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My FPE Abroad Experience

Daniel Forkner in Warsaw office
Daniel Forkner at the PricewaterhouseCooper office, Warsaw, Poland.

Formerly known as Iron Sharpens Iron (ISI), the name change to FPE Abroad: International Study Program honors Bob Bartel, who began this program in the Business and Economics department and led the trip, with his wife Shirley, that greatly impacted Director, David Iglesias’ college experience.

Daniel Forkner made the trip when it was under the ISI title.

Tell us about your jobs since college. What are a few things you have learned since you left?

I am currently working with Investortools, Inc, which is a financial software company located in Colorado Springs. We produce, customize, and support software dedicated to the fixed-income financial market. As a Client Service Associate, I am engaging clients on workflow, building reports, advising on system usage, and overall building and maintaining of client relationships. I have discovered how to deliver an excellent service to clients by continually enhancing my ability to translate between client needs and the technical capabilities of our products.

What were some of your most memorable experiences on your summer study abroad program?

Iron Sharpens Iron is a unique program because students have the opportunity to engage directly with individuals in the marketplace and political world. Specifically, I enjoyed visiting with Haitong Bank in Warsaw, Poland. The group learned about the intricacies of the Polish financial markets and how they might be different from those of the United States.

How did your trip expand your understanding of the interaction between the political and economic worlds?

Through our many business and political visits, I was able to see how different countries in Europe approached economic solutions differently from each other and from the United States. It was interesting to see the cause and effect of different government policies regarding the economy.

How did your trip prepare you for your life after Wheaton?

I was asked about my ISI trip in every single job interview that I attended. This did not surprise me because I had placed it in the top section of my resume to show off this incredible program. ISI not only made me more valuable to a company, but it also made me a more interesting person, which, believe it or not, is a huge part of being hired! Several peers of mine at Wheaton had abroad experiences, but none had experiences quite like Iron Sharpens Iron. ISI gave me real stories to tell potential employers, which really helped me shine apart from other candidates.

 

Chicago Council Event on Eastern Europe Chicago, IL
Chicago Council Event on Eastern Europe, Chicago, IL

 

How did you benefit from the opportunity to interact more closely with Wheaton faculty?

Building relationships with the Wheaton faculty on the trip was no doubt a highlight. Personal interactions and conversations exposed me to new learning that wasn’t necessarily part of a curriculum, but rather simply because I was engaging with very smart people. In addition to my courses through ISI, I also took  Faith & Market Mentorship, and National Security which also made me into a more well-rounded candidate for employment. The diverse wealth of knowledge and experiences Capt. David Iglesias shared with me were enormously beneficial for my own development. He cares deeply for his students.

What advice would you give to students considering participation in our summer political economy program?

The treasure chest of experiences, knowledge, and stories you will gain from an Iron Sharpens Iron program is like no other. Your thinking will gain depth, your analysis will sharpen, and your character will grow. The point of a Wheaton College education is to develop valuable members of society and Christ’s kingdom. Iron Sharpens Iron does that in a way that no other program at Wheaton can, which is why it is one of, if not the most valuable experience that I had at Wheaton.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers PWC Warsaw Poland
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Warsaw, Poland