Lees-McRae Graduate Completes Summership with Coca-Cola Hellenic in Serbia

October 15, 2014

Article by Hayden Moses ’15

The Division of Business Administration is proud to announce that Natalija Cakarevic ’14 recently completed a prestigious Summership with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company in her home country of Serbia. The six-week internship involved on-the-job experience four days a week and intensive classroom instruction one day a week. Cakarevic was one of fifty-four applicants accepted out of 1,900. 

“I applied for a Coke Summership in April of 2014 while I was still a student at Lees-McRae College,” said Cakarevic. “It was one of those applications that I submitted and didn't expect to make it past the first round…For a while I wasn't getting any update from Coca-Cola Hellenic. I left the United States [to return to Serbia], and within the next five days I received a call. From that moment, I was called four more times to come back.”

Cakarevic was placed in field sales, pitching Coca-Cola products to mom and pop stores, bakeries, cafes and the like. She also worked with a mentor who handled key accounts for grocery chains. She credits her success in the Summership program to the knowledge and skills she attained while a student at Lees-McRae College. 

“Although I graduated before the start of the internship, I realized how much I didn't know and how much is out there to learn. But I had a great foundation,” said Cakarevic. “During the internship, we regularly attended seminars and trainings about presentation skills, sales, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, etc. And while others struggled with presenting, for me it was second nature. While others didn't know what [corporate social responsibility is], I knew what it meant. That is what set me apart from others.”

"Natalija demonstrates an analytical and strategic business sense," said Amy Anderson, interim chair of the Division of Business Administration, "which, combined with her ability to understand international and cultural elements, will ensure her much success."

Cakarevic graduated from Lees-McRae in May 2014 with a degree in Business Administration, concen-trations in International Business, Finance and Marketing, and a minor in Mathematics. She served as a Peer Educator and was an athlete for the Women’s Basketball team. Cakarevic was inducted into Sig-ma Beta Delta, the prestigious business honor society, in 2013, and honored with the 2014 Global Edu-cation Award and the 2014 Business Administration Award. She now resides in her home country of Serbia.

Through specialized studies and practical application, the Division of Business Administration prepares students for the business workplace and advanced degrees, placing emphasis on business principles, communication and professional skills, research, internship, and global learning.

For more information about the Business Administration program, please contact Amy Anderson, interim chair of the Division of Business Administration, at andersona@lmc.edu. 

Media Contact:

Nina Mastandrea  |  Content Manager
Tel: 828.898.8729  |  Email: mastandrean@lmc.edu
Ramon Weidinger, General Manager at Coco-Cola Hellenic, Serbia & Montenegro and Natalija Cakarevic ’14