February 24, 2017
Carter Trousdale’s internship last summer with Babolat, the French tennis company, was the perfect experience for the self-designed International Entrepreneurship and Business major who loves speaking French as much as he relishes playing a heated match on McDaniel’s tennis courts.
The fact that the North American headquarters for Babolat is in Louisville, Colo., the former coal-mining town that Trousdale’s family — the Mihevcs — lived and died in, pushed his internship over the top to a perfect 10.
“In the general store of this village there was a decades-old picture of my grandfather holding up a big fish he caught in a river nearby,” says Trousdale, who grew up just outside Chicago in Hanover Park, Ill., and lived with relatives in Littleton, Colo. during his internship. “It was about an hour and a half drive to Babolat, but then I spent my work days at this international company alongside French supervisors, advancing the sport we all love.”
Trousdale was impressed by the sense of community at Babolat, where everyone enjoys lunch together and plays tennis, often testing out new products, in the middle of the workday. He’s currently enrolled in Professor Martine Motard-Noar’s course, The Intercultural Workplace, and finds that it is helping him interpret his summer experience.
“The office environment was close and very community oriented — like being welcomed into a family,” he says. “And, it was fascinating to see how innovation and entrepreneurship apply within a company like Babolat that is always pioneering new ways of improving their racquets and strings.”
The sophomore is preparing for a future in international business not only through the courses he’s chosen to fulfill the major he designed but by participating in McDaniel’s Global Fellows and Encompass Distinction programs, which focus on international perspectives and entrepreneurship/innovation respectively.
He plans to study abroad at McDaniel Europe in Budapest in the fall and then in Brussels, the de facto capital of the European Union, through the college’s exchange program with Université Saint-Louis Bruxelles. Although he is keeping his idea a secret for now, Trousdale plans to enter McDaniel’s Innovation Challenge, which awards a top prize of $10,000 to the student or students with the best innovation.
Trousdale found that the accounting processes he learned in class helped him figure out the French system Babolat uses. Working with all of the financial accounting information, he had a front-row view of the big picture. Still, he was surprised by the “massive amount of paperwork” in this digital age.
He’s been accepted as one of the candidates for the National Security Scholars Program and is currently completing his National Security Clearance, the final phase of the process. Once that is complete, he’ll receive a scholarship and an internship through the program.
For Trousdale, it’s all about identifying and then seizing opportunities that will give him the experience, knowledge or skills — and often all three — he’ll need to build his future. He wants to travel the world, living and working in Paris, London and Brussels. He’d love to clerk for the International Court of Justice or serve as Chief of Staff to a President.
“In today’s way of doing business, it is all about trying out new and innovative ideas,” he says. “And that can be applied to any organization, here in the U.S. or anywhere around the world.”