Driven to succeed: Rowan senior lands scholarship to study in GermanyApril 05, 2007
Robert Frick loves public relations. He loves Germany. And he loves BMWs.
So forgive him if he's more than a little giddy about winning a year-long, all-expenses-paid scholarship to study in Germany through the Congress-Budenstag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals program.
Through the CBYX program, which is presented by the United States Congress and the German Budenstag, Frick, a senior public relations major at Rowan University, will leave for Germany in July.
There, the Cinnaminson resident, who carries a minor in German and a concentration in international studies at Rowan, will receive five months of intensive German instruction.
After that, he'll work in a seven-month internship, which he, himself, must find.
"That's very appealing to me," says Frick, who will earn his bachelor's degree from Rowan's College of Communication on May 11.
"I'm sending out 10-15 applications for internships and I've sent to every major auto manufacturer over there."
That's a good start for the automobile enthusiast, whose career goal is to work for BMW, the only luxury car manufacturer that's still independently owned.
"I've loved cars ever since my 'Herbie the Love Bug' days," says Frick, who bought his first BMW, a black 1995 325 IS, five years ago.
"I want to work for BMW by the time I'm 25. BMW is the best product out there. They're trend setters. They don't follow the rest of the market. They determine it. I'd love to work in their renewable energy division."
Frick, who didn't study German until he came to Rowan, found his niche when he studied abroad last spring and summer at Osnabr?ck University in Lower Saxony, Germany.
"It was easily the most rewarding experience I ever had in my life," the 2002 Cinnaminson High School graduate says. "It's just a different way of life over there. Their society is a lot more open. I learned so much just hanging out with people.
"I'm a people person, so in my studies, I'm trying to tie all of my interests together?public relations, cars, and Germany."
To land the CBYX scholarship, Frick went through a two-stage interview process. The scholarship panel changed from speaking English to German midway through the interview, but Frick was prepared.
"That went very well," he says.
Altogether, the committee awarded 75 scholarships from approximately 500 applications, according to Frick, who drove his scholarship application to the UN in New York City last December 20, just making the application deadline.
The CBYX scholarship will provide Frick with a $1,200-a-month stipend for his year of study in Germany.
Founded in 1983, the CBYX program is designed primarily for young adults in business, technical, engineering, agricultural and vocational fields. While 75 Americans have landed scholarships to study in Germany, an equal number of Germans will study in the U.S. this year through the program.
If an internship with an auto manufacturer in Germany doesn't work out, Frick says he has a few other options in mind.
"I have a couple of leads. I wouldn't mind even working a little politics over there," he says.
Frick is no stranger to finding fun and interesting internships. This semester, he's working for the promotions and special events staff for 98.1 WOGL-FM radio in Philadelphia.
Additionally, he has two internships with Comcast-Spectacor, one working with Premium Seating and the other working for the Complex Marketing Department and the Philadelphia Wings, both at the Wachovia Center.