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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
avatar for Mengyao  Xu

Mengyao Xu

Economics and Math Major
Clash of Cultures in Workplace

I interned at Gap Inc. China in Shanghai in summer 2016. My position was Old Navy store ops (operations) intern, and my role was to support operations and communication between the management team in the office and the staff in local stores in various cities. I was responsible for assisting district managers (American and Canadian) and the communication manager (Chinese), communicating and managing local store staff on a daily basis. In addition to providing help in language translation, I also realized that cultural translation was needed since the Western and Chinese cultures have influenced managers’ mindsets, decision-making and communication approaches deeply. In order to provide better assistance, I had to understand the reasoning and thinking process behind words from both sides. In my presentation, I will provide examples and anecdotes from my internship and discuss the obstacles in communication and management due to cultural differences.