Walker EDGE Global Internship History

Originally named the International Business Internship Exchange (IBIE), the global internship component of the Walker EDGE program originally began in 1980 as a program emphasizing international internships for American and German students. The program was arranged under the leadership of Francis C. Gamelin, then president of the Higher Education Center of St. Louis; Dr. Joachim Wenner, Oberregierungsrat, Ministry of Arts and Science of Baden-Württemberg; and Professor Rudolf Mann, Director, Berufsakademie, Villingen-Schwenningen.

In 1986, the governing Board of the Higher Education Center awarded Webster University the administration of the program. In 1999, the State of Missouri Department of Economic Development awarded a grant to expand the program.  Expanding to Mexico, Japan, and England in 2000, and to China in 2005 opened additional opportunities to students to grow personally and professionally through an experience abroad. Partner universities were established through these programs and those relationships continue today.

In 2009, pilot programs with Webster University campuses in Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands created opportunities for US students in additional languages as well as global Webster students in Missouri.  In 2011, the program was renamed the Global Internship Experience (GIE), and in 2012 it was broadened to offer opportunities for F-1 students at Webster University with OPT and CPT eligible internships in the St. Louis area.

In 2013, the program was expanded into the Walker EDGE, the Walker School of Business & Technology's professional development program.