Mike Tyle

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Mike Tyle

Bachelor of Arts ‘09

Majors: Merchandising & Design

Minor: Advertising

Today: Designer, Esprit, Germany


For Merchandising and Design graduate Mike Tyle, an international internship was a natural choice to fulfill his program’s internship requirement. Having spent time in Germany after high school, Tyle jumped at the chance to return as a design intern for Penkov in Berlin in the summer of 2008. He has since returned to Germany, where he works as a designer, creating men’s tops for Esprit. Tyle’s interest and experience in Germany has been a common thread in his dynamic and international design career.


To secure the internship that was right for him, Tyle did more than peruse existing job postings. “I looked through issues of Vogue magazine,” he recounts, “and wrote to the companies, all over the world, that I was interested in.”  When Penkov responded, Tyle worked with his academic advisors and the Office of Study Abroad to ensure that the internship could meet the credit requirements for his program.   The resulting internship was the opportunity of a lifetime, he says, both because of the doors it opened later in his career and its impact on his personal worldview. “I’ve learned so much from living in different countries,” says Tyle, “about how things are different from the US, but also about how I understand and value things and experiences in my own life.”


Tyle’s advice to students considering study abroad is to seize the opportunity. “Working abroad shows employers that you can adapt and deal with different challenges you’ll come across, even in a different language and culture,” he says. In his own experience, study abroad has provided useful talking points in job interviews. Perhaps most important, however, is the new opportunities and perspectives that living abroad can provide. Even now, a year into his current job, his third time living in Germany, Tyle reflects that, “little things about the language and culture still surprise me every day. As much as I miss my family in Michigan, right now is my opportunity to be here and do this, and I am making the most of it…”