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Faces of New Paltz

Michael Yohannes
Laura Dull
Ashley Williamson
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Faces of New Paltz

Michael Yohannes believes a person can only win in life by traveling.

“It doesn’t matter if you have good or bad experiences,” he said, “it’s that you experienced something that you will learn from.”  

Michael participated in New Paltz’s Institute for International Business (IIB) program during the fall 2006 semester. The 16-week program prepares international students to enter the global marketplace by developing their business and language skills. Students attend courses in subjects such as business, public relations and business communication at New Paltz for two months before moving to New York City to complete an internship in one of these areas.

The German exchange student interned at MTVu, a division of MTV Networks that broadcasts a 24-hour channel to U.S. colleges and universities. There he supported the affiliate relations and marketing departments.

The experience was the right fit for Michael, a business administration student at the University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany. He said working in the United States was essential for him in learning how to relate to people from different cultural backgrounds.

“It makes you more aware of your own views on the world,” he said.

Michael returned to Germany in December, following the completion of his internship and the IIB program. In January, he began an internship in the marketing department of L’Oreal Germany.

Michael, the son of an Ethiopian father and German mother, grew up in Cologne. As a child, he listened to his father’s stories about life in Ethiopia. Michael’s desire to learn about Ethiopia and other countries continues to grow as he works toward achieving his goal of working as a marketing consultant for a global company.

He has embarked on a number of trips and visited such countries as Indonesia and England, a country he has grown fond of for its history and hospitality.

For Michael, no matter where he is, he will be learning.

I love U.K.:  Michael calls London “the greatest city on Earth.” He visited the country in 1999 and fell in love with its history and hospitality. 

Words of wisdom: Michael’s favorite quotes are: “No pain, no gain,” and “Never open your mouth unless you are absolutely certain your brain is going to work.”

Free time, fun time: When he is not hard at work studying, Michael likes to hang out with friends or go to the cinema, musicals or sporting events.