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Announcing the 2016 Recipients of the FACC-Michigan French Business Scholarship: Le Détroit Award

The French-American Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chapter is pleased to announce the 2016 Recipients of the FACC-Michigan French Business Scholarship: Le Détroit Award, promoting study in France for business-focused French language students.

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The French-American Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Chapter is pleased to announce the 2016 Recipients of the FACC-Michigan French Business Scholarship: Le Détroit Award, promoting study in France for business-focused French language students:

Ryan Schaller
University of Michigan

Sarah Leeson
University of Michigan

Kyle Gavulic
Oakland University

Mr. Schaller is a freshman at University of Michigan with an interest in combining French language, business, and international studies. He interned for ten weeks this past summer in Tours, France for Tours Evénements, an event planning agency that hosts large-scale expositions, festivals, concerts and events like NASCAR expos, an electronic music festival, and a video game tournament. During his internship, he was responsible for the smooth running and successful completion of various events. Some of his duties included setting up events, directing people to correct locations, overseeing coat check, and personally accompanying visiting Canadian music artists for the duration of their stay in Tours. 

"This internship has been my first real professional work opportunity where I was coming to work every day in a black sport coat knowing that my actions had real and tangible consequences," said Mr. Schaller. "I learned how to adapt to a new cultural setting and my French language skills improved tenfold. By the time I left, my listening skills were at a whole new level and I found myself having sophisticated conversations with coworkers about politics, estranged family members, travel destinations, and more!"

The scholarship award granted to Mr. Schaller was based on his solid academic achievement and language acquisition, intellectual curiosity, and demonstrated leadership.

Ms. Leeson is a junior at the University of Michigan who is pursuing a degree in Communication Studies with minors in French and Writing. Aspiring to work in event management with multicultural audiences and use her French language skills, she also completed a ten week internship in Tours, France with Tours Evénements. During her internship, she was involved in the planning and management of various events from pre-event logistics to on-site execution and post-event organization. 

"There were definitely times where the language barrier felt too high or the task I'd been handed felt too far over my head, but by putting in the effort to learn how to be flexible in my communication or how to take on whatever that day's job was, I am positive that I walked away with a greater understanding of what it takes to be successful in any position I might find myself occupying in my future," said Ms. Leeson.

The scholarship award that was granted to Ms. Leeson was based on her solid academic achievement and language acquisition in addition to her stated business goals of pursuing a career in multicultural event planning. 

Mr. Gavulic is a recent high school graduate of Goodrich High School who was dual-enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at Oakland University. Having completed various French language courses during high school and as an undergraduate student, Mr. Gavulic aspires to combine French, business, and medical studies in a future career focused on the business-side of the medical industry, as a either physician and health administrator or in a governmental sector focusing on international health policy and leadership. With these aspirations in mind, Mr. Gavulic went to great lengths to create a one-month internship opportunity for himself at the Saint-Laurent Polyclinique in Rennes, France to learn first-hand about the French medical system, gain pragmatic, hands-on medical experience in France, and advance his French language skills. 

"I learned so much about the medical field and the business of medicine in France. I also experienced many cultural differences between France and the U.S., and my French improved exponentially," said Mr. Gavulic. "This internship helped me realize that I cannot see myself as a doctor but am more interested in a future career working for a medically-related non-profit or in international health policy. I am grateful that this opportunity has helped me to question and better define my professional aspirations earlier rather than later in my college career."

The scholarship award that was granted to Mr. Gavulic was based on solid academic achievement, language skills, and the amount of resourcefulness it took him to design this novel opportunity to suit his purposes. 


The purpose of the FACC-Michigan French Business Scholarship: Le Détroit Award is to financially assist college and university students in Michigan who study business or business related courses and French language studies, and who plan to combine French and business in their future career plans. This scholarship aims at facilitating the travel and stay of Michigan students in France who otherwise may not have the financial ability to do so. It demonstrates our commitment to our broad goal of improving French-American trade as well as to contributing to our community by helping Michigan students further their French studies and business experience. 

The FACC, Michigan Chapter is proud to support Mr. Schaller, Ms. Leeson, and Mr. Gavulic in their French language and business study pursuits. We hope that their experience in France will greatly contribute to the realization of their personal and professional goals moving forward.

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