Knox Student Tristan Blus participated in the 10-week immersion program called Repertory Theatre Term. Studen...
Majors in Integrative Business & Management and International Relations
Tell us about your internship.
I am currently interning at Verraki Partners in its business research unit. The internship involves conducting marketing research for customers in specific markets and publishing research output to demonstrate knowledge leadership. The research entails working with the services, real estate, technological, and venture capital sectors and looking at how clients can leverage their competitive advantage through a deep understanding of their market dynamics.
Please describe your earlier study abroad experience and how that helped lead to your current opportunity.
My study abroad experience was in Toulouse, France. I was participating in the CIEE Business + Culture program, where I had classes with CIEE [the Council on International Educational Exchange] and my business classes were at Toulouse Business School. It was an incredible opportunity for me to expose myself to another culture, as well as study in one of the best business schools in France. Studying abroad in France gave me exposure to the professional world and gave me my first "big boy" internship. I had an internship at Stade Toulouse, which was the most successful rugby club in France and Europe, and this allowed me to see the operation and strategic side of a large-scale business, which really got me interested in strategic operations and eventually management consulting.
What have been some highlights of your internship experience?
Working from home is definitely very different to how I expected my internship experience to go, but I really appreciated learning about the in and outs of emerging economies and providing valuable insights to clients to help improve their business performance during unprecedented times. In particular, I had the chance to be part of a team conducting research on the SME [small and mid-size enterprise] businesses in Nigeria and really enjoyed working with data looking at the specifics of how SMEs function in the country. In general, I have really enjoyed getting to understand how businesses contribute to driving economic growth and how a firm like Verraki takes an Afro-centric approach towards solving global problems.
How do you think your experiences at Knox have prepared you for this internship?
I think Knox’s focus on creating well-rounded students has really helped. I think dipping my toes into so many disciplines has allowed me to consider different perspectives when working. In particular, I enjoyed taking Political Science 301 with Duane Oldfield. The class was about globalization and democracy and was really the first time I was able to explore the effects that policy had on not only the political landscape of a country but on the business environment as well. It was also the first time I really had an in-depth look into emerging markets and see how different it was from the United States, something that has proven invaluable to my experience.
What else would you like to mention?
I think Knox really allows one to experience diversity, and I think the men’s soccer team is the best example of this. I get to challenge myself intellectually with brothers from more than 20 different countries with a multitude of viewpoints, something that I don’t believe I could get in many other liberal arts colleges.