My name is Darrin Gordon, I am currently a Sophomore International Business major at Western Washington University. I work in the Office of Sustainability on campus as a research assistant. Through my work, I have been able to learn skills like urban transit design and placement, carbon accounting for large entities like college campuses, and other research and communication skills. The program I have applied to is an exchange program for the Bachelor of International Management from Ecole de Management de Normandie in France for the 2019-2020 academic year.
This program was a natural choice once I realized the opportunities it would give me both during and after completion. The program is an exchange between the universities which allows me to pay in-state tuition and also allows me to use my financial aid to fund this program; as this program would not work for me otherwise because of financial difficulties I currently have. However, the international program will fulfill two of my seven upper-level class requirements as study abroad classes are built into my home universities international business major. Along with coursework equivalencies, I will also obtain a dual International Management degree from EM Normandie's Dual Degree option. EM Normandie's emphasis on companies operating and cooperating within their academics is an important reason for me choosing the program. This immersion teaching approach will help me network with French companies, as 70 percent of jobs come from networking. The opportunity to work for a French company abroad would provide me with incredible access for career progress.
Attending for a whole academic year vs. a quarter or even a semester gives me a more in-depth view of how different business cultures work and to network with students from different cultural backgrounds. The academic program and physical location connect directly with my follow-on project, as the project is a case study for using shipping container homes as student residences located in the same city. Universite de Rouen is an adjacent university in Le Harve and has a student dormitory that was used shipping containers as their primary building component. Having been built since 2009 it would be a great opportunity to see a ten-year lookout for these structures as well as getting student input of what they like or dislike about the unusual type of dormitories.
The French city of Le Havre hopes to keep sustainable design thriving by using its tremendous opportunity to intertwine old French innovation and architecture designs. Learning how to combine traditional design with modern needs is a valuable lesson to learn when working in an international space. I am hoping that my academics and observations on this program can teach me such important skills.
Before I went to college, I volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium for two years, giving me an insight into how non-for-profit organizations work. It also boosted my current love for sustainability and instilled in me the strategies for working with public agencies. When I went to college, things finally started paying off for me. I currently work as a work-study student at my university during the academic year and work full time during the summer. When at university, I work as a Research Assistant for the Office of Sustainability, doing Carbon Accounting and Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the entirety of Western Washington University.
I am currently working on two additional projects, one being a Zero Net Energy Tiny Home project on campus, and the other being an independent study on the feasibility of using shipping container homes as affordable housing. In the Tiny Home project, I have been able to learn while working on a team about the planning and zoning for residential projects and business aspects including finances and feasibility. Secondly, the shipping container project is entirely independent. My research is reviewing all business aspects including the social, financial, economic, and personal considerations when building and living in shipping containers as housing.
I wish to study abroad to help further my career into business sustainability. With this particular program, the French companies partnering within the degree program have historically provided 2 out of 3 graduates a chance to gain a permanent contract with a company when leaving the program according to the universities website which became a significant aspect of why I chose this program. This program will also give me invaluable international experience that will propel me forward in my career.
My academic and professional goals include both sustainability and international relations. To help people build relationships that benefit both sides, creating a sustainable world that allows poorer nations and people to come out of poverty in a healthy way. One of the goals that I have to prepare for the future, is by working on the shipping container housing project as its primary goal is to provide cheap housing for students or low-income adults of modern and third world areas. Being a CFO of an international NGO or being active in international urban planning for low-income areas would be my end goal. Helping the ones more drastically in need both domestically and abroad by establishing basic accommodations to the over one billion people without shelter, electricity and clean water.
Growing up, I moved around quite a bit because of family finances and bad choices made by them, from about the age of 10 till I was 17. I finally moved out of my parents to finish high school at the same school when my parents moved again. I was able to live in friends' spare bedrooms and couches as I finished high school. Lessons learned from my final year of high school were life changing due to hardships forcing me to learn the rules of functioning as an adult. Skills like how to be on top of everything in college from administration to homework, to budgeting to taxes, or healthy meal planning and time allocation and management skills. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, it was not as easy as most to come out as part of the LGBTQ community. This is a topic to this day I still avoid with much of my family, as not all support or agree with LGBTQ existence.
I am a scholarship student as I would not be able to afford university if it was not for the scholarships given to me by my state and government. I do not come from a family that has money, so it was these scholarships that to this day allow me to get the experience of college, and the lack of money has taught me money management skills I use to this day. Working to pay for my education, I appreciate the value of the dollar and have an established work ethic. This scholarship opportunity would mean so much to me in terms of helping me to afford this international program. Thank you in advance for your consideration.