Summer intern spotlight: Russell Freed
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
University: University of Texas at Austin
Major: International Business
Meet Russell, our exciting business development intern who recently joined the billionBricks team in Singapore. While at billionBricks, Russell will be focused on research for powerHYDE, billionBricks’ self-financing solar home. Russell will also be assisting with social media management, writing blog posts like this!
Russell is a self-proclaimed “foodie” who loves to cook for friends and family. When not in the kitchen, Russell is typically devising his next travel adventure. So far, he has visited 33 countries! Below Russell answers a few questions about himself and what he hopes to accomplish at billionBricks.
What excites you about interning with billionBricks?
I have found it quite exciting to work in a business that revolves around design. More than in drawings or models, I see design manifest itself in the billionBricks way of thinking. BillionBrick’s is built on the idea of solution-oriented products and reactive design. I feel that in business, especially, “reactivity” carries a negative connotation. Innovation for the sake of innovation is often praised. However, be it a non-profit or a for-profit business, the ability to actually solve a problem and improve functionality should be the primary determinant of success.
What led you to major in international business?
My interest in international business was cemented while living abroad in Zaragoza, Spain during my final year of high school. Although I had previously traveled, the experience of actually living and attending school outside of the U.S. allowed me to really contrast my own experiences and begin to think more flexibly. As the world becomes increasingly globalized and cross-border business becomes the norm, I am confident that cross-cultural competency will be indispensable.
As a business student, how do you value social entrepreneurship?
For me, social entrepreneurship simply means redefining the framework for success. Studying in Austin, Texas, I admire Whole Foods Market, an early pioneer of social enterprise. Whole Foods has shown how financial success and doing good really can be compatible. Unfortunately, education about social entrepreneurship is lacking within business school curricula. I do believe this will change, given shifting paradigms towards the social business model, especially amongst young people.
What is your favorite thing about living in Singapore?
The food! It is truly amazing that there is such a diverse range of foods at literally every street corner. The fact that a single food court table regularly hosts plates of Indonesian, Peranakan, and Indian food is indicative of Singapore’s unique cultural mix. Also, you can’t beat the hawker center prices. Four dollars for a plate of chicken rice, count me in!