Je College of Charleston outfit his 6th edition German-American Business Summit (GABS) on March 29, 2022, with about 175 participants including business representatives, students and members of the campus community. the Spring Career and Internship Fair, which took place immediately after the summit, presented 115 companies and more than 400 job seekers.
“It was fantastic to get everyone together in the same space,” says Morgan Koerner, chair of the Department of German and Russian Studies and founder of GABS. “He pointed out How? ‘Or’ What importand it’s for students and company representatives interact and discuss what we can do together to improve our workforce.”
Bertina Brase, executive recruiter for The Q Works Group, who was part of the Soft Skills, Global Impacts panel, agrees.
“The 6th German-American Business Summit at the College of Charleston was again a great place for companies to meet the academic world,” Brase said. “As a panel member, I really enjoyed the questions and interest from the student body, not only during the presentation, but also during a well-attended job and internship fair.”
“The CofC team has done a great job of connecting students with local business leaders,” adds Daniel Schlegel, Vice President of Customer Service, KION North America, who was also on the panel. “The exchange is essential as Charleston is growing as a diverse business center with many of opportunity for future professionals and business leaders. I enjoyed meeting and listening to the CoFC students and sharinging my thoughts with them. IExpect the seventh GABS next year!”
Koerner notes that Knudt Flora former BMW executive who is now the College’s Senior Vice President for Innovation and Industry Engagement and Distinguished Professor of Practice, will continue to drive the momentum of GABS.
“Knudt represents everything the summit brings to light,” says Koerner. “With Knudt now joining our team here at CofC, GABS7 will be even more phenomenal!”
The benefits of combining the summit and job fair this year were tangible.
Allie Parnella German studies and finance double major with a minor in real estatefound the summit and job fair not only interesting, but also rewarding for their careers.
“The morning panel at the summit gave a lot of great advice on getting hired at a German company and how to stand out from other applicants,” says Parnell. “When I arrived at the job fair, all the companies were very welcoming and very informative. They told me that having a background in German studies was going to be very useful in my future career plans. I am only “a freshman, so I went to get known and start connecting early. I’m very excited to be going back next year and the years after. I could easily see myself getting a great opportunity to the part of one of the various German companies.
Seniors Cooper Jay and Hannah Ploskonka got more than they expected from the job fair when Walter Kaufmann, CEO of P3, a German consulting firm specializing in areas such as automotive, banking and insurance, IT and energy, offered them jobs right away.
“As companies need talent now, we plan to have more ‘on-the-spot’ interviews and real-time offers in the future,” says Jim AllisonGeneral Manager of the College career center. Due to the dynamics of the job fair and the demand for quality talent, more than 30 companies have already registered for CofC’s fall job fair.
“As a college senior, I was able to attend the German American Business Summit twice before this year,” says Jay, a double major in international business and German with a minor in political science. “I have always enjoyed attending this event and making contacts with German companies in the region. I think Dr. Koerner and his team are doing a terrific job. It really is the perfect opportunity for CofC students to network and find great internship and full-time job opportunities.
At the top, Jay asked whether it is better to move to Germany to find work or work for a German company in the United States after graduation. Armed with a few good answers, he made his way to the job fair and stopped at table P3. The P3 team remembered Jay’s question and asked him about his interests and goals, including moving to Germany to improve his German language skills. He then met Kaufmann, the CEO of P3, who offered Jay a job there as an associate consultant. The offer included the opportunity to go to Germany in June and July to take language lessons in the mornings and work at P3 headquarters in Stuttgart in the afternoons before returning to the United States in August to start working in e-mobility, such as electric and autonomous vehicle technology.
“It’s something I’ve been passionate about since I did a year–long dissertation project on electric and autonomous vehicles in huh school“, says Jay. “During my time at CofC, I had two internships with German car companies. If it wasn’t for these experiences, I don’t think I would have thatand job offer at P3who i oofficially accepted.
Ploskonka, a major in international business and a minor in European studies and dance, also sought out P3 at the job fair.
“With the slogan ‘business as usual’, I wanted to know more”, explains the Specialized college student, who is currently doing an internship in a 3PL logistics company. After sharing his CV, the P3 team asked him to come back in 15 minutes for an interview.
“I talked about my leadership experience with CofC, specific class projects, including Impact X and peer mentorship for a global simulation class where my team finished with one of the highest returns based on real-time decisions,” says Ploskonka, who had a lightning mentorship session with Honors Faculty Fellow Lancie Affonso ’96 right before the interview at TD Arena.
With her multiple internships and her creative and entrepreneurial interests, Ploskonka was a solid candidate who immediately stood out. Kaufmann was so impressed that he made her an offer as well, but before she accepted, Ploskonka spoke to four current consultants at the firm to make sure it was the right fit.
“I realized this was my dream job that I hadn’t even realized I had,” says Ploskonka, who then called Kaufmann and accepted the consultancy position based in Greenville, South Carolina. Clients will be assigned to him based on his strengths and interests.“I can build myself a portfolio and be driven to create growth opportunities within the company.”
It just shows that opportunities are waiting for you.