USD grad earns prestigious overseas internship Kea Thorstenson, a recent graduate from The University of South Dakota, is the recipient of the prestigious Mountbatten Internship Programme.
Thorstenson is the daughter of Bonnie and Roger Thorstenson of rural Selby. Her year-long internship will formally begin in London on Aug. 22.
The Mountbatten Internship Programme was founded in 1984 by a not-for-profit company. Its mission is to foster inter-national and cross cultural understanding through experiential education, practical training and residence abroad, and to provide opportunities for personal growth and professional development. This unique program offers a carefully designed 12 month training program that provides an opportunity to learn about British and international business techniques and to experience the rich cultural diversity of London.
Thorstenson noted that the application process was quite selective in its review of hopeful candidates.
�Of the 1,500 applicants for the Mountbatten Internship Programme, only 30 to 40 applicants are chosen, so being selected�is quite an honor,� Thorstenson said.
Successful completion of the internship leads to the Certificate in International Business Practice which includes two modules of the Cambridge Management Awards, administered and awarded by the University of Cambridge International Examination.
Thorstenson received her degree in business administration with a specialization in marketing from the USD on May 7. She is confident that the education she received at USD will give her the tools she needs to successfully act as the new UBS Investment Bank Corporate Actions Analyst intern, where she will help to manage �corporate action events,� such as mergers, restructuring and takeovers.
While the internship does not correspond precisely to her area of expertise, Thorstenson expressed no doubt that she would succeed with UBS.
�It will be an amazing experience and I am up for the challenge. It will be a great opportunity to work with UBS as they are a global company that is moving up,� Thorstenson said.
Thorstenson graduated from Selby Area High School in 2001. She and her mother embarked upon a 17 day whirlwind tour of Europe the following year.
�I always knew I wanted to work�abroad, but finding a company to sponsor you can be difficult,� Thorstenson said.
�My decision to attend USD was probably influenced by the fact that they had an international exchange program. My college advisor and professor of international studies, Greg Huckabee, suggested that an internship might be a way to go. I searched the internet for various international internships. I thought that the Mountbatten Programme had the most to offer. Professor Huckabee researched the internship and was impressed,� she said.
Although Thorstenson is excited to begin her internship, she plans to rest and relax a bit beforehand by backpacking throughout Europe and catching up with friends that have been fostered by five months of international study at the University of South Australia at Adelaide, southwest of Melbourne.
While Thorstenson was studying at the University of South Australia, she also worked in a backpacking hostel where she met many young people from many different countries and cultures.
Her aspirations do not stop with this internship, and she hopes to eventually advance her career through further education.
�My ultimate goal is to earn my master�s degree in international relations and find employment with the U.S. Embassy in London. I know those are big dreams but you have to set your goals high if you�re ever going to achieve anything,� Thorstenson said.