School of Business Co-Hosts Summit to Strengthen German-American Ties

Economics and employment are at the forefront of conversations slated for the 2019 German-American Business Summit, which will be held on February 5 at the Charleston Gaillard Center.

If good occurrences happen in threes then students, alumni and business professionals are in for an exciting event as the College of Charleston School of Business co-hosts the third-annual German-American Business Summit.

The Summit, co-presented with the business school by the College’s German Program, School of Languages, Cultures and World Affairs and Career Center, will connect job seekers with German companies in the state to sustain a pipeline of talent coming from the College of Charleston and summit partners Trident Technical College and The Citadel.

According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Palmetto State receives more investment funds and jobs from German industry than any state in the country per capita. What’s more, German companies employ upwards of 32,000 South Carolinians annually and are always on the lookout for their next hire.

Attendees pursuing internship and job opportunities will have the chance to meet representatives from the state’s most visible German companies such as Mercedes-Benz Vans, KION North America, Bosch and BMW of North America.

Dinning (left) and McEwen (right)

The Summit seeks to foster relationships and push for stronger ties between students and German-American business industries. B-school students Sarah Dinning ’20 and Will McEwen ’20 both successfully secured internships at Mercedes-Benz Vans and IFA Rotorion, respectively, after attending the inaugural summit.

This year’s keynote presenter is Torsten Scheffler, senior manager of the Engineering NAFTA Hub USA for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. — the production location for the GLE-, GLS- and the GLE Coupe sport utility vehicles as well as the C-Class for the U.S. and Canadian market.

The event kicks off at 11 a.m. with a job fair featuring nearly 20 German corporations. The conference portion of the day begins at 1 p.m. with the keynote presentation by Scheffler followed by a presentation on tariffs and panel discussions on sustainability and the future of the German-American industry.

The entire College community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) as well as business professionals and community members are encouraged to attend. Registration is required. To register, please visit

Data Reigns Supreme for Marketing Major at Summer Internship

Leanna Conti ‘19 is all about storytelling through data. Equipped with a knack for analytics and a tenacity to hone her digital marketing skills, the information management minor successfully landed an internship this summer with SnapCap by LendingTree, a lending firm founded by CofC alum Hunter Stunzi that connects small businesses with loans.

The School of Business sat down with Conti to find out more about her internship, daily duties and the ways the experience has reinforced what she’s learned in the classroom.


What made you decide to pursue SnapCap for an internship?

I came to the College as a Swanson Scholar in the Honors College. That program was made possible by Steve Swanson ‘89, a generous alum and graduate of the honors program. He also happens to serve as an advisor for SnapCap. I had heard from him, as well as others, that the company was doing great things here in Charleston. When it came time to look for a summer internship, I knew I wanted to further my experience in the field of digital marketing and SnapCap by LendingTree had an open position that fit the bill.

That really worked out for you! Can you tell us a little about your day-to-day duties at your internship?

My duties vary day-to-day but typically revolve around search engine marketing. Every day I’m doing hands-on work running tests and performing optimizations. I put together weekly and monthly reports as well as ad-hoc analyses for any questions that may arise. I’ve been strongly encouraged to pursue any area of the business that I’m interested in here, which makes every day unique and exciting!

It sounds like you’re gaining a lot of real-world experience. Are there any classes you’ve taken that directly relate to what you’re doing at SnapCap?

I was enrolled in the first iteration of Professor Lancie Affonso’s MKTG 360 digital marketing class. That class helped pique my interest in the realm of digital marketing and its ability to toe the line between business, technology and data science. Around the same time, I took Professor Christopher Starr’s INFM 350 business analytics course, an offering from the new Information Management minor. That course gave me an understanding of data management that is invaluable as a business student in today’s world. At my internship, I feel confident pulling information from databases using SQL (structured query language) — a feat I couldn’t have imagined doing before taking Professor Starr’s class.

What have you learned from your internship?

I’ve been taught the incredible power of data as a decision-making tool and its prescriptive capabilities. Additionally, I’ve seen the sentiment “always be testing” in full force, which can be applied in any area of one’s life. Even the smallest .0001 percent improvement can make an impact when you’re working at the incredible scale that LendingTree is. It’s not enough to remain stagnant, one must always be looking for the newest edge or next leg up.

Summer’s quickly winding down. What skills have you gained that you will take with you into the Fall?

