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My Global Learning: People & Friends Global Entrepreneurship Program

Name

Asma Alkrizy

Major and Class Standing During Program

UC Davis Senior, English Major

Program and Duration

People & Friends Global Entrepreneurship Program (2-weeks)

In-Person or Virtual

Virtual

What led you to participate in your global learning program during your time at UC Davis?

I participated in the People & Friends program because I developed an interest in business and entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 lockdown. I was active on LinkedIn and I saw a lot of advertisements about the importance of starting one’s own business and earning a business degree. I networked with several entrepreneurs who encouraged me to attend their Zoom meetings to learn about their start-up projects and business. In the Zoom meetings, I realized I had little expertise in business and sought to expand my knowledge of the subject. My financial advisor at UC Davis couldn’t have come at a more perfect time; he was spreading awareness about the Gilman Scholarship around that time. This gave me the idea of developing my business skills through a global learning program and encouraged me to pursue People & Friends.

What was your experience like in this program? What did you learn from your experience: interacting with other people and cultures; addressing global challenges; and/or developing global skills and leadership?

I connected with business managers from Germany, Singapore, Italy and the U.S. through Zoom. I really enjoyed connecting through a virtual platform. One would think that a virtual global learning internship would be less exciting than an in-person one, but this virtual internship was as exciting and intriguing. I had a virtual cooking class on an Australian dish with a restaurant owner from Melbourne, Australia. Through our VR headsets, we also had a virtual scavenger hunt and frequent virtual tours of various places like Hong Kong and New York. I worked on start-up projects with my team, and fortunately, won first place in the challenge! I had the opportunity to meet managers from different brands and hear them talk about their business structure and marketing strategies. I had the opportunity to learn fascinating things about my team members, and how business structure differs all around the world. It was also interesting to listen to managers from different brands discuss their business plans and marketing strategies. I feel like this global learning internship paved the way for a career path in business and entrepreneurship.

What was the most challenging part of your program and the most rewarding?

I would say the most challenging part of the program was waking up early in the morning. The most rewarding part of the program was the VR tour experience and my team winning first place in the start-up project challenge.

What’s one of your most memorable experiences from your program?

The most memorable experience from the People & Friends program was the virtual cooking class. It was fun to participate in a cooking class with many others through a virtual platform. Jesse, an entrepreneur and restaurant owner, taught us how to cook a smashed Avo Aussie Style with poached eggs and fairy bread. The smashed Avo Aussie Style is an Australian bread toast with its signature mashed avocado and poached egg. Words alone could not express how tasty that bread toast was.

What advice do you have for someone considering your program or a global experience, in general? What would you like to share with students who may share similar identities or experiences as you?
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Ecofriendly Masks

I think a global learning program is a must-have experience. It enhances students' cultural competence and teaches them unique skills that they can integrate into life and the workplace. In the program, I learned a lot about foreign business and marketing.

If you are a first-generation student like me, I can understand why some might find a global learning internship to be a costly and difficult process. It's definitely not difficult if you know how global learning programs work on campus. I wish I had the chance to do an in-person study abroad internship during my first year at college, but I had little knowledge about scholarship opportunities. This spring quarter, I connected with my financial and academic advisors. They informed me about the Gilman Scholarship and virtual global learning opportunities at UC Davis. Don’t be afraid to seek guidance on campus.

If you are interested in learning about business and entrepreneurship from a multi-cultural lens, the People & Friends program is a good place to start. We had people from all across the world in the program—from Brazil, South Africa, and the U.S.—sharing their business ideas. I had thought that teamwork and punctuality would be difficult on a virtual platform, but it wasn't hard at all. It was exciting to participate in a global learning internship from the comfort of my own home. We had virtual tours of cities, museums, and more. I would encourage students to not feel intimidated to participate in a virtual program.

What was your biggest concern in regards to participating in the program? Were you able to overcome that concern, and if so, how? What advice would you give someone who has similar concerns?

My biggest concern before participating in the program was building strong teamwork. Often it can be difficult to work in a group virtually, but thankfully that wasn’t the case at all in People & Friends. My team and I communicated regularly, planned our roles, and finished the start-up project in time. I would advise students to be active in the program and not slack off because it’s a virtual program. Virtual or not, it’s always good to stay active and keep up with activities and projects.

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The Solution
What is something you wish you knew before joining the program? If knowing this previously, how do you think this would have impacted your experience?

I wish I had known that the start-up project was going to be a competition between teams. I would have taken my time to plan a well-thought-out start-up project. However, I still loved the start-up project my team and I came up with.

How do you think your program experiences will benefit you in the future—thinking academically, future career goals, or personally?

My program experience in People & Friends will prepare me for my career path in business and entrepreneurship. The program gave me a solid understanding of what it’s like to develop a start-up company and if it’s a career path I should take. It’s not an easy road at all. After finishing the program, I plan to open my own e-commerce business someday.


About the Global Learning Hub at UC Davis

Through the Global Learning Hub, each and every UC Davis student can find global learning opportunities available on campus, in the region, virtually, and internationally. The Hub offers global learning programs, workshops, and resources that enhance all UC Davis students’ academic and career pursuits through four broad areas of opportunities: Community Engagement; Global Skills and Leadership; Internships and Research; and Study Abroad. UC Davis is committed to preparing the next generation of global problem solvers and change makers. As such, we aim to prepare our undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to solve global challenges collaboratively, equitably, and sustainably.

As a part of Global Affairs, the Global Learning Hub aims to inspire global curiosity, understanding, and engagement.

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