Erik Budlong ’12: Embracing the unexpected
Major: International Business (Finance)
Working at: Hanna Instruments
In March 2014, Erik Budlong returned to New England after spending nearly two years in Mumbai, the most populous city in India. That was where he began his career with Hanna Instruments, a world-leading manufacturer of analytical instrumentation. He expected to serve for a year as international sales manager for the state of Maharashtra. When Hanna’s general manager of India was reassigned, however, the unexpected happened: Budlong was asked to take over as interim general manager, responsible for every aspect of the company’s Indian subsidiary including sales, marketing, and logistics.
The International Business program offers "the perfect recipe for preparing students for the workforce."
He had no experience and there wasn’t anybody there to teach him the ropes, so the job required him to learn as fast as he could. With a “can do” attitude and the exceptional foundation he received at Bryant, Budlong met the challenge head on.
“The University’s International Business program curriculum and amazing faculty mold young adults into business professionals with a global mindset,” he says. “The combination of learning a second language, studying abroad, working with a cohort for four years, and taking part in a real consulting project is the perfect recipe for preparing students for the workforce. Bryant has opened many doors for me, and the doors continue to open. ”
Budlong is completing a short-term project for Hanna as he waits to learn what his next assignment will be – and where. “For me, it’s not so much about a specific position – it’s about the exposure and experience I receive. I’m always looking to develop myself personally and professionally,” says Budlong, who also aspires to spread his entrepreneurial wings and develop a new business venture.
He hopes to receive at least one more international assignment for the company, which has subsidiaries in 43 countries. “I certainly wouldn’t complain if they asked me to go to Spain,” he adds.