This summer I have had the opportunity to expand my own understanding of international business while interning for Indium Corporation. Although Indium Corporation is headquartered in the US, it has facilities in North America, Asia, and Europe. My internship isn’t focused on analyzing international companies, but I have learned a lot that has reaffirmed my understanding of the field. I have interned in Ireland in the past, but this summer I was able to see the idea of how a global business actually works.
At Indium Corporation, a large part of our global strategy is our communication between headquarters and our global facilities. Since we have three facilities in China, it makes sense for a lot of our work to be translated properly. My fellow intern, Kendra Walker had to make translations of the video procedures she was making so they could be used companywide. People around the office communicate in Chinese over email, phone, and even in person. Companies can sometimes struggle with cross-cultural communication, even when it’s internal. From what I have seen so far, Indium Corporation is excellent at making sure that it is a priority. Within the international business program at Champlain College, we are taught very little about cross-cultural communication. Seeing how this works when there is a language barrier is fascinating and informing.
Another aspect of international business I have learned this summer is how a company markets abroad. I was creating a marketing piece for this summer and during my research I came across all different types of Indium Corporation marketing. What caught my eye was the vast amount of different marketing pieces that were in different languages. I know that it might be naive, but I never really expected to find so many. Luckily, I have taken three years of Chinese so I understand how to properly translate Chinese with Google Translator. I translated a couple of these marketing pieces and noticed that they were not just translated from other marketing pieces. I had a professor once who said that you can just translate one item and push out globally. I always knew it was not accurate, but this proved it for me. Organic marketing materials specified to match the target market of a specific region is a promising idea. This reaffirmed my belief that I learn more by doing than just listening or reading.
Indium Corporation has taught me a lot about international business. I am going into my final year of college and I can go into my college courses with real life experience on how international business works. I also have gained more of an appreciation for the major I have chosen and it has reassured me about the reason why I want to be in the international business field.