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German Exchange Student Learns Auto Trade At Northway Exchange Auto Auction

CONTACT: Judith White (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, June 20, 2002

\"ImageA young student from a German vocational school spent the past weeks learning about the automobile business – American style – while completing an internship at the Northway Exchange Auto Auction in Halfmoon. The internship is part of an exchange program

Melanie Budrus, 21, of Bottrop, Germany, is one of six students this year participating in an exchange program with Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, which is a "partner" school with Kuniberg Berufskolleg (KBK), in Recklinghausen, Germany. Students from Hudson Valley's Automotive Technology program visited Germany and studied at the partner school there for the past two years.

This year, Budrus and the other German exchange students, ages 21 to 25, are living with host families throughout the region, and attending two non-credit courses at the college: English as a Second Language, and Business Applications and Concepts.

Each student was assigned by Hudson Valley to "job-shadow" at an individual car dealership or business. Along with Northway Exchange, those include Northeast Acura, Saturn of Albany, The Otto Group, Fuccillo Ford and Cooley Motors Corp.

Amy Gumaer, associate professor and international education director at Hudson Valley, said all six students visited Northway Auto Exchange last week for an auction, and were quite excited about the experience.

Northway Auto Exchange's marketing manager, Patricia Lilac, said the entire staff of the Auto Auction has been very enthusiastic about the exchange program, and particularly enjoys this year's student.

"She's made us all aware of how important each of us is in our business, because she's really interested in what we do," Lilac said. "And we've picked her brain, and exchanged all sorts of ideas about lifestyles, culture – everything, not just business."

Northway Exchange Auto Auction is one of 115 Manheim Auto Division auctions located worldwide – but none are in Germany.

Budrus spent two days per week with the auctioneer at the site and assisted in processing vehicle titles and other tasks. She is particularly interested in use of the computer in the wholesale auction, according to Lilac.

Back in Germany, Budrus work at a Volkswagen dealership, as part of her school's automotive sales administration program. Her hosts here were Ursula and Ken MacAffer of Menands, and Inge Eley of Cohoes. Both Ursula and Inge are faculty members of Hudson Valley Community College.

Hudson Valley Community College, located in Troy, offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs in four academic divisions: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students each year, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training.