Posted: Tuesday Nov 6, 2012
Nov. 6, 2012
Abby Brentzel of Irwin, a senior finance major at Saint Vincent College, will return to the U.S. on Dec. 18 after a four-month internship with the Bayer Corporation in Shanghai, China.
The recipient of a Freeman Asia Scholarship for foreign travel, Ms. Brentzel completed an internship with Bayer MaterialScience in Pittsburgh last summer. In July, Michael Burns, her internship manager at Bayer, and John Lemex, the CFO of Bayer MaterialScience North America, helped her arrange to continue her internship in Shanghai in the fall. Her office is located in the City Group Tower in downtown Shanghai.
In addition to her work with Bayer, she is also taking classes at Shanghai University where she is also living. Her courses include Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy, Tai Chi and Xi’an field study.
In addition to her work and study, she is also finding time to do some leisure travel in the Forbidden City in Beijing. “Today it is more of a tourist destination but at one time served as the home for the emperors and their families from the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty,” she explained. “It also was the political and ceremonial center of government for quite some time.”
In Shanghai she enjoyed a visit to the Yuyuan Garden or garden of peace and happiness. “The garden covers more than five acres of downtown Shanghai and was intended to be a peaceful place for the original owner’s father,” she said. “It was finished years later after passing through many different owners. To this day it is one of the biggest and most prestigious gardens in Shanghai.”
She was excited to have a visit by Elizabeth Bennellick, director of Saint Vincent College’s study abroad program, and to join her one day at a large college fair to assist in the recruitment of Chinese students as part of the college’s multifaceted marketing program designed to increase the enrollment of undergraduate students from mainland China.
Prior to her departure, she admitted to being excited though a little nervous about the two and half-day trip to China. Her previous travel experience includes trips to Italy and the Bahamas.
A transfer student from another area college, she became interested in going to China after meeting Dr. Gary M. Quinlivan, dean of the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government in the summer of 2011. “He encouraged me to enroll in the Chinese language course,” she recalled. “And, later Elizabeth Bennellick, coordinator of study abroad programs at Saint Vincent, came into our class with a representative from a Chinese university. That’s how it all got started. But, there’s no denying the future of business relations with China. I know I am on the right track to success.”
After she graduates in December 2013, she plans to seek professional employment in the Pittsburgh area similar to the work she did in the controller group at Bayer. She will be returning to Bayer MaterialScience in Pittsburgh over Christmas break and next summer.
A commuter student at Saint Vincent, she has worked for two years at the Redstone Highlands in Murrysville as a dining service aide.
Her favorite class at Saint Vincent was statistics taught by Dr. Peter Hutchinson, professor of economics. “He has a great teaching format,” she noted.
“Abby is an engaging, serious and highly-motivated young professional,” Dr. Hutchinson commented. “I have utmost confidence in her making the most of her study in China to broaden her world view and to enhance her overall educational experience.”
“In addition to her course work at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government, Abby has also been active in several co-curricular activities at Saint Vincent,” Dr. Hutchinson added. “She served as treasurer of the Finance Club and is active in the Women in Business Club.”
A 2010 graduate of Penn Trafford High School, Ms. Brentzel, 20, is the daughter of Yogi and Karen Brentzel of Irwin.
Photo: Abby Brentzel in the Yuyuan Garden in Shanghai.
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