In an increasingly connected world, learning how to interact with different groups of people can open doors of opportunity and learning. That’s why Bryson Schellenberg, a senior studying global supply chain at the BYU Marriott School of Business, looked to the Whitmore Global Business Center (GBC). With the center’s assistance, he spent a year in Germany, where he connected with people from all over the world.
Schellenberg was first introduced to life outside the United States soon after graduating high school. On a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Singapore, he developed a new appreciation for countries beyond the US. “I realized the importance of being connected to people and cultures outside of my own,” he says.
And on his church mission he learned more than just about other cultures. “I saw a lot of shipping containers and boats moving in and out of the city and it was interesting,” he says. After returning home from his mission, Schellenberg began school at Brigham Young University, where he took a business career survey class and realized what he saw in Singapore was the supply chain industry in action.
“I saw the topics that global supply chain addressed, and I enjoyed learning about those things,” Schellenberg says. From that moment, Schellenberg decided that he wanted to study global supply chain.
While walking to class in the Tanner Building, Schellenberg spotted a flyer advertising a Europe exchange program through the GBC. “I knew if I really wanted to understand the business of global supply chain, I needed to spend time in Germany because of their huge economy and big supply chain,” Schellenberg says.
Schellenberg’s plan to study and work in Germany came with fears of being in an unfamiliar area, but his wife supported his decision. “She helped me during the whole process and was excited to try something new with me,” he says.
For one semester, Schellenberg took business classes at Pforzheim University near Stuttgart, Germany, with other English-speaking exchange students from all over the world. “Everyone was so welcoming and kind to us,” Schellenberg says. “We all had a great time together inside and outside of the classroom.”
His exchange program in Germany provided the opportunity to connect with students from diverse backgrounds. “I quickly learned that the world is more connected than I thought, and each person comes from a different perspective.”
Schellenberg and his wife often invited his classmates over for dinner to play games and socialize. “This helped us all feel like we had a social circle while we were far from home,” Schellenberg says.
These moments helped Schellenberg realize the benefits of building relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. “Because our new friends had all lived abroad before, they knew how to transition to living in a new country. They helped us ease into the new experience,” Schellenberg says. “I really came to appreciate their service.”
As his exchange program neared its end, Schellenberg wanted to gain work experience in the supply chain industry in Germany, so he sought out internships. However, visa processing issues prevented him from moving forward.
Understanding his challenges, Schellenberg’s professor encouraged him to contact her spouse, who worked at Bosch, an international engineering and technology company headquartered in Germany. “I sent him my résumé,” Schellenberg says, “and they hired me on.”
Because Bosch employs over 400,000 people across 60 countries, the company manages its supply chain through internal and outsourced warehouse management companies that support their global services department. Bosch also outsources some of their warehouse operations to third party logistics providers.
Interning in data analytics, Schellenberg gained real-life business experiences during his internship at Bosch. “This internship helped me expand my understanding of the supply chain industry and how to work closely with people who had backgrounds I wasn’t accustomed to,” Schellenberg says.
After spending a year in Germany, Schellenberg returned to the US with a new perspective of how the world works. “You will never regret having an international experience where you can connect with new people,” he says. “I learned that the world is more connected than it ever has been.”
Written by Jake Holt