Opening a world of confidence
When economics and business finance major Kenzie Foyle ’23 began arranging a trip to Paris for the seven members of the Lenoir-Rhyne Model United Nations team to attend the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference, she didn’t expect those plans to lead her to a summer in Dublin — but Foyle makes a habit of seizing opportunities where they’re presented.
“I was working with Brittany Marinelli, the director of international education, and she mentioned that this summer would be my last chance to study abroad,” said Foyle. “I already had all the credits I needed, so she suggested an internship. I interviewed with the company while I was in Paris. They were the only company I interviewed with.”
Two weeks after the interview, Foyle had secured the internship with Headcase Marketing, a Dublin firm that works with high-profile European and international brands including Cadbury, Skechers, BMW, Pfizer, and Universal. On May 20, she arrived in Dublin to begin her internship.
“The Headcase slogan is ‘The distance between madness and genius is only measured by success,’” shared Foyle. “The approach is loud and proud, a little unorthodox but effective — it was a great experience.”
Based on her academic background and her major in economics, Headcase assigned Foyle high-level responsibilities in the office. “They started me off with bookkeeping and financial management. I’d usually spend the mornings reconciling the accounts, talking to account managers, collecting receipts and making sure the company cards were being used properly.”
In the afternoons Foyle shifted gears to spearhead marketing strategy for Milly, a luxury women’s fashion brand. “I ran their social media accounts — Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn — and I attended meetings to explore new distribution outlets, putting together lookbooks [a collection of photographs showcasing the clothes], organizing a fashion show and photo shoot. It was a lot of work, but valuable hands-on high-level experience on the job.”
Living and working in Dublin gave Foyle a chance to explore Ireland and visit family in Scotland, but the internship was just the most recent of her international adventures, the most significant of which began four years ago when she came to LR from her hometown of Toronto.
“I’m a student-athlete. I was recruited to play golf, and it’s been amazing,” Foyle explained. “I have a sports scholarship and an academic scholarship — I wouldn’t be here without them. I’ve loved my time here, and I love Hickory. I’ve made a lot of friends and memories that will stay with me forever.”
At LR, Foyle also found a space that has encouraged her academic development and exploration. “Double majors aren’t common in Canada, so I was planning to major in business management and minor in communications, even though I loved economics. Then I took an econ class with Dr. Tunay Oguz as my professor. She suggested I add a second major in economics,” Foyle shared.
Oguz has also served as advisor for Foyle’s honors thesis in economics, investigating the connection between intimate partner violence and land ownership in developing nations. “Economics isn’t just about capitalism. It’s about development, looking at how different issues influence one another,” Foyle said.
“For example, my thesis looked at data from Nigeria that showed women with greater financial assets are more susceptible to violence because it upsets the traditional social structure. These are issues that need to be addressed before economic aid can have an impact in developing nations with similar traditions.”
The scope of her academic pursuits and research have made Foyle a strong candidate for graduate study, but she wants to get more workplace experience after she graduates in December.
“Between my studies and athletics, I’ve been immersed in academia for most of my life. I got a little glimpse of working life in my internship, and I want to explore that for a few years before I decide to continue in academics,” Foyle shared.
Headcase offered her a permanent position after the internship, but Foyle has lined up a position with a technology company based in Florida where she will develop marketing strategy aimed at university students nationwide.
“It’s a startup, so there’s a lot of room to grow and learn and room to make an impact,” Foyle shared. “I’m nervous about taking the next step after LR, but I take a lot of confidence from knowing that everybody is nervous. That’s what confidence is — knowing you’re nervous but doing it anyway and giving it your all.”