When Edwina Kulego left Sweden to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, she had three goals: Graduate with honors in three years; pursue a career in international business and fashion while also utilizing her language skills; and secure company sponsorship which would allow her to work full-time in the United States.
“I am happy to say that I have accomplished all of those goals and now a new journey begins,” said Ms. Kulego, who speaks five languages and graduated from Berkeley College with a bachelor’s degree in International Business in 2010.
In June 2013, Ms. Kulego was promoted to International Account Executive in the Sales Department at Advanstar Communications, PROJECT Global Tradeshow division, in Manhattan. This new position involves travel to Europe and Asia to recruit international designers for the company’s fashion trade shows, held bi-annually in New York City and Las Vegas.
Berkeley College a Perfect Fit for International Student
Reflecting on her academic journey and career success, Ms. Kulego said that Berkeley College was the perfect fit.
“I chose Berkeley because I felt that it provided the best assistance for international students and also offered a great combination of international business, fashion and marketing courses,” Ms. Kulego said.
In addition, she liked the fact that Berkeley College not only requires students to do an internship prior to graduation, but also assists students in seeking out different job experiences while pursuing a degree.
Internships Provide Valuable Experience and Networking Opportunities
As a college freshman, Ms. Kulego served as an intern in the fashion department at Essence magazine. Her second internship was at Tommy Hilfiger where she worked as an assistant to Andy Hilfiger.
“There were stylists, merchandisers and retailers going in and out of Tommy Hilfiger all of the time and that provided a great networking opportunity,” Ms. Kulego said. “I introduced myself to them and handed them my business card, telling them to call me if they ever needed an intern.”
Networking led Ms. Kulego to her final internship at Advanstar Communications as an assistant in the Sales Department of the PROJECT Global Trade Show division.
“This was a very inspirational experience with people from merchandising, sales and marketing all working together,” Ms. Kulego said. “I really enjoyed the ‘idea sessions’ because everyone’s ideas – from the president of the company down to the intern – were valid. That really impressed me.”
Required Internship Leads to Rewarding Full-time Position
Ms. Kulego also made an impression on the company. Just a week before graduation she was offered an Optional Practical Training (OPT) position as an Executive Assistant to the President. International college students in the United States are allowed to work in an OPT position for one year. When her OPT ended, the company agreed to sponsor Ms. Kulego, allowing her to continue working in the United States.
Ms. Kulego said that she constantly draws on skills learned at Berkeley College to succeed in her job.
“One of the most valuable skills I learned at Berkeley College was how to communicate a company’s brand clearly,” Ms. Kulego said. “With competition emerging, that skill helps me to close deals.”