International Business Internship Program
The International Business Internship Program (IBIP) was introduced to Maine West two years ago by alumni Linette Sanchez when she was a junior. It is a national program under the organization called Leadership Initiatives. It gives students the chance to work with business partners from other countries and help them come up with solutions to problems they have. “Half of these businesses just need a way of tracking how much money is going in and out. So we spend a lot of time studying logistics for them,” media and technology chair Ivan Sanchez said.
For example, they might fundraise so they could help someone improve their advertising. One year they helped a restaurant owner improve her menu. “She told us what food she made and we figured out ways she could make it better by looking up different recipes,” Linette S. said.
In the past IBIP has been more exclusive, but this year they are looking for more eager participants. “Each school can only have as many groups as they can fundraise for because every for 6 or 7 people you would have to fundraise $400 a month, so that’s why it was exclusive. But this year we are going to bring in as many groups as we can,” Ivan S. said.
With a large group, smaller sections can then be formed that which each be able to assist a different business partner.
This year the IBIP members are continuing to work with restaurant owners, but in the past, they have worked with chicken farmers, fish farmers, carpenters, and more.
In addition, IBIP not only helps the business partners they work with but also the student who are a part of it. Because IBIP is under Leadership Initiatives, there are numerous benefits for its members especially when it comes to colleges. It will, of course, look good on applications, but Leadership Initiatives also offers many resources when it comes to actually compiling your application. “You get access to top-level mentors and unlimited college essay reviews by professionals,” Ivan S. said.
Furthermore, IBIP can be a big help in developing important leadership skills. “In all these classes that you can take you don’t get the full sense of leadership. Not just in the traditional sense of telling people what to do but being a support system,” Ivan S. said.