Elalaoui ’21 Earns Cultural Vistas Fellowship

Nuh Elalaoui ’21 has earned a Cultural Vistas Fellowship, a competitive program designed for underrepresented students interested in global affairs.

Photo by Scott Cook Photo by Scott Cook

Nuh Elalaoui ’21 is the first Rollins student to be awarded the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, a summer international internship program designed for underrepresented U.S. college students. The international business major chose the consulting management track of the program and will spend eight weeks in Berlin interacting with local business leaders and analyzing business practices. In late spring, Elalaoui will learn the company at which he’ll be interning.

For more than 50 years, Cultural Vistas has been creating multinational professional development programs that promote global understanding through the lens of career exploration, civic engagement, leadership development, and professional training.

The seventh class of Cultural Vistas Fellows will spend summer 2019 in Argentina, Germany, and Hong Kong. Elalaoui and his classmates will focus on deep cultural immersion as well as developing adaptability and resilience, empathy, tolerance for diverse approaches to life and work, and proficiency in a foreign language.

Nuh Elalaoui ’21 says his International Operations course with business professor Serina Haddad has been one of his best yet. Photo by Scott Cook. Nuh Elalaoui ’21 says his International Operations course with business professor Serina Haddad has been one of his best yet. Photo by Scott Cook.

“The Cultural Vistas Fellowship offers me a unique opportunity to network, to get my foot in the door of German business, and to gain valuable internship and work experience,” says Elalaoui. “As an avid traveler and explorer, I’m intrigued by the diverse nature of Germany and its wealth of distinct subcultures. My own background as an American of Arab ancestry makes me want to further investigate these cultures in an effort to understand their dynamics and place in the German nation and society.”

Germany won’t be new to Elalaoui. Last year, the Alfond Scholar participated in Sommer Deutschland, a Rollins summer program led by German professor Nancy Decker. Sommer Deutschland provides Rollins students the opportunity to spend four weeks in Munster studying German language and immersing themselves in the culture.

“During Sommer Deutschland, I really learned that to maximize my time abroad, it was important not just to focus on the classroom learning, but to get out and integrate myself in the city, to step into the lives of the people living there,” says Elalaoui.

Elalaoui is also enrolled in Rollins’ dual-degree program, which allows students to earn a BA in international business from Rollins and a BS in international management from Germany’s Reutlingen University. In addition to earning two bachelor’s degrees in four years, the dual-degree program also allows students to develop fluency in German and earn international internship experience, giving them a competitive advantage in the global economy.

Nuh Elalaoui ’21 and one of his mentors, business professor Serina Haddad. Photo by Scott Cook. Nuh Elalaoui ’21 and one of his mentors, business professor Serina Haddad. Photo by Scott Cook.

Part of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship includes a service project either on campus or in the local community after returning from Germany. Elalaoui’s goal is to publicize the fellowship through weekly writing reflections that will share his experience with the Rollins community, especially the German Club, international business majors, and Embark participants, and to encourage others to apply for it. He will also give presentations on campus about his experience and the value of studying abroad and will serve as a mentor for anyone wishing to apply for the next cohort of Cultural Vistas Fellows.

Elalaoui is passionate about integrity in business and making an impact through personal connections and believes that language is the key to unlocking those connections. He speaks English, Arabic, German, French, and Spanish (with Turkish in the works) and chose the international business major at Rollins because it synthesized global exposure, interpersonal communications, business, and his love of languages.

He currently serves as the president of the Muslim Student Union, where he has learned how much responsibility comes with leadership. He has been actively applying concepts he’s learned in business professor Serina Haddad’s International Operations course to this role in terms of project planning, delegating tasks, and synthesizing various parts to culminate in one outcome.

Next fall, Elalaoui will begin his dual-degree internship with Reutlingen, an experience he feels uniquely prepared for because of the diverse opportunities, close relationships, and network of support he’s had at Rollins. After college, he’ll likely pursue an MBA with the ultimate goal of doing business that benefits all parties, especially in developing countries where he’d like to see the profits be the improved welfare of others.