Ruthie Stein ’14, Northfield, Minn., has successfully integrated her business studies at United International College in Zhuhai, China, into winning competitions for student entrepreneurship.
Stein, a Chinese and international business major who studied Chinese at Concordia Language Villages, has thrived on UIC’s free enterprise competitions. Her team took first place in Hong Kong and then finished in the top 16 competing in Beijing against all teams from Chinese colleges.
“I’m really proud we made it that far,” says Stein. “I feel very honored to be included like family on the UIC team.”
Stein’s team is part of the Enactus program, which was formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise. Guided by academic advisors and local business people, students design entrepreneurial scenarios that can be applied to improve the standard of living for people in need. Enactus is an international nonprofit organization that helps students develop good business skills.
“I joined Enactus because I loved that students actually go out into the community and make a difference in people’s lives by using entrepreneurial action,” says Stein. “I was a presenter for our team and helped revise the script and give my 2 cents about what would help. All together, I’ve put about 165 hours into our Enactus team.”
Stein says a benefit of Enactus competitions is the opportunity to present ideas before Fortune 500 companies like Cargill, PepsiCo, Wal-Mart, Microsoft and FedEx.
“It’s pretty nerve-racking, but we got wonderful feedback from the judges in Beijing. It was definitely a day to remember,” she says.
Stein has enjoyed her year at UIC as a student and teaching assistant.
“It’s made me think bigger,” she says. “I like what UIC does with students, like the Enactus competitions. It helps them connect with well-known companies and get a head start on their future. I could see myself going back to China to work with students to help them find their place in the world.”
Stein says she’s also found a BREWing element during her time in China.
“Anytime you decide to take the initiative to learn and engage socially in a different culture is definitely being responsibly engaged in the world,” she says.