Susan Brown Craig (B.S. 61) “In 1989, my husband Sam (College ’61) was asked by the Pennsylvania State System of Education to teach for a semester at the University of Paris XIII, representing a joint effort by the State System of Education and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce. The students that Sam taught were all business/marketing students who expected to come to Pennsylvania for 6 months. Their goal was to assist businesses that were looking to export to the European Community. They had the language skills, the knowledge of the ECC regulations and business preparation to be useful. Sam did this for two years, and both years found us searching for positions for the students, as the Chamber was unable to divert personnel for this after several weeks. We were able to find the positions.
“During the third year, the Chamber backed out completely because of the time required to find positions. Both of our children had finished college at this point and we decided that we loved this work and were willing to risk taking it on full time. Sam quit his job with the State System and I stepped aside from being a substitute teacher in our local school district. We formed ENTREE Resources and continued to work with young professionals from schools in France. At this time, we also began work with both mechanical and electronic engineering students and expanded the search for good students into Germany, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. It became difficult to find small companies looking to export their products out of the United States and we reluctantly dropped the business students.
“When the dot-com bust came along, companies that had valued the international engineering students suddenly found they could hire experienced American engineers for about the same cost as an intern.
Once again, ENTRÉE Resources changed course, and we directed our efforts toward young people preparing for the hospitality industry, both Hotel Management and Culinary. This takes us to schools in France and Switzerland each year to interview young professionals looking for an American experience as they prepare for careers in international hospitality. They appreciate the American experience, and the host sites enjoy the new approaches/creativity that they bring to the job.
“We will never be wealthy, but we both love working with international students; the Swiss schools attract young people from around the globe. We are unique in that we have three different sets of clients whom we must please: the schools, the students, and the host sites. It can be a perilous balancing act, but the challenge is interesting. We are deliberately small. The big chain hotels and resorts have offices in Europe to attract interns and new staff. We represent the small hotel that would like this resource, but is not part of a major chain. It has kept us both active and makes our lives rich with the rewards of international friendships and an increased understanding of those from other cultures.”