Students develop an international perspective in Hungary

January 09, 2023

Clayton Romanok, Sophia Lachapelle, Vishal Singh, and Chris Ball

Sophia Lachapelle ’22, MBA ’23, and Clayton Romanok ’23 recently completed life-changing experiences in Europe — helping them to gain practical experiences and build the foundations for success.

“I want to live and work abroad when I graduate and now, I have an internship in a foreign country working with start-ups and helping them research and expand into other countries. It does not really get more international than that,” said Lachapelle, who interned for INPUT, a European Union-funded organization that helps create and nurture internationally competitive Hungarian tech startup.

As a 3+1 accelerated dual-degree economics major with an international business minor, Lachapelle's internship experience at INPUT enabled her to observe the cultural and social impacts on a foreign economy. Studying abroad is popular among students who are looking to gain an international perspective within their field of choice.

Lachapelle was able to see her studies on American consumption trends come to life when her internship began at INPUT.

Her position was directed toward helping avoid potential miscommunication within international transactions and endeavors. During her time at INPUT, Lachapelle put together a presentation focused on the cultural differences between the United States and Hungary, and how those differences translate into the world of business. Some of the main focuses of her presentation included communication style, promotions, packaging and overall brand etiquette.

With a strong desire to explore and make the most of his time in Europe, Romanok took advantage of his free time by embracing the cultures found within countries like Belgium, Netherlands, and France.

Romanok applied his skillset at Design Terminal, an international innovation agency focused on entrepreneurial development. During this internship, Romanok had the opportunity to participate in a mentorship program where he helped facilitate meetings with business professionals and entrepreneurs.

Throughout the duration of his internship, he was able to better comprehend the working order of international business practices, and how they compare to practices in the United States.

Romanok completed an internship with TradeBright in Washington, D.C., last summer. This was a great stepping-stone for him before going abroad to Hungary because TradeBright’s focus is dedicated to providing innovative and unique trade promotion services for businesses looking to tap into new international markets.

Romanok said that the most valuable part of his international experience was being able to experience a different culture to a “living thereextent, and see what it felt like to be a local resident of Hungary.

“Make the most of your time there and explore. Every day there are new opportunities,” Romanok said. “Don’t approach this as an antisocial opportunity because it’s a new environment, dedicate yourself to living somewhere unfamiliar.”

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