MxAA Stipend Recipient, Sophia ’13 Translating Innovative Edge with Panache

Sophia shares her internship experience from the summer of 2015:

I’m currently a junior at Cornell majoring in Applied Economics and Management concentrating in Applied Economics and Finance, minoring in French. Around campus I am part of Cornell Consulting Club, Mutual Investment Club of Cornell and on the executive board of my social sorority.

This summer I interned at a French boutique consulting firm, Erdyn Consultants, in Paris, France. Finding the internship was somewhat involved. Since French labor laws are different from those in the US and “internship” is an official academic designation, there is a contract your university has to sign to allow you to participate. Since Cornell wouldn’t sign a document in French they were not familiar with, I found an organization where I could take a one credit class such that they could be my “university” for the summer and sign. I looked for boutique firms online, interview with a few on Skype, and eventually picked Erdyn because they were well established yet small enough I would be able to get to know the consultants. The organization that signed for me also ran a home stay program so I was able to stay fairly cheaply with a French family.

At the internship I mostly preformed market research and translating. The project I enjoyed most was working with a crowdfunding platform startup. Crowdfunding is not as popular in France as it is in the United States we hoped that there would be space for an equity based platform that also connected startups with people who could provide advice to them. The translating I did was from French to English for their website. I did this during my down time. I also offered to proofread the consultants work they did in English to be helpful and so I could see what they were doing. Erdyn supported many industries from public research organizations to multinational consumer product firms, so I got to see a wide array of projects.

I decided to take this internship because it combined my Applied Economics concentration with my French minor. I would like to go into strategic consulting after Cornell and then pursue an MBA after a few years down the road.