AP credits and language proficiency paid off for International business (IB) and German major Tyler Kunkle; a strong high school record gave way to a roomier college schedule, one that allowed him to study abroad for an entire academic year and take on a remarkable number of internships—and he’s not stopping upon graduation.
Kunkle ’14 is spending the summer in Dallas, Texas, in the logistics division of KBA North America—a division of global, German-based KBA Group, the second largest press manufacturer in the world. Through its participation with the College’s IB Advisory Board, KBA has a strong history of providing internship and career opportunities to Elizabethtown students and alumni. Kunkle took note of the German connection: He not only studied in Germany his junior year, but he’s also returning there as a Fulbright Scholar this fall of 2014.
He interned twice at Lancaster-based Clark Company and Associates: in the spring of and summer after his sophomore year and again in his senior year, this time in the logistics department at its WEBstaurant store division. At IB Day—when members of the advisory board meet with students—Kunkle attended a session he hadn’t planned on. Afterward, an executive approached him, speaking in German. Turns out, the man grew up in Bavaria, owns Gateway Logistics Services in York, Pa., and needed an intern. Kunkle, already dedicated to Clark, didn’t want to pass up an opportunity, so he put his blossoming logistical skills to use and found a way to fit both into his schedule.
Several factors led to Kunkle’s success. He spoke the same language—German in the case of Gateway and, in another, industry jargon. He said knowing what “ERP” meant spoke volumes in his KBA interview (which to the rest of us means Enterprise Resource Planning). Student Senate provided him with a great answer to a question about the most responsibility he had in college: He managed a $55k account, allocating funds to student clubs. The attention to detail and poise demanded by his professors and mentors prepared him for rigorous interviews. For example, Kunkle explained, Dr. Hossein Varamini “is always pushing us to do presentations and talk to executives. It forces you to be comfortable with these conversations.” He learned it doesn’t matter if you’re in a suit and tie or in sweatpants on a phone interview—pauses and “ums” can come through.
With each internship experience Tyler presented himself as a more knowledgeable and valuable professional at his next place of work. In fact, companies don’t exactly want Kunkle to leave. One Clark executive told Kunkle to call when he returns from his Fulbright appointment....“‘You do good work. We’re interested in where you’re going in the future.’”