An Upper Iowa University business administration major from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is one of only 150 applicants selected to attend the Global X-Culture Conference and Symposium in Macerata, Italy. Senior Andre Cheong and the other participants were chosen from approximately 4,500 students and faculty worldwide who were originally invited to apply to attend the event scheduled for July 29-August 4.
“I am so proud of Andre,” UIU Associate Professor of Management and Marketing Dr. Summer Zwanziger Elsinger said. “His outgoing personality extends to the classroom, where he is an active participant who asks engaging questions. I have witnessed Andre work in multiple surroundings. He reads people very well and even when there is a mixture of complex personalities he serves as the glue in the group.”
“I need to thank Dr. Z for all of the support she has provided me,” said Cheong, who participated in the X-Culture program as part of Elsinger’s Global Marketing course. “Despite her busy schedule, she was able to meet up with me to discuss and assist me in my studies.”
As part of the upcoming symposium, participants will attend conferences and lectures, take part in challenge presentations, and will tour the city of Macerata and local businesses.
“While Andre witnesses firsthand how businesses work in a European country, I hope the symposium continues to advance his abilities in analysis and reflection,” Elsinger said. “I also look forward to him having the opportunity to meet a network of highly skilled and engaged peers and mentors to assist him in future job searches.”
“I hope to broaden my perspective of the world by meeting people from different countries and learn how to communicate with people from an international perspective,” Cheong said with a growing smile. “But, the traveling and food could also provide a memorable experience.”
Cheong believes that the ability to complete the daunting tasks assigned to the virtual teams of the X culture program has improved his ability to communicate with different people and overcome global challenges, including working with different cultures and across time zones.
“Throughout my studies, I have acquired multiple tools that will assist me in the real world,” Cheong said. “A UIU education allows students to acquire knowledge through experienced faculty. Not only that, hands-on approaches are emphasized so students are better prepared for the real world.”
In addition, he feels that working with other UIU staff members has provided him a competitive edge when it comes to the job interviewing process. From these lessons, he has learned the importance of preparation and understanding the company and industry to which he is applying.
“I would like to express my appreciation toward President William Duffy, Vice President of Student Life and International Education Ismael Betancourt and all of the UIU faculty and staff for their continuing words of encouragement to all UIU students,” Cheong closed. “I would like to also thank my family for their ongoing support of my studies even while they are on the other side of the world.”