Berube ’19 explores international opportunities through Fellowship
Ethan Berube ’19 is starting off his senior year of college with more knowledge and foresight about his future, thanks to his Fellowship in South America.
Berube spent eight weeks working as the Bahnick Fellow in International Financial Consulting for the Thales Financial Consulting Firm in Montevideo, Uruguay.
“The work that I did as a Cornell Fellow was very fulfilling,” Berube said. “Every day I learned something new—from the office to the immersion in the Uruguayan culture.”
The Cornell senior had plenty of work to do during his eight weeks. He says the rigor and pace of the block plan helped him adjust quickly.
“I have not looked hesitant once when my boss offers me more work on top of what he already has me doing, and I owe that training to Cornell,” Berube writes in his Fellowship blog.
During his time abroad, he explored the financial analysis on the efficiency of wind parks in Uruguay and Southern Brazil, created a presentation for a land investment project in Bolivia, and kicked off his company’s work on researching armored car kits to protect everyday vehicles from gunfire.
“I analyzed the car market in the southern cone of South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay) and looked for feasibility to enter the market of armored car kits,” Berube explained. “I then contacted companies from the U.S., U.K., and South America in both Spanish and English and facilitated communication and a prospective partnership between a company in Argentina and the international company of DuPont.”
He also worked closely with his boss who taught him the importance of nurturing relationships in person, not just through email or phone. Berube found himself realizing that he was learning and experiencing much more than he imagined through the people he met, the friends he visited, and the projects he researched.
“I think that is one of the beautiful things about the opportunity; it allows you to experience so much more than a job environment,” Berube said in his blog. “It allows you to get outside of your comfort zone. It allows you to communicate with people using gestures and smiles. It allows you to see presentations you created being used in an international setting. It allows you to solve real-world problems in real-world situations. And it enables you to say yes to life-changing opportunities you otherwise would have had no other choice but to say no to. This trip was spent in meetings and in conversations. I was able to get out from behind a desk and communicate with potential business prospects, future contacts, and build on my face-to-face communication skills.”
The Fellowship, as an overall experience, assured him that he’s on the right track. It has also inspired him to explore future career options on the international scene.
“I am expanding on skills I had the opportunity to acquire through courses and events at Cornell while living out an amazing opportunity made available by Cornell and the generous community that exists in the supporters and donors on and off campus,” Berube said in his blog.
Cornell Fellows is the college’s premier opportunity for high-level internships and professional mentoring, organized by the Berry Career Institute. Approximately 20-25 students participate in fellowships across the United States and internationally each year. Cornell Fellows are engaged in hands-on projects throughout the eight-week fellowship, complete at least one academic credit, and receive financial support to offset costs associated with housing, transportation, food, and supplies. Students can apply for opportunities at existing Cornell Fellows sites or request funding to support an internship at a new site that they propose.