An agent of HOPE in Rwanda
– Benjamin Hargrove, Class of 2013
I spent the summer of 2012 working as a finance intern for HOPE International in Kigali, Rwanda. I was given the opportunity to design and test a program that will allow HOPE to … Read more
receive financial information from the savings groups in the rural villages through text message instead of the cumbersome and costly paper-based process that most non-governmental organizations (NGOs) still use.
There are obvious challenges in teaching rural Africans how to do this, especially because many have never sent a text message before and are often illiterate. I traveled around the country with a translator, testing methods to teach and communicate the goals of the program while writing the training manual that will be used to teach the final system to our 135,000 clients all over the country. Rwanda is the first country where HOPE is launching this program but plans to use the information I gathered and the manuals I wrote to design and launch similar systems in several other countries around the world.
I also worked on developing the concepts for a website HOPE can use to tell the stories of what God is doing in Rwanda and inform donors of what their support is going toward. Finally, I worked with a team of five translators to complete monitor and evaluation surveys of more than 500 rural Rwandese in locations all over the country. The purpose was to get a glimpse into the general population and determine if and how our programs are improving the lives of our clients compared to those who are not in any kind of savings groups.
I truly feel that my time in Rwanda had a life-changing impact on me. God orchestrated the entire thing more brilliantly than I could have ever imagined, provided for me financially, and was more present to me in some of the challenges than I have ever experienced before.
I am so thankful to have had an opportunity to be a part of this.
– Benjamin Hargrove, Class of 2013
Working at ‘America’s bank’ in Washington D.C.
– Drew Van der Werff, Class of 2013
It has been my honor to represent the George Fox University School of Business in Washington D.C., both last summer (2012) at the Federal Reserve and the previous semester while interning for … Read more
the United States House of Representatives. The Federal Reserve is America’s bank. It has the responsibility to maximize employment, keep prices stable, and moderate long-term interest rates by using multiple fiscal and economic levers such as controlling the money supply. I was given the opportunity to work with leading economists and statisticians who make internationally influential decisions.
The Federal Reserve Board serves as oversight for the Reserve System and its 12 regional branches. I worked within the Division of Community and Consumer Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board. I spent my time inputting and analyzing recent World Bank data using statistical cross-country analysis to find correlations of the unbanked and under-banked populations within the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
In contributing to this research, it was my responsibility to compile the data and create what is called a “do-file” that is used to program multiple regressions using different strategies. I then interpreted the data and wrote a report that was presented to others within the division, and maybe multiple private and governmental organizations.
I learned countless lessons about the Fed and how it stabilizes our economy. Some highlights were sitting in on a board meeting with Chairman Ben Bernanke and all seven governors. Another highlight was meeting top CEOs and high management and governmental players such as the CEOs of Fidelity, Putnam Investments, the Social Security Administration, the World Bank, and Richard Cordray from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
– Drew Van der Werff, Class of 2013
Undergraduate students in George Fox's School of Business routinely gain practical business acumen prior to graduation through the school's internship program.
Emphasis on Business Experience
Students who enroll in one of George Fox's seven undergraduate business majors won't be relagated to learning out of a textbook. They can learn firsthand from business professionals in real-world work environments.
Internship opportunities are planned in the Newberg and Portland, Ore., areas, as well as in China – a country George Fox has aggressively partnered with, both in terms of student recruitment and business engagement.
Participants will include businesses in the nonprofit sector, small businesses, entrepreneurial ventures and multi-million-dollar corporations. Interns will work in finance, accounting, sales, management, marketing and in environments that offer the chance to learn all facets of business practice.
Company internships our students have had or are currently in process with include:
- American Family Insurance
- State Farm Insurance
- Open Arms International
- Kendal on Hudson (NYC-based Continuing Care Retirement Community)
- Koch Family, LLC
- SP Fiber Technologies
- Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
- KUNP-TV Univision Portland
- A-dec (dental manufacturing company)
- Edward Jones
The School of Business recently hosted an Internship Spotlight event to highlight internship experiences. Click here to read about the evening and students' takeaways from it.
As part of its commitment to social responsibility, the School of Business is committed to service-oriented projects, such as taking on real-world case studies as part of the business curriculum. Rather than doing these studies out of a textbook, for instance, classes will offer consulting services to a business in the community.
Such class projects achieve a twofold purpose: They provide students with the opportunity to apply what they've learned in class to a tangible business scenario, and the client benefits from the expertise of a team and avoids the substantial cost of hiring a consulting firm.
VPs, CEOs Visit CampusIn addition to arranging internships off campus, the school is committed to exposing students to business professionals – including company CEOs and VPs – through in-class lecture appearances and as part of the Executive in Residence program. Recent in-class guests have included Bob Moore from Bob’s Red Mill of Milwaukie, Ore.; Frank Thom, head of industry for Google’s technology sector; and Kris Ordaz, VP of digital strategy and marketing for Katylyst.
The Executive in Residence Day is designed to bring business executives to campus to engage students and faculty in the critical business issues of the day. Executives attend and participate in actual business classes, informally network with students and give a public lecture at the end of the day.
Past Executives in Residence
- Marshall Stevens, developed Oil Can Henry’s, a chain of 30 quick lube stores in the Northwest
- Greg Goodwin, president and CEO of Kuni Enterprises
- Richard Reiten, retired president and CEO of Northwest Gas
- John Dannemiller, retired president and CEO of Applied Industrial Technologies
- Mohan Nair, chief innovation officer, Regence
- Bob Moore, founder, president and CEO of Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods Inc.
The George Fox School of Business is accredited nationally with the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP). The school offers seven undergraduate business majors – in accounting, economics, finance, global business, entrepreneurship, marketing
From the Director
As director of business relations for the George Fox School of Business, Jeff VandenHoek is focused on building relationships with the business community and connecting students with those with industry expertise. All connections support enhanced, dynamic learning opportunities and practical experiences necessary for student learning and early career success.
"I love the privilege and responsibility for supporting student learning success through intentional business connections. Listening to a business expert share in a class, experiencing a group of students sharing their report findings to an executive team in a 12th-floor conference room in downtown Portland, and hearing from an employer who just had an excellent internship experience with one of our fine students ... these are the dynamic learning and business engagements that breathe life into our great programs. In this new position for the School of Business, I get to build upon the great programs we currently have and help them become even better!"
– Jeff VandenHoek
Want to learn more about potential internships?
Contact Jeff VandenHoek, director of business relations.