Cre­ating and man­aging a company-​​wide employee devel­op­ment pro­gram in Ger­many taught North­eastern Uni­ver­sity senior Stephanie Fil­ipek how to become a leader in a room full of executives.

I learned how to talk to anyone on any pro­fes­sional level,” said Fil­ipek, a busi­ness major with a dual con­cen­tra­tion in entre­pre­neur­ship and mar­keting.  “I devel­oped the con­fi­dence to facil­i­tate con­ver­sa­tions between man­aging direc­tors and employees.”

Fil­ipek cre­ated the employee devel­op­ment pro­gram for Bisnode Busi­ness Infor­ma­tion Group on co-​​op last fall. The Darmstadt-​​based com­pany helps clients in 17 coun­tries in Europe max­i­mize sales, min­i­mize risks and make better busi­ness decisions.

Fil­ipek devel­oped the pro­gram by inter­viewing man­aging direc­tors, cre­ating work­shops for employees and attending a con­fer­ence for employees in Sweden.

The goal of the pro­gram, she said, is for employees to improve their man­age­ment skills, build bonds between col­leagues and pursue their edu­ca­tional goals through work­shops and conferences.

As Fil­ipek put it, “I wanted to create a road map for employees and figure out the best way to help them grow.”

She expe­ri­enced a sim­ilar level of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional growth during her expe­ri­en­tial learning oppor­tu­nity in Ger­many. The co-​​op, she said, taught her more about her­self than about the cor­po­rate cul­ture at Bisnode.

I trav­eled across the world to build my own life for six months,” said Fil­ipek, who also com­pleted a semester abroad at CEFAM, an inter­na­tional busi­ness school in Lyon, France. “It’s amazing to dis­cover and rein­vent yourself.”

Fil­ipek called her inter­na­tional learning expe­ri­ences the “top two” high­lights of her time at North­eastern. Honing her com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills at Bisnode, she said, helped her land a job as an account assis­tant for the Boston-​​based adver­tising agency MMB after grad­u­a­tion in May.

Clarity is of the upmost impor­tance if you are speaking to an audi­ence whose native lan­guage is not Eng­lish,” Fil­ipek said. “Acting as a project man­ager at Bisnode required me to become [more] orga­nized and self-​​motivated,” she added.