When Bettina Lemm ’13 looked for an internship last summer, she discovered an opportunity through Davidson parent Bill Echikson on WildcatLink at the Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium. The Mundeaneum is an archive center founded by a Belgian entrepreneur and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate with the goal of archiving all of the world’s knowledge and making it readily accessible through a collection of documents and note cards.
At the Mundaneum, Bettina taught an English and Social Media class to local teenagers in which the students learned to use social media platforms and express themselves in another language. In addition, Bettina created a blog in which she posted all of the events that Mundaneum and Google collaborated on—these companies formed a partnership so that Google could illustrate its appreciation of culture despite its large size, and the Mundaneum could reach a larger, more global audience. Bettina was initially drawn to this internship because of this collaboration; she wanted an opportunity to enter the world of technology, communication, and data while working within an archive center.
While in Belgium, Bettina was able to meet Bill Echikson, parent of Sam Echikson ’14, who works in the Google offices in Brussels and is responsible for making her internship available to Davidson students. Apart from seeing Mr. Echikson during office hours, he organized a biking trip to the town of Bruges with Bettina and several Yale students also interning in Belgium, invited her over to his home for a barbecue, and even asked her to attend a basketball game with him and his Finnish business partner.
After her internship at the Mundaneum, Bettina began interning at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria, where fellow Davidson alum Jaime DyBuncio ’13 spent this summer. Both Bettina and Jaime worked as program interns, during which time they helped to organize seminars, as well as attended all discussions to engage with participants and speakers. The Global Seminar was established in 1946 with the goal of bringing people together from different cultures and backgrounds to discuss global issues. The current President and CEO of the Salzburg Global Seminar is Davidson alumnus Stephen Salyer ’72, who is responsible for connecting Davidson students with opportunities at the Seminar every year.
Among the highlights of this internship for Bettina and Jaime were living and working in Schloss Leopoldskron, an historic, 300-year-old castle, as well as the chance to live among people from different backgrounds and countries and gain a more global perspective.
If you are interested in learning more about Bettina and Jaime’s experiences at the Mundaneum and Salzburg Global Seminar, they are available by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. This year, the Salzburg Global Seminar opportunity is being offered as part of the Davidson Impact Fellowship program; many seniors have applied for the opportunity to pursue this one-year fellowship. The Mundaneum summer internship may be available again this summer – stay tuned to WildcatLink for details.
Thank you again to Bill Echikson and Stephen Salyer ’72 for making these opportunities available to Davidson students.