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Wofford students embark for summer India internships

Classmates gaining experience in strategy, accounting, finance
Chris Novak and Erin Morgan 382x255
Erin Morgan and Christopher Novak will intern in India this summer, thanks to a program provided through the Mungo Center for Professional Excellence.
2012-05-31

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – While most of their classmates spend the summer working or playing in their hometowns, two Wofford students are spending their time doing internships for a firm in India.
 

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Chris Novak and Erin Morgan 183x120

Christopher Novak and Erin Morgan

Christopher Novak and Erin Morgan will spend June and July working as interns for The Manipal Group, a conglomerate of financial and industrial companies headquartered in Manipal, India, and with corporate offices in Bangalore.

Morgan, a junior economics and French major from Jonesboro, Tenn., and Novak, a Weatherby, Texas, native and a sophomore majoring in finance, are the fourth set of students to hold the internships, which are offered every year via a partnership between Wofford College and The Manipal Group. They will work in the strategy, accounting and finance divisions of the company.

The internships are unpaid, and the students’ travel and living expenses will be covered jointly by the college’s Mungo Center for Professional Excellence and by the John M. Rampey Scholarship Fund.

While they won’t come home with cash in their pockets, both students hope that putting a summer’s worth of work experience in India on their resumes will make them more competitive when applying for post-graduation jobs.

“This is a fantastic opportunity” Morgan says. “India is so important in the business world. I hope to one day work as a consultant for a large company with international clients and having this first-hand experience in India will set me apart from other applicants.”

Part of their first-hand experience of the country includes arriving during India’s monsoon season, which typically runs from June to August and can see accumulated rainfall amounts of up to 31 inches. They’ll also experience living conditions considered spartan by U.S. standards, and a work week that runs from Monday to Saturday.

“We prep them for the experience by explaining some of the differences in expectations and living conditions,” says Scott Cochran, dean of the Mungo Center for Professional Excellence. Cochran has extensive international experience as a former executive of UPS Capital. “I like to tell them the first two weeks will be the worst in their lives, but after that, it gets easier. I’ve had a student or two call me in near tears because it can be really tough to acclimate, but by the time they leave, India is in their blood and they love it.”

“I’m just really excited to have the new cultural experience, and I can’t imagine any other conditions under which this would happen” Novak says. “India is growing so much, and if we can understand them culturally and from a business perspective, it will help us stay competitive with them.”

Wofford’s Mungo Center for Professional Excellence was established in 2010 to train students in leadership, entrepreneurship, consulting, and project management, as well as to provide them with career search assistance. It is named for Steven and Stewart Mungo, principals in The Mungo Companies, named one of America’s Best Builders by Builder Magazine for 2012. The brothers are longtime supporters of the college through the Mungo Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, the Mungo Endowed Professorship, and the M. Stewart and Steven W. Mungo Endowed Scholarship Fund. Stewart Mungo is a 1975 graduate of the college and a member of Wofford’s Board of Trustees. Steven Mungo is a 1981 Wofford graduate and a member of the President’s Advisory Board.

The John M. Rampey Endowed Scholarship Fund was established by friends of John M. Rampey, a 1958 Wofford graduate, shortly after his death in November 1993. Rampey was an executive with Milliken & Co. and was an ardent supporter of education at all levels. Awards from this fund are made to students studying the liberal arts who demonstrate high standards of ethical conduct, excellent interpersonal skills, and promise for success in applying their education in practical business-related affairs. These scholarships are used to give students opportunities in training, internships, and other projects, courses, and activities which should enable the students to gain leadership experiences.