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Summer Internships: Leo Liu

Ferris State University students gain valuable work experience through internships. Internships also can confirm or redirect career decision-making, provide marketability, develop people skills and enhance classroom learning. Many academic programs require one, but the experience is encouraged regardless to provide students with a better understanding of what will be expected of them in the workplace.

Many students are participating in myriad internships this summer. Meet:

PhotoLeo Liu

Leo Liu

He is: an international student from China. “I have been in the U.S. since 2015 as an exchange student. When I first moved here, I went to Traverse City West High School and stayed with a host family during that time, and they became my second family. I then studied Hospitality Management at Ferris.”

Leo’s Internship: is with Vacasa, a Portland, Oregon-based rental management and real estate company with international holdings. “I was fortunate to become one of Vacasa’s 16 interns, out of 190 candidates. I work at the Destin, Florida central office, where we manage over 400 vacation rentals. Part of my job is inspecting and making sure the unit condition is presentable for both homeowners and guests who book with us.”

What Leo is Learning on his Internship: “Before I was picked to join VACASA, I was hoping to work with a company that would make an effort in developing employee skills while encouraging professional growth. VACASA absolutely went beyond all expectations for professional growth development. Every week, we have lunch with our mentor, a one-to-one opportunity to analyze the work challenges and share about our life as an intern. It is very helpful because it helps me to figure out my strengths and weakness as well as how to improve so that I can be more successful in the industry.”

Future Plans: “I am considering taking a remote position when I am back at Ferris so that I can finish my senior year. Once I get my degree, I hope to return to Vacasa as an owner relationship manager. Eventually, my goal is to become a general manager for Vacasa.”

Advice for Students Seeking Internships: “Believe in yourself, always be willing to make an effort for the company. When an opportunity comes, show the company your willingness, loyalty and ability to work. Once the company discovers your work on these three attributes, you will be close to success in the industry.”

Other Campus Involvement: Leo works for the Office of International Education at Ferris. “I help with international recruitment, document organization, and translation documents from English to Chinese. Having an on-campus job is one of the best ways to get involved in student life at Ferris.”