German Franchise Association fellow Paul Brockley had the networking opportunity of a lifetime at an international franchising expo.
Brockley received several on-the-spot job offers as he met with professionals from German and American companies at Franchise Expo19. The expo in Frankfurt, Germany, attracted 3,000 attendees representing 54 nations and 152 brands.
Brockley was the first student to complete a fellowship with the German Franchise Association through the University’s Titus Center for Franchising. He met with franchising professionals from American companies to hear their thoughts on the association’s website, to share contacts and to discuss opportunities for expansion. Franchise leaders also talked through cultural, political or economic barriers to international expansion.
Titus Center for Franchising Director Dr. John P. Hayes gave multiple presentations at Franchise Expo19, which Brockley helped film. Afterward, Brockley, who speaks some German, translated for Hayes as he answered questions and talked about opportunities the Titus Center is creating for students.
That’s when the franchise professionals tried to hire Brockley right then and there. Brockley said it’s a testament to Hayes’ reputation.
“It showed just a glimpse of how much of an asset he is to the Titus Center and how fortunate we are to have a teacher like him,” Brockley said.
Brockley also credited marketing Professor Dr. Lawrence Burgee for sparking his interest in going abroad and building his skillset.
“He’s played a very critical role in me pushing myself into a position to succeed,” Brockley said.
On a trade mission, Brockley was included in a meeting with the chief economic adviser from the U.S. Embassy, who helped Americans understand the German business climate. The adviser elaborated on the unemployment rate, state of the economic situation and outlook for various franchising sectors, Brockley said.
In Berlin, Brockley worked with the GFA to follow up on leads and redesign the association’s website to make it easier to navigate. Brockley met with franchisees to learn more about expansion and how it differs in Germany and America.
In Munich, Brockley worked closely with the Bodystreet fitness studios franchise expansion team, calling master franchisees in Tanzania, England and Phoenix. While he was in Germany, Bodystreet celebrated the opening of its 300th studio location. He visited two of Bodystreet’s corporate studios and tested out their product, a 20-minute electrical muscle stimulation workout.
Additionally, Brockley wrote a master licensee questionnaire for a potential Bodystreet master franchisee in Bulgaria. He researched the Florida market as the company continues its U.S. expansion.
Bodystreet founders Emma and Matthias Lehner have visited PBA’s campus, where they’ve spoken to franchising students and professionals at a boot camp. They’ve also hosted students in Bodystreet’s office in Germany as part of a European study tour.
“I learned what it’s like to have a good work ethic from Emma and Matthias,” Brockley said. “It was awesome to have mentors like them.”
Brockley is paying it back, helping them build their brand in the U.S. He will represent Bodystreet at Franchise Expo South in Miami Beach this month.
Given his experience, Brockley is optimistic about his job prospects.
“I’m very thankful for the opportunities that the Titus Center and PBA have given me,” Brockley said. “They really put students in a position to succeed.”