I hope to walk away from this internship with stronger analytical and interpersonal capabilities. I would also like to continue to pursue new trends in digital marketing and have a better understanding of how those trends can be applied to benefit companies as small as startups to as large as LendingTree.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

Internship Spotlight: Logistics Intern at Mercedes-Benz Vans

Ruben Urquiza

Ruben UrquizaRuben Urquiza is an efficient guy. Or rather, he likes executing tasks in a logistical manner so that the end goal is met in an efficient and effective way. This summer, the international business major from Westminster, South Carolina, is fine tuning his logistics and efficiency skills with an internship at Mercedes-Bens Vans in North Charleston, S.C. Read full story here »

School of Business Hosts Retired Boeing SC VP Jack Jones, Names Student Entrepreneur of the Year

The College of Charleston School of Business recently hosted a fireside chat with local businessman Tommy Baker and retired vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina Jack Jones during the Fifth-Annual Tommy Baker Entrepreneurship Hour.

At this year’s event, hosted by the business school’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Carter Real Estate Center, Baker interviewed Jones in a sit-down that highlighted his professional journey, as well as his time at the Boeing South Carolina site.

The Tommy Baker Entrepreneurship Hour is named after the well-known Charleston philanthropist, owner and president of Baker Motor Company. The annual event seeks to connect budding and seasoned entrepreneurs alike on hot topics in the industry. A prominent figure at the School of Business, Baker taught a senior-level entrepreneurship class at the College for 22 years before retiring from instructing in 2013. He currently serves on the School’s Board of Governors where he’s been a member for more than 20 years.

“Here at the School of Business, our close ties to the business community allow us to host some of the most distinguished business leaders, such as Jack Jones,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “During the span of his career, Jack has established himself as an outstanding global business leader, one that our students can look to as a source of inspiration.”

A retired VP and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, Jones oversaw Boeing’s operations and facilities in North Charleston before retiring in 2015.

Prior to joining the Boeing South Carolina team in March 2011, Jones served as vice president of its Everett Delivery Center, overseeing Airplane-on-Ground, Paint, Pre-Flight and Delivery operations for the Boeing wide-body models (747, 767, 777 and 787) assembled in Everett, Wash.

left to right: Tommy Baker; Chad Ross ’18; Jack Jones; and David Wyman, Ph.D.

Jones’ history with Boeing spanned many years. The ops expert began his career with the company as an industrial engineer in 1980 on the 757 Program. He spent time working on several commercial and military programs, including B-2 Stealth Bomber and Air Force One prior to his assignment in Everett.

The Entrepreneurship Hour also included its annual one-minute elevator pitch competition, featuring the finalists for the 2018 Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Biology major and entrepreneurship minor Chad Ross ’18 won the $1,000 prize for his business pitch on Chuck Waters Apparel—a clothing line dedicated to providing simple and comfortable clothing while donating proceeds to vulnerable communities everywhere.

Former ICAT Team to Attend Tech Seminar Where Uber Got its Start

Alumni of the College of Charleston School of Business Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Technology (ICAT) will attend the largest technology conference in the world this November. With more than 60,000 professionals in attendance, Web Summit 2017 connects leaders in technology with up-and-comers in the industry, including the members of the Jyve team.

Music booking tool and app Jyve was created by a team of students enrolled in the ICAT program in 2015. Jyve chief executive officer and founder, Brandon Brooks ‘15, majored in music as well as business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. The Jyve app takes a revolutionary approach to the musical experience, seamlessly connecting artists, venues and fans. William Bragunier ‘16 and  Michael Buhler ‘19, serve as the chief marketing officer and chief financial officer, respectively. You can find their app in the app store on your iPhone or Android device.

“I’d say the most valuable advice I learned from ICAT program is how important it is to question everything. Also, the Jyve team learned how to conduct extensive market research, which has truly played a role in our success as a small tech startup”, Brooks tells us of his time as an ICAT student here at The College.

Web Summit started in 2010 as a way to connect the technology community with rest of the world. Now, it features over 1,000 speakers from more than 160 different countries, representing the intersection between the tech and business world. It’s also where big names such as Uber, the popular ride-sharing service, got its start back in 2011. Speakers include Sean Rad, creator of every twenty-something’s favorite app, Tinder; Caitlyn Jenner, olympian turned reality television star; and David Karp, founder of microblogging site, tumblr.

The Jyve creators will enjoy four days of star-studded experiences, exploring new and creative ways to make their mark on the tech world.

Brooks says he’s “looking forward to catching up with Jared Grusd, CEO of Huffington Post, who was one of the judges for the pitch competition” they competed in. He’s also excited to hear from Stewart Butterfield, founder and CEO of Slack, and one of his idols Ryan Leslie, artist, and founder and CEO of SuperPhone.

ICAT is housed in the School of Business’ Center for Entrepreneurship, and is a collaboration  with the Office of Economic Development. The program teaches students the benefits of incorporating technology into their entrepreneurial and startup endeavors, utilizing Scrum framework. Scrum is the world’s leading development methodology, and is used by some of the most successful businesses.