Brewer Science Partners with Webster University

Aug 4, 2002

The last few months have been very interesting at Brewer Science. In addition to the traditional summer students from various Colleges and Universities in the United States that we host every summer, we have added an International Business Intern Exchange student. Our International Business Student, Melani Zeller, is a Junior majoring in Management in industry at The University of Cooperative Education in Germany.

The University of Cooperative Education and Webster University have formed a reciprocal partnership that allows American students and students from selected universities in Germany, Japan, Ghana, Mexico and the UK an opportunity to participate in an intercultural experience. Webster University has developed the Center for International Education, which helps facilitate opportunities for academic and professional growth with partner universities and businesses. The opportunity for internship is unique because it provides students with an opportunity to become immersed in an intercultural experience.

In addition to the strong support of the program by Webster University, the Missouri Department of Economic Development helps fund this program. Since 1980 a total of 657 students have participated in the International Business Internship Exchange in Partnership with the State of Missouri. Brewer Science joins 147 American companies, which have provided internships for international students in the State of Missouri.

Commitment to international education is also an important part of the organization of the University of Cooperative Education. The University of Cooperative Education uses a dual learning system. The dual system consists of coursework for approximately 12 weeks, which is alternated with 12-week periods of on the job training. This basic education will last for approximately 2 years. Then the final qualification is achieved after a third year, which consists of more specialized studies and training.

Brewer Science became aware of the program at the St. Louis World Trade Center's Growing Global event in 2001. Brewer Science Business Manager, Keith Strassner met Webster University's Karen Lynch, "We were discussing the international scope of our business when she told me about their exchange program. It fit well with our desire to better understand the unique cultural aspects of doing business globally," said Strassner. "Our hope was that we could exchange students both from US and Europe to our headquarters in Rolla, but also US students to our operations overseas. Based on the success this year, I see that as a real possibility next summer." Wilma Prifti ,Webster University's Director of the International Business Internship Exchange program, and Karen Lynch were instrumental in helping bring this together.

Melani Zeller has been working at Brewer Science for the last two months doing market research for our chemical products group. She has brought a lot of insight and enthusiasm to her internship and continues to do an outstanding job in every assignment she's been given. "Brewer Science does have a culturally diverse employee base and Melani has quickly become one of the Brewer team. She has made significant positive contributions during her short time with us. We look forward to participating in this program again," said Dr. Terry Brewer. "There is a tremendous amount of positive synergy in this opportunity."

Melani learned about the opportunity to participate in this program from her school and was pleased to participate in the International Business Intern Exchange Program. Approximately 7 students from her junior class are currently participating in the international exchange system.

"Taking part in the International Business Intern Exchange Program has not only enabled me to gather work experience abroad, but also to have the very special opportunity to live with an American host family. I want to thank Joe, Angel, Luke and Adam Johnson for their hospitality, and for showing me what it is like to live in the U.S. The internship at Brewer Science has exceeded all my expectations – I have had the pleasurable occasion to occupy myself with a very intriguing Marketing project. I am positive, that the work experience I have gathered will be of great value for my further career."

"I will return to Germany in early September, after spending a week in New Hampshire. I live in a small town in the South of Germany, called Rottweil. I am very anxious to see my family and friends again. They enabled me to take part in this program by serving as a host family to my American counterpart, and by supporting me in every respect.

At the University of Cooperative Education I have one more year of studies. After that, I would like to gather more work experience in Marketing, or enroll in a Graduate program," said Melani.

Melani's internship will be concluding in August and she will be returning home to begin the school term. Brewer Science has greatly benefited from her international perspective and her positive approach to every assignment.