, but that didn’t stop Julia Pardee ’21, a marketing and business information systems major, from getting a hands-on global experience through the Tauck Scholars Program.
Started in 1995, Tauck’s scholarship offers Lehigh Business students the opportunity to take part in internships and other educational programs in 18 countries over four continents.
“I applied for the Tauck Scholars Program because I knew I wanted to work abroad,” says Pardee who was hoping to go to Paris through the IES Paris Summer Internship Program. “Three or four people I really admire had done the program, and I liked the international experience, internship program and flexibility with where you could go with it.
“But when the spring semester converted to online, my program was cancelled. The school gave us a big spreadsheet with different partners that were offering remote opportunities,” explains Pardee. “One was the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship offered through the Baker Institute, where I had just done an externship in California through their LehighSiliconValley Program over winter break.”
Named for MBA alumnus, Dexter Baker, The Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation offers Lehigh University programs dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurial education for the university community.
Pardee was accepted for the Global Entrepreneurial Fellowship, which enables students to participate in project-based internships with early to mid-stage startups in another country and was able to use her Tauck funds for the opportunity.
Through this program, Pardee and two other Lehigh students began working from their homes during June and July for uGlobally, a Netherlands-based company that assists other start-ups to expand internationally, and do market research, rebranding and website development.
“Flexibility when working for start-ups is a big thing,” says Pardee. “Collaboration has been different, but communication has been working pretty well even though we’re in different time zones.
“We’re working on the things that work best for our skillset, but we’re also learning all sides of the business,” she adds.
One of the most rewarding aspects for Pardee has been talking to the customer. “I’ve learned more about what market research really means and how important customer input is to making decisions.”
That market research along with the work and focus from her team has enabled the company to identify new opportunities that uGlobally had yet to tap into. As a result, it’s redesigning the website. As Pardee looks to the future, she believes that her experience this summer will give her a leg up in a career in the brand marketing or venture capitalist space.
Story by Beth Tancredi