Internship Allows Student to Impact Virginia's Economic Development

September 23, 2021
Becca Rubenstein, '22, partnered with European organizations on expansion into the U.S.

Becca Rubenstein’s internship with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) opened her eyes to an entirely new sector—one she now hopes to explore in her life after University of Richmond. Working with VEDP’s European office, Rubenstein, ’22, managed projects ranging from research generation and initial outreach to drafting value propositions and presentations for potential clients, all in an effort to diversify and expand Virginia’s economic development with European countries.

Working with her mentor George Hiller, lecturer of international business at the Robins School, Rubenstein was prepping for internship interviews months in advance and was ready to hit the ground running in her role with VEDP. “One of my favorite aspects of the internship was being able to sit in on various meetings both within the organization and with potential clients,” Rubenstein said. “Toward the end of my internship, I was even able to lead a few introductory meetings with potential clients which was a really great experience for me.”

One of her largest projects included addressing a national shortage of semiconductors due to supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19. Rubenstein was responsible for identifying over 60 potential partner firms and drafting and dispersing a presentation highlighting the economic incentives, opportunities, and case studies in the state.

“The internship exposed me to the entire world of economic development and made me think about how the U.S. and other developed countries go about bringing new investments into their economy, whereas emerging markets do not have the same resources to do so,” Rubenstein said. “I am interested in going into the international development sector and working with developing countries and communities to sustainably grow so they are able to be self-sufficient.”

Meeting with foreign clients allowed Rubenstein to observe cultural differences in business management, something she also enjoyed through her time at Richmond. “One of my favorite experiences was my summer studying abroad in France. For five weeks, I was able to travel, live with a host family, and take classes. It was incredible to surround myself with the culture and history and get the feeling that a French town could feel like home,” she shared.

With her studies in international business and French, Rubenstein is sure to further her travels and continue to have an impact on the community where she resides.