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College of Charleston to Host Sixth Annual German-American Business Summit

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By: CofC Media

On March 29, 2022, the College of Charleston’s German program; Career Center; School of Business; and School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs will hold the sixth annual German-American Business Summit. Held from 9:30 am to noon in the Stern Center Ballroom (71 George St.), the summit creates an opportunity for German companies in the southeastern U.S. to establish stronger ties with undergraduates. 

“We are thrilled to be able to again hold the German-American Business Summit in person this year,” says Morgan Koerner, chair of the Department of German and Russian Studies and founder of the summit. “Having our students learn from and interact with local German businesses and experts in the field creates enormous opportunities. As of 2020, German is the most common household language behind English and Spanish in South Carolina, and there are more than 160 German companies in South Carolina directly responsible for 40,000-plus jobs.”

With the cultural, language and digital know-how to best serve German businesses, CofC students are primed to work for German companies. Examples of the success of past summits include Grant Pigeon ’19, a German major and global logistics and transportation minor who secured a full-time position with ISRINGHAUSEN at last year’s summit; Stephanie Selker ’19, who double-majored in German and political science and received a job with the German company ZAPP after graduation; and Harrison Todd ’22, an international business and German double major who was hired this spring by BMW as part of its prestigious PACE program.

The summit schedule is as follows:

  • 9:30 a.m. – Welcome, Andrew T. Hsu, College of Charleston President
  • 9:35 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction, Knudt Flor, Senior Vice President for Innovation and Industry Engagement and Distinguished Professor of Industry Practice
  • 9:45–10:45 a.m. – Panel Discussion: “Soft Skills, Global Impacts: Communication and Intercultural Competence in German-American Industry,” moderated by Stephen Della Lana, Senior Instructor of German and Director of the CofC Cultural Vistas Summer Internship in Germany Program. Panelists include:
    • Jamila Anderson, Communications Specialist, Mercedes-Benz Vans
    • Bertina Brase, German-American Recruitment Specialist, Q-Works Group
    • Daniel Schlegel, Vice President of Customer Service, KION North America
    • J. Kevin Smith, CFO, Eugen Wexler US Plastics Inc.
  • 10:45 a.m. – Coffee and Networking Break
  • 11:30 a.m. – Introduction, Sebastian van Delden, Dean of the School of Sciences and Mathematics
  • 11:35 a.m. – Keynote Address: Resilience and Flexibility in the Supply Chain in a Volatile Market,” given by Oliver Haase,  Senior Vice President for Purchasing and Supplier Network Americas at BMW
  • 1–4 p.m. – College of Charleston Spring Career & Internship Fair at TD Arena (310 Meeting St.)
  • 4:30 p.m. – Networking Reception in the President’s House Gardens (6 Glebe St.)

To register for the summit, visit german.cofc.edu.

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