Year of Graduation: 2007
He did an internship abroad in Goes, Netherlands with Timesavers Int. B.V. as a Marketing & Sales Trainee.
How did you find out about this internship?
I found out about this internship through networking. I got my name out there and let people know what I was interested in doing. A family friend came to me and said he did business with a company in the Netherlands that accepted interns from all over the world. I sent in my application, did an interview over the phone, and the rest, as they say, is history.
What are the highlights/challenges of your internship?
The highlights of this internship have been being able to travel and work with a diverse group of people. I have had the opportunity to travel around Europe and interact with customers from many different countries. The challenges come right along with that. Culture and language barriers are something that I deal with on a daily basis. At times, it is difficult to get an idea across to someone who does not speak English as his or her native language. Being able to work around that and still get your main points across is very challenging at times.
What made you decide on doing an internship abroad?
The reason I chose to do an internship abroad was that it was a "once in a lifetime" opportunity. I studied abroad in Guatemala and enjoyed it so much that I jumped at the opportunity to live abroad again. Being able to immerse myself into the culture and live in Europe for four months was an opportunity that I could not pass up.
What has most surprised you about your internship experience abroad?
I was most surprised with how many languages people in the office were able to speak. Every person in the office can speak at least three different languages. It was a strange feeling the first time I was sitting at my desk and I could hear people speaking English, French, German, Chinese, and Dutch, all at the same time. It showed me how important it is in today's world to be able to communicate in more than one language.
How will this internship experience help you achieve your future goals?
My goal is to one day work for a company in the international business sector and I believe that this internship has helped get me one step closer to that goal. The knowledge I have gained in this internship is invaluable. I have not only learned a great deal about the basic operations of a company, but I have also learned a great deal by observing and interacting with customers from all over the world and physically seeing how culture changes how business is done. I believe that this is something that can only be learned through experience.
What advice would you give to students seeking internships?
The advice I would give to students seeking an internship would be not to limit your search, and network, network, network. There are opportunities for internships with companies all over the world. It is just a matter of discovering them and the best way to do that is to network and get your name out there. You never know what type of opportunities may come to you.