Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012
Coming to the Colleges from his native California, Raphael Durand '13 is no stranger to travel. As the recipient of the Charles H. Salisbury Summer International Internship stipend, however, Durand is travelling even farther from home.
This summer, the rising senior has travelled to Macau, New York and Hong Kong, while conducting market research for DFS and Coach. For these international companies, Durand has been observing consumer behavior and working in the headquarters of each company, analyzing data on customer preference trends.
"The Salisbury stipend has given me the opportunity to better understand how a business lives and breathes, which has allowed me to farther develop professionally," says Durand, an international relations and economics double major. "And truly living on my own has taught me more about myself. It has taught me the kind of lifestyle I want to live."
Durand lists Hong Kong as his favorite destination so far. "Hong Kong is naturally beautiful. There are lush forests and hiking trails that provide incredible views of Hong Kong and the Pacific Ocean," he says.
At first, Durand says his biggest challenge was finding a restaurant with a menu in English but now he has become comfortable with getting lost in the culture, sometimes literally. "For every excursion I've attempted, I have ended up temporarily in the wrong direction, or completely lost altogether. Either way, because I'm in a new world, everything is fascinating," says Durand.
This fascination offers more than just personal enrichment, however, as Durand says that "even walking through the streets, I am observing consumer behavior."
"As a foreigner you live a different lifestyle than at home, always curious, and always cautious, but you learn that it's OK to do things that might be a bit uncomfortable" says Durand. While he says that he has discovered much about himself, he also says that the best is yet to come: "After all, I'm going to Bali soon!"
On campus, Durand is a Druid, and an Orange Key and Chimera Honor Society member. He is involved with the HWS Leads Certificate program, plays soccer and club hockey, served as an Orientation Leader for the Classes of 2014 and 2015, and is a Rape Prevention and Masculinities Facilitator. In March, Durand was named a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow.
The Salisbury stipend is one of the most ambitious programs in the Colleges' history. Created by Honorary Trustee Charles H. Salisbury Jr. '63, P'94, L.H.D.'08, former chair of the HWS Board of Trustees, the fund provides up to $20,000 of financial support for each for three students interested in pursuing an international internship experience in a location of the student's choice. By supplementing classroom education with internship experience, students gain a practical understanding of the demands and rewards of future career opportunities as well as an opportunity to test their skills and realize their potential.