November 6, 2013
Just a junior at Albion College, Caitlin McClorey continues to build her résumé with practical experiences that will make her marketable, whether she chooses to enter the workforce or pursue law school upon graduation.
Fresh off a summer internship at Valassis, a marketing company headquartered in Livonia, McClorey is among a group of students in Albion’s Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management who traveled to Paris in October for a week of intensive work on business plans with students from École Supérieure De Vente (SDV), a French business school.
Started in 2008, the Student Entrepreneurial Exchange (SEE) brings the Albion and SDV students together for the development of business plans and cultural exchange. During the week in France, McClorey and her team worked to finalize their fictional fitness tracking product for smartphones. The team will meet via Skype to sort out marketing and financial details and to develop a launch plan for the project before the French students travel to Albion in April when the product proposal is presented during the College’s Elkin Isaac Student Research Symposium.
“The experience is important because we do live in a global economy,” McClorey said. “Employers will look at this international experience and understand that I’ve worked with people outside the United States. Even at my internship I worked with people from India. Having this background and showing that I have the ability to communicate efficiently through technology can only help me in the future.
“We’re developing an actual proposal as if we were entrepreneurs for a year,” McClorey added. “We are going to learn about marketing, financing, promotion—everything that goes into developing and launching a product for the market.”
While in France, McClorey and her Albion classmates attended class at SDV from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., a departure from the American college schedule. The Albion students presented the research they had already completed about opportunities for the products in the American market as well as learning about how market research is conducted in France.
“They told us we would be tired, that it would not be a relaxing week,” McClorey said. “We were in class eight hours a day. It was important because this is the only face time we got with our French partners until they come here in April—and that’s the week of the presentation.”
And, of course, there was time set aside for sightseeing and sampling French culture.
“It was a great opportunity to discover Paris and experience a different culture,” McClorey said. “The Eiffel Tower was so incredible, and I had the opportunity to see so many beautiful parts of Paris—Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, the Musée du Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and much more.”
The Student Entrepreneurial Exchange is just one piece of McClorey’s impressive fall semester lineup. The Wixom native is taking more than a full course load, playing middle hitter for the varsity volleyball team, and serving as treasurer for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
The weeklong trip across the Atlantic Ocean forced McClorey to miss class meetings and volleyball matches against a pair of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rivals. In fact, she traveled to Illinois for an Oct. 25-26 volleyball tournament as soon as she deplaned in Michigan.
“Most days I feel like I don’t have time to breathe,” McClorey said. “I don’t have time to look in the mirror. I just get up and run out the door. I love being involved. I love volleyball, I love SAAC and I love the school. Gerstacker has given me a great opportunity.
“[Participating in SEE] was a tough decision to make,” McClorey added. “I sat with coach [Kristin Slamer de St. Aubin] a few times to talk about it. I finally told her I was going to go because this could be the edge that gets me a job or into law school. This international experience could be that little thing that puts me above somebody else. It’s probably the first time in my life that I’ve put something ahead of volleyball. Coach has been supportive of my decision, and that’s probably the best part about going to a school like Albion, because you can pursue practical experiences while playing a sport at the same time.”
McClorey isn’t the only Briton student-athlete participating in SEE this year. Swimmer Brad Melpolder, the 2013 MIAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle, Mackenzie Novak, one of the captains of the women’s lacrosse squad, and men’s tennis player Ricky Atkins visited France with classmates Brennan Ackerman, Andrew Baldwin, Jacob Davis, Alex Decker, Dannie Fountain, Justin Fragnoli, Zach Francis, Christina Khim, John List, Ross Muniga and Andrea Walles.