Student Spotlight: Marissa Brem
I am Marissa Brem, an international business major at the Perdue School of Business. I am a senior and working this final semester as an intern with Perdue Farms International. I am also a military brat and have traveled all of my life. I am 21 years old this year, and I have already moved a total of 18 times both nationally and internationally.
Often people ask me if growing up that way was hard. I am not going to lie and say it was easy. When I was younger, I wondered if it was even worth my time to make friends. I would have to go through the trouble of getting to know someone so closely only to move away from them permanently and start the process over again a year or so later. However, as time passed, I came to the realization that I would have the opportunity to meet some of these people again both in the U.S. and in other countries. It was at this point, that I decided to do something that would connect me to the whole world. I wanted a major that would help me achieve this simple goal as well as give me an opportunity for a stable career for the future. That is why I chose to study international business.
The reason I chose to attend Salisbury University was not just because of their strong business program and AACSB accreditation. I also chose Salisbury because it was the place my dad grew up. I value relationships very highly because I usually only have had a short time to get to know people; therefore, attending Salisbury University has allowed me to get the education I wanted while also having the chance to get to know my dad’s side of the family better since I rarely saw them before.
Salisbury University presented me with the option to be one of the first two students from SU to study abroad at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University during the spring semester of 2015. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to both study and travel once again. I was even able to meet a friend of mine in the Philippines during spring break! Although Hong Kong was fun, I still worked very hard while abroad because the education system was very different.
The courses that I took in Hong Kong were Operations Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, Global Marketing, International Finance and an extensive Mandarin course. I thoroughly enjoyed my classes and thought they were intriguing. At first, it was hard to adjust to the classes because class is only a once-a-week, three-hour session where the final exam was worth over half of the grade. These differences seemed tiny, but they were differences that took time to get accustomed to – not just for me but other western students as well. One interesting thing about the classes in Hong Kong was that they were very hands on and had you working with actual local businesses. One course, Global Marketing, was particularly interesting to me because we were able to recommend possible market entry strategies in other countries for that business.
Ultimately, I really do think that experience and the international business major at the Perdue School of Business will help me achieve my career goals by expanding my knowledge of international markets and their business practices. I also thank Mr. John Pohanka, chairman of Pohanka Automotive Group, for his generous donation that provided me the opportunity to engage in this fantastic experience.