O'Connor: International business internship "amazing experience"

Release Date: 8/26/2014

University of the Ozarks senior Jose O'Connor believes his summer 2014 internship with an elite global company will serve as a springboard to a successful career in international business.

O'Connor, an international business and economics major from Honduras, served a five-week internship this summer in Panama City, Panama, at the Universal Company for French Perfumes S.A. (CUPFSA), an international company that officially represents and the distributes one of the world's leading fragrance and clothing brands.

Fulfilling his business international major requirements for an abroad internship, O'Connor spent most of his internship working in the accounting and finance departments of CUPFSA. He worked on everything from invoices and tax reports to international finance accounts and travel expenses. He also assisted in data capturing and market research.

Jose O'Connor

Senior international business and economics major Jose O'Connor spent five weeks in Panama this past summer working in an internship with a company that represents world leading perfume and clothing brand.

"It was truly an amazing experience because I got to do and see so much," O'Connor said. "I really got to see how the company operates and experience the day-to-day operations of a large corporation. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful and I feel like I learned so much about how a corporation and office environment works. It's one thing to read about business practices and theory from a book, but to be able to live and experience it is amazing. "

O'Connor secured the internship with help from Ozarks Professor of Management and Business Dr. Rickey Casey and recently retired Political Science Professor Gilbert Parks as well as Panama alumni Eric Leon '03 and Maria Davila '09, who works for CUPFSA.

"I had so many people help me get this incredible opportunity," O'Connor said. "It was my first visit ever to Panama, so it was great to have alumni there who could answer questions, show me around and just make me feel at home."

The internship experience helped reaffirm O'Connor's aspirations to pursue a career in international business.

"I have a passion for business, for selling and marketing, and traveling, and working in that environment was everything I thought it would be," O'Connor said. "I got to talk to the CEO and some of the salespeople and it made me realize that it was exactly what I want to do."

O'Connor, who will graduate in May, was also able to do some valuable networking within the company.

"They told me that when I graduate to apply because they are opening up a lot of new stores in Panama and Central America and they need managers," he said. "They told me that I already had a head start on other applicants because I was familiar with the company and work environment. That was great to hear."