Student Spotlight

If you are an employer looking for a talented person with applicable international trade experience, please consider these potential candidates that have participated in the Export Excellence program:

Snjezana Borak

International Business Alumna 2013
International Department, Simplot Company

Snjezana was born in Croatia, she moved to Boise with her family in 1998 following the violent Yugoslav civil war. Her native language is Serbian, and as part of her IB degree she chose to study German as well. Snjezana fascination with different cultures was what originally drew her to international business. At Boise State, she pursued a degree in Finance and International Business. In addition to the core requirements, she sought out a variety of elective courses which were offered by the Honors College, and the department of Psychology, History, Philosophy and Political Science. She was very active on campus, and involved in a variety of student organizations, some of her accomplishments include: being part of the delegation from BSU which represented the Sudan in the Model United Nations conference in New York City during her sophomore year, spearheading the renewal of the International Business Student Organization, and taking the club from zero members to nearly twenty, also as president of the club organizing the first international trip for 10 students the following year. She also established a small Serbian student organization on campus through which she and fellow members hold classes and teach Serbian children born in the US to read an write in Serbian. She worked in the International Business Programs’ office as an Academic Peer Advisor for two years, through this role she was able to meet the incredible students who chose International Business as their major and hear all of their unique life stories, she was fortunate to be with the program during some of its critical and transformative years, the she believes the experience there were invaluable both personally and professionally. In addition to her involvement in the IB Programs, Snjezana also completed several internships relating to her major, they include working for a summer in the Idaho Department of Commerce assisting their International Trade Division, participating in Export Excellence assisting as the intern for Scentsy, working for three months in the US Commercial Service office in Zagreb, Croatia, interning again in the Export Excellence Internship program with High Country Fusion Company (which won the Exporter of the Year award from the SBA in 2013 thanks to their success in the Export Excellence program an subsequent exports of $3.2 million). Her final internship was with the Food Group Division of J.R. Simplot Company, as an International Marketing Intern, where she currently works full time.

Export Excellence Testimonial

I completed two Export Excellence internships, the first was with Scentsy during my sophomore year, and the second with High Country Fusion Company during my senior year at Boise State University. My experience with these companies gave me insights into two vastly different industries, one which is dependent on direct consumer sales – the other, on contracts with large oil and mining companies. My Export Excellence internships helped put in perspective the different ways my IB education could be applied, and the growth of international business in virtually every industry.

The practical experience I got through the Export Excellence program was invaluable. The hands on experience with real business professionals, and the results my work helped each company yield, was very gratifying and made me a more competitive job candidate. I would recommend this internship program to any student.

Ekaterina Strebkova Harper

IB Student, Class of 2015

As a native Russian, Ekaterina Strebkova Harper received her college education in Russia in Foreign Languages. While studying abroad in the United States she fell in love with the culture and the traveling experience.

Prior to transferring to Boise State University she extensively travelled around America, visiting almost every state, including Hawaii and Puerto Rico, as well as living in New York for a year. While at Boise State she also travelled around the world to countries like Mexico, Spain, Germany, Italy, Austria, Andorra, Monaco, Ukraine, Caribbean and spent a summer studying abroad in Pau, France.

Ekaterina is currently the president of the International Business Society and has continued to supporting Boise State through her work in the International Studies Office on campus. She looks forward to opening an international business that will not only help her local community, but will have a great impact internationally.

Export Excellence Testimonial

One of the most viable skills for me during this internship was the ability to manage and work with the team of people with different backgrounds in knowledge, expertise and business culture. It was very important to me to establish fair, respectful and trustful relationships with my team members. Once the relationship was established it was crucial for me to learn as much as I could about the company and its products. That is quite challenging to do in a short period of time. However, by the end of the internship I felt that I was quite knowledgeable about my company’s goals, expectations and needs. In other words, I believe I was able to establish myself as an integral part of the team by being punctual and dependable.

Critical decision-making and deep strategic analyses was another important skill set that I was able to practice during this internship. Learning from the case studies is one thing, but actually applying your skills and knowledge to the real world case is another. The fact that financial health and success of the company that I worked with was depending on my critical decision-making, expertise, knowledge and skill set was quite motivational and valuable to me. It was extremely important for me to do my best and was reflected in my passion to work.

I was also able to use in practice my international knowledge and experience along with communications skills that helped tremendously, as it is crucially important to be able to communicate and deliver the message successfully to the team and the listeners.

Max Head

International Business Alumnus 2013
Founder of Matrix Consulting

While earning an International Business major and Spanish Language: Business Emphasis minor at Boise State, Max Head strived to give back to my college as much as he was given. Max revived the International Business Organization when he served as President, participated in BSU’s Export Excellence internship, and served as a student representative to COBE. Max continued his imact outside of Boise State while serving as an intern with the International Business Division of the Idaho Department of Commerce and worked for Scentsy, Inc’s International Strategy group. I also spent my 2013 summer interning in the Office of U.S. Senator Risch in Washington, D.C. I now co-own a political consulting firm based out of Boise.

Export Excellence Testimonial

My experience with export excellence allowed me see what it takes to thrive in a fast paced, business environment. As an intern for a small company looking at international expansion, a central requirement was to tackle multiple projects at once. From creating market reports to conducting international due diligence, working with a small team of motivated individuals gave me the chance to see the ins and outs of a small business. For me, Export Excellence was an incubator for entrepreneurship. It granted me a perspective of what it takes to start a company and, applying many of the skill sets I learned and honed through Export Excellence, I now run a political consulting firm in Boise.

Vera Zdravkova

International Business Alumna 2011
United States Foreign Service

Vera Zdravkova graduated in December of 2011 with a degree in International Business. During her time at Boise State, she completed a number of international trade assistance-focused internships in Mexico, Taiwan, and Rwanda with the Idaho Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State. Domestically, Vera participated in IDEC’s Export Excellence program, which she credits as one of her most valuable learning experiences. After graduating, Vera spent two years working for COBE’s International Business Programs. In 2013, she was awarded the Taiwan Ministry of Education’s Huayu Language Enrichment scholarship for Chinese language study. In 2014, Vera was offered a position with the U.S. Foreign Service. She will serve her first diplomatic tour in Tijuana, Mexico.

Export Excellence Testimonial

Export Excellence was the most valuable internship program I completed during my time at Boise State. I highly recommend it to any students serious about building their resume and getting a head start on career planning. During Export Excellence, I spent four months developing an export plan for an Idaho-based tech manufacturer. I had the opportunity to collaborate with local experts, build my professional network, and gain practical international business experience. At the end of the program, I was offered a full-time position.