In the spring of 2011, Jessica Kim attended a lecture by the best guest speaker she had ever seen. Jim Marryman, the CEO of Oregon Freeze Dry, visited Oregon State University in Corvallis to share his experiences with the university’s International Affairs Club. He started his presentation by telling a true story about the issues he faced with global transactions.
As part of his freeze-dried food business, Marryman ordered broccoli from a farm in the People’s Republic of China. When the product arrived in the US, the average size of the broccoli was far too small. He flew back to China and met the farmers. This farm was accustomed to shipping very small broccoli – a specialty for the Japanese market. It was hard to explain to them that Americans want fully-grown broccoli. After sharing a cigarette with the Chinese farmers, he took a pack of cigarettes and placed it on the field next to the broccoli, saying “When it’s the same size as a cigarette pack, then ship it to the United States.”
The International Affairs Club at Oregon State University, founded in spring term of 2010, aims to bring together students who are interested in politics, international economics and other international news. The Club is supported by the College of Business, the University Honors College and the College of Liberal Arts.
The International Affairs Club is a place where international students and domestic students can communicate and share experiences and knowledge with each other. Blake Hendricks, the president of the club, said he likes the club because it is “a good opportunity to build connections and enjoy the opportunity for professional development.” Former INTO OSU Pathway student Van Wong, from China, is the club's treasurer. Wong says being a part of the International Affairs Club, combined with the benefits of the Pathway Program, has helped him succeed in school and contributed to his professional development. He's becoming acclimated to American academics, an essential part of success at the university.
The International Affairs Club frequently invites interesting guest speakers such as Jim Marryman to campus, visits places like the Columbia Sportswear headquarters and examines the business process from the inside. A future event may include a visit from the founder of Dutch Bros. coffee shops.
Being a part of the International Affairs Club brings students together every other Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Union building. The club is eager to have new members and welcomes everyone. If you’d like to join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Written by Simon Zhernakov