NMU Grad spends year in Germany

Pat Pearson

For Matt Croschere, an NMU class of 2013 business management alumnus, post-undergraduate life has taken flight on the fast-track toward professional employment.That flight literally took him to two German cities. He recently completed a pre-professional work-study exchange program this past July.

Photo Courtesy of Chroscere
Photo Courtesy of Chroscere

In the spring of 2013, Croschere applied to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program for Young Professionals held in Germany. In July of 2013, out of the hundreds of nationwide applicants, Croschere was selected as one of the 75 students to partake in the year-long exchange program abroad.

Participants in this program complete internships in a variety of fields, according to their professional aspirations.

Croschere said he is thankful for his numerous connections at NMU for helping him obtain this opportunity.

He accredits Carol Steinhaus, Ph.D., a management professor in the NMU School of Business, for advising him and connecting him to the experience.

“Dr. Steinhaus motivated me to apply for this position,” Croschere said. “She knew that I showed interest in studying abroad in Germany. We knew that it is a highly competitive program and I think her letter of recommendation helped me to be placed in the program.”

Steinhaus also serves as a liaison between the college of business and the international programs office at NMU. Steinhaus said how invaluable a international study abroad program can be for students.

“I could see how this was a life-changing experience for Matt,” Steinhaus said. “Having international study on your resume means that you are flexible, you can work with other people from different cultures, you are independent and you can make your own decisions.”

 Crocshere began his ventures abroad in July 2013 with two months of intensive German language training at the Carl Duisberg Centrum in Cologne, Germany. He then studied for a semester at the University of Hamburg. His year finished with a five-month internship as a corporate financial consultant intern in Hamburg.

“The internship was very fitting for my career path,” Croschere said. “I worked with financial documents for this third-party consulting company, mostly doing all sorts of different due diligence and research projects for companies that are in the market to buy other companies in Germany.”

Crocshere’s mother, Debbie, said she believes Germany was a wonderful place for her son to work, study and travel.

“I think he showed interest in Germany specifically because of his interest in the German language and also in business,” Debbie Croschere said. “The knowledge he gained through this experience will someday allow him to work with what he has learned.”

His learning experiences extended outside the walls of the classroom and workplace during his time abroad. According to Croschere, the two affluent German cities he lived in are known for their rich historical landmarks, museums, architecture and economies. Croschere said some of his most fond memories of his year spent abroad were taking in the culture in Cologne and Hamburg.

“I think the best part of it all was getting to know the culture more than just hitting the textbooks,” Croschere said. “I was able to befriend fellow international students in the program and also many friendly locals. Going to the theater, opera, museums, orchestra and ballet was all really special and much different than the U.P. living I am used to.”

His brother, Larry Croschere, said he is proud of Croschere and glad he is safe, back at home.

“I thought that the program made a great choice when selecting Matt. Being from such a unique place, the Upper Peninsula, and having prior experience in the study abroad program, I believe made his application stand out from many of the others applicants,” Larry Croschere said. “I did miss him, as anyone else would miss family when they are thousands of miles away, but thanks to technology we were able to see and talk to each other as much as we wanted.”

Croschere is currently living in his hometown in Iron Mountain, Mich. and in pursuit of professional employment in the field of business management.