Spotlight Dublin Alum: Molly S. & Kelsey B.

Global Experiences

 

Molly S.

When/what/where was your internship? How was it?

My Global Experience internship was in the fall of 2009.  I moved to Dublin, Ireland to work for a company that consisted of three start-up businesses including a recruitment company, a liquidation company, and hair salons.  The internship was the "time of my life!"  I met so many great people at my job, and I am still in contact with them today.  We email constantly and I have been back to visit twice.

What did you gain while living in a new environment?

Living in Ireland gave me a new outlook on life.  I was consistently following the path of the "American Dream."  Go to school, get a job, get married, and have children.  This experience taught me that I can choose my own path and experience life the way I would like to live it.  The things that I gained the most were friendships, independence, and self awareness.

How did your international internship help you once you returned?

Graduating in May of 2009 I knew that I had to do something to set myself apart from the pack.  I decided to take this internship to do just that.  I had started the job hunt process but when I returned my internship was a great selling process during interviews.  I was able to convey to potential employers that I am willing to take risks, and I can adapt to new changes.  Not only was the internship in Ireland beneficial for when I first returned, but it is still helpful to tell my story and being able to connect with others.

What do you do now, and how do you think your experience helped you reach this point?

Now I currently work for a healthcare executive search firm -- we do high level placements for health systems.  My experience helped me gain work and life experience.  The company I am working for was not looking to hire someone so young, but through my experiences (one being my internship) I was able to convey that I was willing and able to do the job set forth.

What would you say to someone thinking about working abroad? What advice would you give?

I would say there should be NO question as to why you should work abroad.  Travel has taught me so many life lessons.  You will never regret the experience but you may regret not giving yourself the opportunity to have the experience.  The friendships I have made through this program are indescribable and I would do it over in a heartbeat if I had the chance.

Kelsey B. 

When/what/where was your internship? How was it?

I worked for a start-up company in Dublin, Ireland. Because the company I worked for was still in the beginning stages, I was given a lot of responsibility, which was an aspect of the internship that I liked. The people were very friendly, and willing to give me advice and help me with anything I needed as I got used to living in a new environment. Overall, it was a great internship!

What did you gain while living in a new environment?

I describe the time abroad as “the freest I’ve ever been in my life.” I had the opportunity to travel often, and I saw many different landscapes, ate new foods, and experienced a variety of cultures. The coolest thing about being abroad was making last-minute plans to do and see new things. I loved it! It was also invigorating to meet new people from new places almost every day, and I enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their cultures.

How did your international internship help you once you returned?

Going abroad was a huge growing experience. Between navigating foreign airports, learning the streets of a metropolitan area, and figuring out which stamps to use to send postcards home to friends and family members, I became much more self-reliant and confident in my ability to navigate a new city. In a broader sense, the experience of living abroad and experiencing a different culture gave me a more global perspective on American policies and social norms.

What do you do now, and how do you think your experience helped you reach this point?

I am currently a senior at Penn State University, and am applying for full-time positions. As I have gone through the interview process, I have noticed that employers are very interested to see that I took the initiative to work for a company abroad. The global perspective I gained from being abroad has been an asset in critical thinking exercises in several classes I have taken since arriving back in the US.

What would you say to someone thinking about working abroad? What advice would you give?

Working abroad is an amazing experience. It’s really cool to not only immerse yourself in the social culture of another country, but also in the vocational culture. The concept of work-life balance is so much different in Europe than it is in the United States, and being able to witness that was an eye-opening experience for me.

My advice to those who are planning to do an internship abroad is this: make sure you talk to your employer about the possibility of scheduling a few long weekends and days off to travel and to explore the city you are based in. I was able to do this, and it definitely enhanced my experience abroad.

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