This past summer I interned abroad in London, England at a non-profit called Equalities National Council (ENC). Founded in 1997, this non-profit provides advocacy and mentoring services to disabled individuals. For eight weeks, I worked with the CEO to lobby for funds from corporations and government agencies as well as completed their funding applications via an online application process.
Interning abroad was beneficial because it allowed me to develop both as a person and as a business student. For eight weeks, I was required to live without my family members for the first time ever. This enabled me to become more independent and mature over a short period. This is so because I was force to complete simple household chores on my own in addition to being alert and vigilant in a large city to ensure my safety. I also started to appreciate the value of having money. With an unpaid internship, I had to pay for airfare, food, and other expenses from my own pocket. Although the STEP funds were helpful, it did not cover the entire cost of the trip. Therefore, the habitat of creating a budget that I picked up on will be valuable to me in the future.
As a business major, interning abroad was a wonderful experience. Living in a financial hub, I was exposed to various business procedures and methods that I was unaware of earlier. These experiences will set me apart from other candidates for future opportunities. I also learned about Brexit and saw how decisions from the government can affect corporations in an impactful manner. I also developed an entrepreneurial mindset through my constant interactions with the CEO. This connection and knowledge can be useful in the future if I decide to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. Furthermore, this experience has made me comfortable to adapt to new situations. This skill can be valuable once I graduate from Ohio State and look to settle in with a company.
As mentioned, I have become a more mature and responsible person as a result from the trip. This is so because I was required to provide and look out for myself in a such a large city. I also had to handle conflict, such as adapting to a different currency, without prior knowledge.
Through the internship, I interacted with the CEO numerous times to learn about the non-profit, the motive behind creating it, and how it was established. These discussions allowed me to realize how nonprofits in London receive little support from the government. Therefore, the fact that ENC has existed for almost twenty years was impressive to me. Also, connecting with the CEO helped me the see the commitment and passion needed to be an entrepreneur since she started ENC on her own in 1997. I also attended seminars where representatives from major corporations, such as Deloitte and PwC, talked about how Brexit has affected their operations and strategic plans. This was interesting to hear because I got to see the concerns and the recommendations that companies wanted the government to consider when finalizing the Brexit arrangement.
Another important transformation that the internship caused was helping me become a people-oriented person. Unlike most internships, I had an active role where I had to constantly communicate with others in order to persuade them to donate to ENC. Therefore, these interactions led me to become comfortable with confronting other people. Furthermore, this skill helped me become friends with the other Ohio State students I was living with in a fast manner. This elevated the gratification I felt from this trip because I got to hang out and travel with other people, instead alone.
Transforming into an independent individual expedites the development process and allows me to become an adult. With this, I have become more confident and capable to live on my own once I graduate. The experience attained from the internship was valuable because it showed me how I need a technical role in order to be productive. The internship was the ideal first real world experience, but it made me realize how I need to search for a more concrete and routine role in the future. Therefore, as a career goal, I need to apply for positions with more specific responsibilities.
Apart from London, I also traveled to other locations during the summer. I visited Dublin, Ireland and Copenhagen, Denmark. Through these trips, I transformed into a more culturally aware person. Experiencing the different cultures and traditions made me realize how I much admire traveling to different locations. Therefore, as another career goal, I would like to find some rotational program so I can live in various cities as I learn more about operations and policies of the company.